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Ayurvedic medicine
Deva Dhanvantari
Devanagari धन्वंतरी
Affiliation Deva, Avatar of Vishnu

Dhanvantari (Sanskrit: धन्वन्तरि) is an Avatar of Vishnu from the Hindu tradition. He appears in the Vedas and Puranas as the physician of the gods (devas), and the god of Ayurvedic medicine. 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.

The legend[edit]

Bhagavapurana states that Dhanavantari emerged from the Ocean of Milk and appeared with the pot of nectar during the story of the Samudra or Sagar manthan 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 or Demons, 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 no permanent temples to Dhanvantari in Northern India.[original research?] The reason is not yet known, but 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.

There are a few dedicated temples to Dhanvantari in South India especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where ayurveda is highly practised and patronised.

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 teertha, 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]


  • 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

External links[edit]

  1. ^ a b Madhavan 2007, p. 107
  2. ^ Madhavan 2007, p. 108
  3. ^ Madhavan 2007, p. 110
  4. ^ http://www.sreedhanwantharitemple.in
  5. ^ http://aanakkaldhanwanthari.com/home.htm
  6. ^ http://temples.avpayurveda.com

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

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Sat, 02 May 2015 09:30:00 -0700

The entrance of the museum has a figure of Lord Dhanvantari, the 'god of Ayurveda', rising from the ocean with amrit (nectar) in hand. Archaeological findings from the Indus Valley civilisation have proved that Ayurveda was practiced in India more than ...
Free Press Journal
Sun, 16 Nov 2014 20:30:00 -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 ...

Rajasthan Patrika

Rajasthan Patrika
Wed, 06 May 2015 03:45:39 -0700

जयपुर चिकित्सा विभाग में एक चर्चा आम रहती है कि डॉक्टरी और अफसरी साथ-साथ नहीं चल सकते। कुछ एेसा ही हाल इन दिनों सवाई मानसिंह अस्पताल में हो रहा है। यहां अस्पताल के चिकित्सकों को ...
The Echo of India
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:00:00 -0700

Medical Specialist, Ophtalmologist, Dermatologist & Dental Surgeon from INHS Dhanvantari and Medical officers of NAS Shibpur and CHC Diglipur along with paramedical staff provided treatment to the local population. There was an overwhelming response ...
Business Standard
Tue, 22 Oct 2013 07:11:01 -0700

Eminent gastroenterologist and director of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences S K Sarin has been chosen for the prestigious Dhanvantri award. Sarin has been selected for the 42nd annual award in recognition for his significant contribution in ...
The Hindu
Thu, 20 Oct 2011 11:59:26 -0700

M.K. Mani, pioneer in nephrology in the country and Chief Nephrologist at Apollo Hospital, Chennai, has been honoured with the 40th Dhanvantari Award. Dhanvantari Medical Foundation president and eminent cardiologist B.K. Goyal said here on Thursday ...

Outside Magazine

Outside Magazine
Thu, 15 Jan 2015 11:42:54 -0800

Hindus believe that Ayurveda was handed down from Brahma, the god of creation, to Dhanvantari, the physician of the gods. Simplified, its premise is that we are a mixture of three doshas, or energies. If our doshas are in equilibrium, our body, mind ...

Jungfrau Zeitung

Jungfrau Zeitung
Tue, 05 May 2015 10:00:33 -0700

... und Massagen werden mit grosser Kenntnis, Achtsamkeit und mit Herz durchgeführt sowie einer grossen Bescheidenheit und Demut, die vom tiefen Wissen herrühren, ein Instrument zu sein, durch das der Gott des Ayurveda «Dhanvantari» wirken kann.

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