(Last Updated on : 10-05-2012)
Rishabh Dev Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra is a famous Jain pilgrimage centre. It is also known as Kesariyaji and is located in the village Dhulev that is almost 40 km from Udaipur
. The temple is regarded as to be very ancient in origin and serves as one of the four main pilgrimages centres of the Jains. Situated at the bank of river Koyal (Kumarika), the Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra is enclosed by the lofty hills of Arawalli Mountain Range
. The Rikhabdeo temple is not only worshipped by the Jains but also by Meena Tribe
, Bhil Tribe
and Vaishnavites and other casts.
Devotees also refer to Bhagwan Rishabh Dev
as Keshariyaji because during the pujas immense quantity of saffron is offered to the lord. It is said that once the idol of Rishabh Dev was once protected by Bhil Dhula hence the town of Rishhab Dev is also known as Dhulev
History of Rishabhdeo Temple
According to history the beautiful idol of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev was brought from a village, Khoonadary and installed in Rishabhdeo temple. The ruins that have been found suggest that the village Khoonadary was a prosperous city. During the 8th - 9th century the idol was revered by Acharya Vidyanand. It is said that during the rule of the Mughal Dynasty
, the village Khoonadary was attacked innumerable times and even cows were slaughtered. Hence the devotees had shifted the idol to some safer place. Many ancient petro graphs have also been found here that suggest the Kshetra has been renovated from time to time.
According to a petro graph of V. S. 1431, the temple was reconstructed by the 'Poonja' and 'Kota' who were the sons of Shah Harda. They were impressed by the teachings of Bhattarak Dharm Kirti that motivated them to rebuild the temple. The second petrograph that belonged to V. S. 1572 a Mandapa and Nav Chauki was constructed in the village. As per the third petrograph of V. S. 1753 a temple of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev was constructed. The temple was worshipped by the family members of 'Bhojasa.' He was the son of Sanghavi Aalha and Dev Kulika. The Fourth petrograph o V. S. 1863 suggests that a fort was constructed and was revered by Vaje Chand of Sagwora during the time of Bhattarak Yash Kirti.
Main Temple of Rishabhdeo
The idol of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev installed in the temple is black in colour and has been carved out of a single black stone. Due to its black colour the idol is popularly known as Kalia Baba by the in local and tribal public. The idol is 3.5 feet in height and is seated in padmasana
posture. The idol has long hair that touches its shoulders. Two oxen can be seen carved in the middle of the platform where the idol is installed. These oxen also represent the 16 dreams of Tirthankar's mother, Marudevi Mata. Apart from the main idol there are 23 other idols present in the temple. Out of them, 2 are in standing posture and 21 are in a sitting position. These idols surround the principal deity, Bhagwan Rishabh Dev and are made up of Ashtadhatu. On each pillar of the temples Digambara
idols have been artistically carved. Many other idols have been carved in the back of pinnacles. At the entrance of the temple there are two elephants that have been carved out of black stone.
One can also see the idol of the mother of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev installed in the courtyard in front of the main temple. The idol is seated on a marble elephant. Towards the north direction of the temple the image Goddess Chakreshvari can be seen. The south direction is adorned by the image of Goddess Padmavati
There is a palace located almost 2km from Bhagwan Rishabh Dev temple. It is known as Pagliyaji Palace. The palace worships the footprints of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev kept in a cenotaph. Every year on the birthday of the Bhagwan Rishabh Dev an annual procession is carried out from the temple to Pagliyaji. Puja is then performed here. The puja usually falls in the month of Chaitra
. A big fair is also organised every year on the birthday of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev. Large number of devotees assemble to offer Kesar
to the Lord.