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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.
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.
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.
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.
Statue of Dhanvantari at Taxakeshwar temple
Temples in India
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. Another Dhanvantari shrine is found in the second precinct of Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram.
Dhanvanthari temples in Kerala include:
- Thevalakkadu Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Kulasekharamangalam Post, Vaikom, Kottayam, Kerala
- Aanakkal Dhanwanthari Temple, Thaniyathukunnu, Thrissur
- Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Ramanathapuram, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
- Sree Dhanwanthari Temple , Maruthorvattom,Cherthala,Kerala State 
- Sree Dhanwanthari Temple , Prayikara, Mavelikara, Alleppey, Kerala 69001 
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.
- 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
Times of India
Times of India
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 05:41:15 -0800
MANGALURU: Karnataka is all set to break the Guinness World Record created by the Union ministry (Ayush) that organized the largest yoga session involving 35,985 people in New Delhi on June 21, 2015. State health department and Karnataka Ayurvedic ...
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 ...
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:22:30 -0800
पुराणात धन्वंतरींच्या दहा- बारा प्रतिमांचा उल्लेख आहे. आपल्याला ते धन्वंतरी कधी भेटल्याच आठवतंय का? नाही ना, पण मला ते ठाण्यात भेटले. जसे ते वेगवेगळ्या रुपात आहेत, तसेच अगदी वेगवेगळ्या ...
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 11:41:15 -0800
जीवन कला मंडळ आणि श्री पारनेरकर गुरूसेवा मंडळ, पारनेरतर्फे दिला जाणारा पूर्णाचार्य पुरस्कार आनंद मुठाळ यांना, तर धन्वंतरी पुरस्कार डॉ. अर्चना मोहगावकर यांना पूर्णवाद वर्धिष्णू अॅड.
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 ...
Sun, 17 Jan 2016 16:03:40 -0800
... Society in Banashankari; Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, Crescent Road, and the Department of Information and Public Relations, Vartha Soudha, Sri Bhagwan Mahaveera Road, Bengaluru; and also at Vartha Soudha, Dhanvantari Road, Mysuru.
Sun, 31 Jan 2016 10:56:15 -0800
A 108-foot-tall statue of Dhanvantari will also be erected, Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader said. '108' strike. Speaking about the ongoing strike by drivers and paramedics of the 108 Arogya Kavacha, the minister said the issue, being an ...
Sun, 24 Jan 2016 14:41:15 -0800
आशिया खंडातील ख्यातनाम हृदयरोगतज्ज्ञ डॉ. सुधांशू भट्टाचार्य यांना अत्यंत प्रतिष्ठेचा असलेला धन्वंतरी पुरस्कार जाहीर झाला आहे. १४ फेब्रुवारीला होणाऱ्या एका सोहळ्यात राज्यपाल ...
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