Consider the following observations about the Alvar saints:
1. Alvar saints is a group of twelve a group of 12 saints dedicated to Lord Shiva
2. The Alvar saints wandered from temple to temple singing ecstatic hymns
3. There was no female Alvar saint
4. Nalayira Prabandham is the name of collection of Alvar hymns
Which among the above observations is / are correct?

Answer: [C] Only 2 & 4

Alvar saints is a group of 12 south Indian mystics who, in the seventh to tenth centuries, wandered from temple to temple singing ecstatic hymns in adoration of Lord Vishnu. The songs of the Alvars rank among the world’s greatest devotional literature. Among the followers of Shiva, the counterparts of the Alvars are the Nayanars. In Tamil, Alvar means “one who is immersed in meditation of God”. Their bhakti (devotion) was of an intensely passionate kind; they compared the soul to a woman who yearns for her lord’s love. The Alvars are described as falling unconscious in rapture before the image of their lord. Saint Nammalvar, in speaking  of the “madness” of religious exaltation, urged his fellow mystics to “run, jump, cry, laugh, and sing, and let every man witness it”. The hymns of the Alvars were gathered in the tenth century by Nathamuni, a leader of the Shrivaishnava sect, who introduced the regular singing of the hymns in Vaishnava temples of south India. The collection is called Nalayira Prabandham (collection of 4,000 songs).Andal was a 10th century Tamil poet who is revered as a saint in the southern parts of India, the only woman Alvar (saint).

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module