Karuvur thEvar is one among the nine devotees who sung the Divine Music thiruvichaippA, which is the ninth thirumuRai. His compositions form the third set in thiruvichaippA. Since he was born in the town karuvUr he is called karuvUrththEvar. His original name is not known. He lived in the 10 th 11 the century A.C.E. (Contemporary of emperors rAjarAjan, rAjEn^dhiran). He came in the vEdas chanting tradition. He learnt well the vedas and arts; Expert in singing very melodious thamiz hymns; Devoted himself to the Supreme Lord shiva; Got the spiritual direction from the sidhdhar bhOga n^Athar; Analysed many knowledge bases and attained the wisdom ; Practiced the shiva yOgam; Attained many marvelous powers still unattached and unshaken by the ego he wandered like a mad man; Had the begged food; Roamed in forests and hills.
He pilgrimmed through the north bharath and through the koN^gu, thoNdai, n^adu states he reached the southern pANdiya kingdom. He arrived at thethiruppudai marudhUr on the banks of river thAmiraparaNi. The river was flooding and the devotee on the other bank cried n^ArampU n^AthA ! The Cow on the ardent call of the calf turned at him and said, "come". The flood subsided and the flood of the devotees love pushed him to the Lord unexplorable by the wisdom. The Guru of all gurus gave this scholar the initiation through His Feet. He worshiped the Radiant Light at gAn^dhIshwaram (near shrI vaikuNtam). It is said that at thirun^elvEli and called the Lord n^ellaiyappA ! The Lord wanting to show his attainment did not respond. On the sages statement the temple got ruined. The local people pleaded to the Lord n^ellaiyappar for the temple getting back the glory. So the Lord blessed the sage in mAnUr, brought him back to thirun^elvEli and showed His Holy form for the devotee to salute. Then the sage changed his statement and the abode prospered again.
karuvUrththEvar went to thirukkuRRAlam and stayed there for a while. Later he went to the podhikai hills, met and got blessed by the great R^iShiagaththiyar(1). Then the great emperor rAjarAjan(2) was building a giant temple for the Lord, who stood as the Immense without start or end, at thanchAvUr. For the holy installation of the Lord the aShtaba.ndhana marun^dhu( the cementing material) was not hardening, which made the king anxious. The initiator of karuvUrththEvar - bhOgan^Athar - called him to thanchAvUr. There this great sidhdhar, worshipping the Lord, made the cementing material to harden thus making the Holy installation complete. He then went to salute shrI raN^ga n^Athar and then reached back at karuvUr. The orthodox brahmins of the town, who recognized only the external manners and lost to realize the spiritual excellency, mocked at this sidhdhar. They gave many troubles to him. One day acting as if he was afraid of them the brave sidhdhar, who had the self so trained in the Glorious wisdom that not to be afraid of anyone or anything, went to the sanctum of the Anilai abode and embraced the Lord pashupatIshwarar.
He is the single largest composer among the nine authors of thiruvichaippA(3). He has sung ten padhikams one each on kOyil (thillai), thirukkaLan^dhai AdhiththEchcharam, thirukkIzkkOttUr maNiyambalam, thirumukaththalai, thirailOkkiya sun^dharam, gaN^gaikoNda chOLEchcharam, thiruppUvaNam, thiruchchAttiyakkudi, thanychai irAcharAchEchcharam, thiruvidaimarudhUr.