History of Rishabh Dev Tapasthali
According to the history of Rishabh Dev Tapasthali, Prayag was the place where the first Jain Tirthankara, Bhagwan Rishabh Dev practised penance. The popular Jain texts like Harivamsh Puran and Padmapurana mentions Prayag as Rishabh Dev's deeksha sthal. Presently it is known as the city of Maha-Kumbh. In the 21st century the city was made popular by Poojya Aaryika Gyan Mati Mataji. It was because of her hard work and dedication that this kshetra was developed by Shri Digambar Jain Trilok Shodh Samsthan.
Temple of Rishabh Dev Tapasthali
The temple of Rishabh Dev Tapasthali depicts various incidents of the life of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev. Bhagwan Rishabh Deo Deeksha Kalyanak Tapovan is located in the premises of the first temple. Here under the banyan tree an idol of Rishabh Dev in standing posture can be seen. The idol is 15 ft. In height and is seen holding Pichhi and Kamandalu. The image demonstrate exhibits the history of first Deeksha in the beginning of Karm-Yug.
The Keval Gyan Kalyanak Samavsaran Mandir is also located here. It is believed that Poorva-Tal Pur of Prayag is PuramTal Pur of ancient time. Here in this garden Bhagwan Rishabh Dev attained omniscience i.e. Keval gyan. To exhibit this historical event a Samavsaran has been constructed in the temple. It has been designed as lotus.
The third artistic feature Kailash Parvat has been created in the centre of Tapasthali premises. Bhagvan Rishabh Dev had attained nirvana in Kailash Parvat. Thus to demonstrate this historical event a hilly construction has been designed. It is almost 108 x 72 x 50 ft. A magnificent idol of Rishabh Dev has been created on the top of the hill. The idol is in sitting posture and is red in colour. It is 14 ft in height and can be seen from a far off distance. Apart from this there are 72 other artistic temples of Trikal Chaubeesee i.e. 24 Jain Tirthankaras of each - present, past and future can also be seen on the hill.
The Cave Temple is another attraction here. It is constructed under the Kailash Parvata and is of 50 x 50 feet in size. It houses a beautiful idol of Bhagvan Rishabh Dev. The idol is 3.25 ft. in height and is made of metal. It is seated in a padmasanaposture. The calm and peaceful environment of this cave provides the perfect opportunity to the devotees to offer worship and pray to the Lord.
Another major attraction of the temple is the Bhagvan Rishabh Deo Keerti-Stambh or the Column of Dignity. It has been constructed in front of Samavsharan Temple. The magnificent Keerti Stambh has been made of solid stone and is 31 ft. in height. Four beautiful idols of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev have been constructed on the top of this Stambh. The idols are seated in padmasana posture. The four idols face the four different directions. The Keerti Stambh is also adorned with the life story of Bhagvan Rishabh Dev and the important basic principles of Jainism that have been magnificently carved on it.
The temple organises many annual gatherings. The Chaitra Krishna Navami is celebrated in memory of Bhagvan Rishabh Dev's Deeksha Kalyanak. Vaishakh Shukla Triteeya is also celebrated here. Another ceremony is also organised on Magh Krishna Chaturdeshi in memory of Bhagvan Rishabh Dev's Nirvan Kalyanak. The organisation of the temple, Shri Digambar Jain Trilok Shodh Samsthan had organised 'Bhagwan Rishabh Deo Anter-rashtreeya (International) Nirvan Mahotsava' in the year 2000 in Delhi. It was inaugurated by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In February 2001, International Panch Kalyanak Mahotsava was also organized by the Samsthan. The temple has provisions for dharamshalas or rest houses for the pilgrims.
The temple of Rishabh Dev Tapasthali is well connected to road, rail and air. Busses, taxies are available from Allahabad Bus Stand in the morning. The nearest railway station is situated at Allahabad. The Allahabad-Bamrauly Airport is located at 20 K.M. from the city.
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