3 Aiyanar


   Aiyanar is a demigod represented as a warrior mounted on a horse who is the night guardian in Tamil Nadu. He is sometimes accompanied in iconography or painted representation by other martial figures and dogs. He patrols the boundar-ies of fields, chasing away evil forces. Figurines of horses and elephants are found in his shrines. Horses in Tamil Nadu will be devoted to Aiyanar. He is regarded as a local son of SHIVA.
   Further reading: R. Srinivasan, Aiyanar’s Domain: Politi-cal and Social Conditions and Attitudes in Tamil Folk Lit-erature (Bombay: Research Book Centre, 1993); Henry Whitehead, The Village Gods of South India (Delhi: SumitPublications, 1976).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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