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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 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 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. 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 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]
  • Sree Dhanwanthari Temple , Maruthorvattom,Cherthala,Kerala State [7]
  • Sree Dhanwanthari Temple , Prayikara, Mavelikara, Alleppey, Kerala 69001 [8]


  • 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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338 news items

Times of India
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:33:45 -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 ...
The Echo of India
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 13:11:15 -0800

A ENT Specialist, a Dermatologist and a Dental Surgeon from the Naval hospital INHS Dhanvantari participated in the medical camp. 163 patients were examined in the camp, at Primary Health Centre (PHC) Diglipur. The Officer-in-Charge of the Camp, ...
The Navhind Times
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 11:52:30 -0800

PANAJI: “Dhanvantari Poojan” and “Vaidya Satkar Samaroha” was organised by Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd in association with newly-formed state Ayush Society headed by the health secretary on Thursday in Panaji, to mark the birth anniversary of Lord ...
The Echo of India
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 11:07:30 -0800

A Medical Specialist, an ENT Specialist and a Dental Surgeon from Naval hospital INHS Dhanvantari will attend to the patients. A Naval Dermatologist from the mainland will also visit the medical camp on this special occasion. ENT Specialist of INHS ...

The Indian Panorama

The Indian Panorama
Tue, 10 Nov 2015 04:56:15 -0800

Dhanteras is an important part of Diwali celebrations. Dhanteras marks the first day of Diwali celebrations. Dhanteras is also called Dhanvantari Trayodashi. It falls on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik (October ...

Rajasthan Patrika

Rajasthan Patrika
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 15:46:35 -0800

जिलेभर में सोमवार को धन्वन्तरि जयंती मनाई गई। इसमें भगवान धन्वन्तरि की पूजा-अर्चना की गई। जिला स्तरीय धन्वन्तरि पूजन समारोह का आयोजन सआदत अस्पताल स्थित आयुर्वेदिक अस्पताल में किया ...

The Star

The Star
Wed, 11 Nov 2015 00:14:51 -0800

First day: Dhanteras. The first day of Diwali is called Dhanvantari Triodasi or Dhanwantari Triodasi, also called Dhan Theras. It is in fact the 13th lunar day of Krishna Paksh, the dark fortnight of the month of Kartik. On this day, Lord Dhanwantari ...

Rajasthan Patrika

Rajasthan Patrika
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 23:20:11 -0800

श्रीमद्भागवत पुराण में एक प्रसंग में कहा गया है कि देवताओं और असुरों ने मिलकर समुद्र मन्थन किया, जिसमें मन्दर पर्वत को मथनी के रूप में प्रयुक्त किया और वासुकि नाग को डोरी के रूप में ...

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