The temple is dedicated to Lord Dhanwanthari, who is regarded by Hindus as the Master-God of Ayurveda. Lord Dhanwanthari is regarded as a part-incarnation of Lord Vishnu.Hindu Puranas mention that Lord Dhanwanthari made his appearance from Palazhi (the sea of milk) carrying the bowl of Amruth (the elixir of life and rejuvenation) . In meditation, Sree Dhanwanthari is visualized as a four-handed, dark-complexioned God carrying Sankha (the holy bugle of Lord Vishnu), Chakra (the revolving blade), the bowl of Amruth (the potion of eternal life and rejuvenation), and Jalooka – the leach used by Ayurvedic practitioners to suck away the vitiated blood from the body. Dhanwanthari temple has a copper-roofed round ‘Sreekovil’ encompassing a square ‘Garbha Griha’ in which the principal deity is installed. There is a ‘mandapam’ in front of Sreekovil, where idol of ‘Garuda’, is installed facing the Lord Dhanwanthari and it is also copper-roofed. The temple faces westwards and has an outer square temple (Nalambalam) surrounding a spacious inner lawn. There is an ‘Utsava Bali Mandapam’ on the right side of the Sreekovil. Idols of Lord Ganapati, Lord Sastha, and Bhagawathi are installed in Nalampalam on the right side of the sreekovil and Lord Siva on the left side. The inner Lawn contains the temple well, the water from which alone is used for preparing ‘Nevedyas’. This water remains pure through all seasons and is believed to have medicinal qualities.The Dhwaja is made of Bronze. Outside of the Nalampalam, in the Meenam Rasi, Nagaraja and other Nagar Gods are installed. On the northern side, is situated the associate temple dedicated to Sree Bhadra Devi. Legend:- The name of the place ‘Maruthorvattom’ is said to have been derived from ‘Marunnu Oru Vattam’ which in malayalam means a single dose of medicine, given by the famous Ayurvedic doctor, Vellodu Moos who lived here some 600 years ago, was enough to give relief even from chronic ailments. The idol of Lord Dhanwanthari installed in the temple was the one worshiped in the pooja room of the Brahmin. It was donated to him by a Kshathriya devotee from Vayalar, a place some 8 KM away from Maruthorvattom. It is said that he got a revelation in his dream that he would get permanent relied from his chronic peptic ailment, if he recovered the idol lay hidden in a temple pond by the name ‘Kelan Kulam’ in Cherthala south, and donated it to a deserving brahmin. Vellodu Moos was a famous ayurvedic practitioner and belonged to the group of great eight ayurvedic doctors known as ‘Astha Vaidyas’. Cheerattamon Moos, another ayurvedic doctor and member of Ashta Vaidya group, was residing near Vellodu Moos’s illom. Cheerattumon Moos, who happened to see the idol was very much impressed by its divine vibrance and suggested that a temple should be constructed for the idol, for which he offered financial assistance too.Thus the Dhanwanthari temple at Maruthorvattom was constructed jointly by the two families Festivals:- An 8 day festival starting with flag hoisting and ending with ‘Arattu’ on Thiruvonam day is held annually in the month of ‘Medam’ (April-May).Utsava Bali, Pallivettah, Vilakku, Arattu are important items of festival days. Kathakali is of prominent priority amongt programs arranged for festival nights. In fact, in no other temple in Kerala, Kathakali is given as much importance as here. Other programs worth mentioning are temple arts such as Ottam Thullal, Pathakam, Koothu, Koodiyaattam etc.
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