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Story of Avvaiyar and Aivel

Avvaiyar needs no introduction, as she is one of the greatest women saints in ancient Tamil world. Aivel was poor chieftain who became immortal through his hospitality. The story of Avvaiyar and Aivel is the story of kindness and affection.

On a dark, stormy and rainy night, Avvaiyar was walking through the forest. She knocked at a house in the forest seeking shelter from the stormy weather.

The house belonged to Aivel, the chieftain of a local tribe. Aivel was not rich; he and his people did farming in a small area.

But Aivel was thrilled to see Avvaiyar. He welcomed her to his poor cottage and offered her a blanket. He immediately went around and got a bowl of goat’s milk and few cooked wild tubers.

Avvaiyar was deeply moved by the kindness and hospitality of the humble man. She later immortalized him through her poetry. The poem that she dedicated to the chieftain is called – ‘The compassion of Aivel.’