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| Last Updated:: 12/09/2023

Rishabdeo Temple









Rishabhdeo , named after the first Tirthankara Rishabhdev of Jainism, is a census town in Udaipur district, Rajasthan. The name of the town is also Dhulev, however it is better known as Rishabhadeo. It is a well-known pilgrim site for the Jain temple Kesariyaji Tirth dedicated to the first Jain tirthankara Rishabhadeva. 



The place is surrounded by the lofty Aravalli mountain ranges and is situated on the banks of the river Kumarika (Koyal).The temple is regarded to be very ancient and besides the Jains it is said to be worshipped by the Bhil tribe, Meena tribe, Vaishnavites and other castes. The idol was said to have been protected by a Bhil named Dhula in ancient times hence the village came to be known as Dhulev. 








The Jains believes that the image belongs to the time of Rama and Sita. The temple was repaired in the 14th and 15th centuries and the oldest inscription found on the temple is that of 1424 AD.  The altar of the temple was built in the 14th century. 



It is said that this idol was reverenced by Acharya Vidyanand in 8th – 9th century. Some ancient petrographies are also found here, that proves that this Kshetra was renovated time to time due to the precepts of Bhattarkas by Digambar devotees. It is said that this miraculous idol of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev was brought here from village Khoonadary which was a prosperous city in ancient time. 



During the Mughal period Khoonadary was attacked and cows were killed due to which it is said that wounds began appearing on the idol. The idol was then shifted to a safer place. Chemicals too were said to have been used to clean the idol but it was not wholly successful and some scratches are still said to be visible. The idol is said to possess miraculous properties and devotees come from all over the world to get their desires fulfilled. 




Main Temple and Idol 




The main temple is beautiful with 52 magnificent Spires on it. This temple is famous for its architecture. Since Lord Rishabhdev established 52 Mahajanapadas (states in Ancient India), it could be the reason for 52 spires of the temple. One can visit the sanctum of Lord Rishabhdev from the outside of the main entrance. The vaults of the Rang Mandapa in front of the Navchauki and the vaults in the North, South and West are very artistic. Everywhere in the temple one can see carvings of standing Digambar idols and other Gods and Goddesses. 



The main idol of the temple is 108 cms (3.5 feet) in height and is black in colour carved out of a single black stone. Lord Rishabdev is seated in a Padmasana posture. The idol has long hair that touches its shoulders indicating the long period of penance of Lord Rishabhdeva. 



Bhils, call this idol by the name Kalababa. Since centuries, there is a custom of giving saffron to Bhagawan Rishabh Dev as a gift. Due to this so much saffron is plastered on the idol of Bhagawan Rishabh Dev that the idol looks saffron - colored. People, therefore, call it God Kesariyanath. It is said that the adivasi Bhils livening in this region, discovered a black stone-image of Rishabha hidden in a tree. 



In the middle of the platform where the idol is installed two oxen can be seen carved in it. 16 auspicious dreams of a Tirthankar dreamt by the mother of Rishabhdev, Marudevi are also carved beautifully on the platform. 



There are 23 other idols representing the other Tirthankars, 2 standing and 21 sitting carved beautifully on an alloy sheet (plate of Ashta Dhatu) on the back of the principal deity. The North and South sides of the Khela Mandapa(hall) of the temple has attractive idols of Panch Balyati (Celibate) namely Tirthankars Vasupoojya, Neminath, Parshvanath, Mallinath and Mahavir which are installed and worth seeing. 



In the courtyard in front of the main temple the idol of Marudevi the mother of Lord Rishabhdev has been installed. Over the first gate of the temple the scenes of the war between Bahubali and Bharat the sons of Rishabhdev fighting over the kingdom and the subsequent acceptance of ascetism by Bahubali are all carved beautifully on stone in the ceiling. 



An ancient Sahasra Koota Chaityalaya in the back of the temple having 1008 Digambar idols carved on it artistically exists. On each pillar and in the back of each pinnacle Digambar idols are carved. Outside the Pradikshina(circumambulation) of the 52 Jinalayas in the temple of Bhagavan Parshvanath 7 idols in standing and 7 in Padmasana posture are installed. These are the idols of the great Munis who have the power to move in the sky. There is an elephant called Marudevi’s elephant carved in memory of Lord Rishabhdev’s mother in the upper part of the second gate of the temple. Foot images of Bhattarakas(heads of Jain institutions) in white marble on both sides of this elephant are placed. 



On the hill near Suraj Kund in the southern part of the village monuments of some well known Bhattarakas like Chandra Kirti and others can be seen. The monument of Chandra Kirti has a beautiful umbrella constructed and artistic idols in standing and sitting posture on one pillar of this monument are carved. The image of Goddess Chakreshwari can be seen towards the North direction of the temple and the image of Goddess Padmavati can be seen towards the South direction of the temple. 



Every year on Chaitra Krishna Ashtami, the birth anniversary of the Lord, a fair is being held here when people gather in thousands. 




Pagliyaji Palace 




Two kms from the Rishabhdev temple there is a palace known as Pagliyaji palace. The footprints of Lord Rishabhdev kept in a cenotaph (empty monument) are worshipped here. On the birthday of Lord Rishabhdev every year in the month of Chaitra a procession is carried out from the temple to Pagliyaji and pooja is performed here. A big fair is also organised here on this day with large number of devotees assembling to offer Kesar to Lord Rishabhdev.