The Bhakti movement saw its origination in the 17th century in the then Tamil South India (presently, parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu) and gradually spread northwards. It is the theistic devotional trend that saw an emergence in medieval Hinduism. It spread to the north and east India from 15th century. It reached its peak between the 15th century and 17th century CE. The movement developed in various regions in different gods and goddesses like Lord Vishnu for Viashnavism, Lord Shiva for Shaivism, goddess Shakti for Shaktism and Smartism. Many saint-poets inspired the movement. They advocated a wide range of philosophical positions ranging from the theistic dualism of Dvaita to absolute monism of Advaita Vedanta.
- Bhakti movement provided a spur for the development of regional languages such as Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Hindi etc.
- The lower classes rose to a position of great importance.
- The Bhakti movement gave equal importance to men and women which gave way to the importance of women in society.