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Ayurvedic medicine
Devanagari धन्वंतरी
Affiliation Avatar of Lord Vishnu

Dhanvantari is an avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. He appears in the Vedas and Puranas as the physician of the gods (devas), and the god of Ayurveda. It is common practice in Hinduism for worshipers to pray to Dhanvantari seeking his blessings for sound health for themselves and/or others, especially on Dhanteras.

Textual sources[edit]

Bhagavata Purana states that Dhanvantari emerged from the Ocean of Milk and appeared with the pot of amrita (nectar) during the story of the Samudra (or) Sagara Mathana whilst the ocean was being churned by the Devas and Asuras, using the Mandara mountain and the serpent Vasuki. The pot of Amrita was snatched by the Asuras, and after this event another avatar, Mohini, appears and takes the nectar back from the Asuras. It is also believed that Dhanvantari promulgated the practise of Ayurveda.[1]


According to the ancient Sanskrit work Vishnudharamottara, Dhanvantari is a handsome individual and should usually be depicted with four hands, with one of them carrying Amrita, the ambrosia of god. Dhanvantari is depicted as Vishnu with four hands, holding Shankha, Chakra, Jalauka (leech) and a pot containing rejuvenating nectar called amrita. He is often shown with a leech in his hand rather than the scriptures.[1]

Birthday celebration[edit]

An idol of Dhanvantari at an Ayurveda Expo in Bangalore

His birthday is celebrated by the practitioners of Ayurveda every year, on Dhanteras, two days before Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.[citation needed]

Statue of Dhanvantari at Taxakeshwar temple

Temples in India[edit]

There are a few dedicated temples to Dhanvantari in South India especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where ayurveda is highly practised and patronised. The Dhanvatari temple in Thottuva in Kerala is a particularly famous temple, where Lord Dhanvatari idol is almost six feet tall and facing east. On the right hand the lord holds Amrith and with the left hand the lord holds Atta, Shanku and Chakra. The 'Ekadasi'day celebration, which falls on the same day as the 'Guruvayur Ekadasi' is of special significance.

In Tamil Nadu, in the courtyard of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (Srirangam), there is a Dhanvantari shrine where daily worship of the deity is performed. In front of this temple there is an engraved stone believed to be from the 12th century. According to the writings on the stone, Garuda Vahana Bhattar, a great ayurvedic physician, established the statue inside the temple. A prasada or theertham, a herbal decoction, is given to the visitors. The shrine is the oldest Dhanvantari shrine in the state.[2] Another Dhanvantari shrine is found in the second precinct of Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram.[3]

Dhanvanthari temples in Kerala include:

  • Thevalakkadu Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Kulasekharamangalam Post, Vaikom, Kottayam, Kerala[4]
  • Aanakkal Dhanwanthari Temple, Thaniyathukunnu, Thrissur[5]
  • Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Ramanathapuram, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.[6]
  • Sree Dhanwanthari Temple , Maruthorvattom,Cherthala,Kerala State [7]
  • Sree Dhanwanthari Temple , Prayikara, Mavelikara, Alleppey, Kerala 69001 [8]

In Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh state, one statue of Dhanvantari is present in the University museum. Two statues are at the headquarters of the Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha at New Delhi. There is another statue inside the Ayurveda Maha Sammelan office, Dhanawantari Bhawan at New Delhi and one statue of Dhanvantari is present at Mohyal Ashram in Haridwar.[citation needed]


  • Madhavan, Chitra (2008). Vishnu temples of South India, Volume two. Chitra Madhavan. ISBN 978-81-908445-1-2. 
  • Kalyan Hindi monthly magazine, March 2001 issue, Geeta Press, Gorakhpur, UP

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhanvantari — Please support Wikipedia.
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457 news items

The Hindu
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 17:00:00 -0700

Karnataka Homoeopathy Board B.T.Rudresh, guest of honour, Vice-Chancellor of RGUHS K.S. Ravindranath presides, Dhanvantari Hall, RGUHS, Jayanagar 4{+t}{+h}T Block, 11 a.m.. Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs : Talk on 'Bhanabhatta's work ...
The Echo of India
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 08:56:15 -0700

A multi-Specialty Medical Camp was conducted at CHC Kamorta on 28 Apr 16. The medical team comprised of a Gynaecologist from INHS Dhanvantari (Port Blair), a Psychiatrist from Command Hospital Air Force (Bangalore) and a Dermatologist from 155 Air ...
The Hindu
Thu, 10 Mar 2016 16:01:49 -0800

Guntur-based Post Graduate in Orthopaedics, Harshavardhan Surat has won the coveted Dhanavantari Medal, for an innovation in hip surgery replacing the expensive procedure of hip replacement. Dr. Harshavardhan won the medal at the recently held state ...
Times of India
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:39:47 -0800

Not many people know that there is a temple dedicated to Lord Dhanvantari in Moti Dhanej village of Maliya taluka in Junagadh district. If officials of the Gujarat Pavitra Yatradham Vikas Board and residents of the village are to be believed, it is in ...

Free Press Journal

Free Press Journal
Sun, 14 Feb 2016 18:37:30 -0800

Mumbai : Internationally acclaimed cardiac surgeon Dr Sudhansu Bhattacharya was presented with the 43rd Dhanvantari Award by the Dhanvantari Medical Foundation (DMF) for his pioneering work in the field of cardiology. The award was presented to Dr ...
Mon, 04 Jan 2016 22:11:15 -0800

Revamped Dhanvantari auditorium in Jamnagar is going to be opened today by state health minister Nitin Patel. The auditorium has 478 seats on ground floor and 147 in balcony. It has a big wooden stage and all modern facilities. The auditorium had ...
The Echo of India
Mon, 04 Apr 2016 11:16:16 -0700

The recompression therapy was supervised and undertaken at CDU and Medical cover was provided by Marine Medical Specialist of INHS Dhanvantari. This kind of specialised facility required for the treatment of diving related accidents is however ...

Free Press Journal

Free Press Journal
Sun, 16 Nov 2014 20:44:12 -0800

Mumbai : Dhanvantari Medical Foundation (DMF) felicitated Padma Shri Dr. Rustom P Soonawala with the 42nd Dhanvantari Award here on Sunday for his pioneering work in modern obstetrics and gynaecology in the past five decades. Maharashtra ...

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