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Delphinus map showing Dhanishtha

Dhanishtha (Devanagari: धनिष्ठा)(Kannada: ಧನಿಷ್ಟ)(Tamil: அவிட்டம்) is the twenty-third nakshatra in Hindu astronomy, corresponding to α to δ Delphini.[1] It is also known as Dhanishtha or Avittam.[2] In Jyotiṣa, Dhanishta is ruled by Mangala (the planet Mars). Dhanishta is classified as a Movable nakshatra, meaning that, under electional astrological beliefs, it is best to begin activities like travel when the moon is in Dhanishta.[3]

The deities which preside over Dhanishta are the eight vasus: Agni, Prithvi, Vāyu, Antariksha, Āditya, Dyaus, Chandramas and Nakshatrani. The symbol most commonly used to represent Dhanishta is the drum known as the mridanga, and the flute.[4]

Traditional Hindu given names are determined by which pada (quarter) of a nakshatra the moon was in at the time of birth. In the case of Dhanista, the given name would begin with the following syllables:

  • Ga (गा)
  • Gi (गी)
  • Gu (गु)
  • Ge (गे)[5]


  1. ^ http://www.indianastrology2000.com/astrology-clues/dhanishta.php
  2. ^ http://www.mypanchang.com/nakshatras.html
  3. ^ Hart De Fouw, Robert Svoboda. ‘’Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India.’’ 2003: pg. 206. ISBN 0-940985-69-1
  4. ^ Bepin Behari, David Frawley. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. Lotus Press: 2003. ISBN 0-940985-51-9 pg. 238
  5. ^ http://www.mypanchang.com/nakshatras.html