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Why Thirumangai Alvar Is Also Known As Naalu kavi Perumal?

Thirumangai Alvar is the last of the 12 Alvar saints of South India, they are the very famous poet saints in Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism. He was also known as Naalu Kavi Perumal.
There are four types of poets:
  1. Asu kavi — the spontaneous poet;
  2. madhura kavi — one whose verses are pleasing;
  3. vistaara kavi — one whose poetry is elaborate
  4. chitra kavi — one whose words come together to form an image.
Thirumangai Alvar could compose in all four genres and was, therefore called Naalu kavi Perumal.

His Thiruvezhukoottrirukkai, in praise of Lord Aravamudhan, the deity of Kumbakonam, falls in the category of ratha bandham, and it is because of this work that he is considered a chitra kavi.

In this work, he uses words that represent numerals, to form a chariot. He uses the numerals in ascending and descending order to build the ratha of words. Thirumangai Azhvar’s ratha of words, can be represented in a figure as a ratha with seven decks. He cleverly describes and praises the auspicious qualities and amazing exploits of the Lord, while all the while using only words that refer to numerals from one to seven.







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