Rishabhdev Temple Udaipur – Kesariji Rishabhdev Temple Rajasthan

Rishabhdev Temple

In the southern part of Rajasthan, about 64 km from Udaipur, surrounded by tributaries and situated on the banks of a small river called Koel, there is a town called Dhulev. There is a huge temple of Lord Rishabhdev, the archer of human civilization, Adi Tirthankar. Which is famous by the name of Rishabhdev Temple. This is the only temple in the whole of India where Digambaras and Shwetambar Jains, Vaishnavs, Shaivas, Bhils and all the Sachudras bathe and worship the idol equally. This town (Dhuvel) is famous by the name of Rishabhdev Ji due to the excessiveness and influence of the idol. Every year lakhs of travelers come from every corner of India to visit Rishabhdev temple.

History, Philosophy and Architecture of Kesariji Rishabhdev Temple

Situated in a radius of one kilometer, this huge temple of paved stone, unintentionally enchants the minds of tourists with its ancient craftsmanship. It is said that earlier there was a Jinalaya made of bricks. When it was broken, as a result of its restoration in the 14th-15th century, this huge Rishabhdev temple, a symbol of emotional unity, came to the fore. The inscriptions here show that the different departments of this temple have been built at different times.

Beautiful view of Rishabhdev temple

On entering from the first gate on which the carving is to be done, the square comes after doing the outer circumambulation. Here is the second door. On either side of which an elephant of black stone stands. Padmavati is seen in the south and Chakreshwari Devi is seen in the north. On climbing 100 steps from this gate, a separate pavilion comes. Which being of nine pillars is called nine chowki. On entering the third gate from here comes the Khela Mandap. And next to it is the sanctum sanctorum of the main temple. In which the black stone statue of Rishabhdev ji is installed. Atop the sanctum sanctorum is a huge spire with a flagpole. And there is a dome on the Khela Pavilion and the Nine Chowki. In the northern, southern and western sides of the temple there are rows of Dev Kulikao (Twenty-two Jinalayas). Each of which has a temple with a center in the middle. There is an inner parikrama between the deity Kulikao and the temple. To the south of the entrance is a newly built temple by the Maharani of Dungarpur. In which there is a Kayotsarga statue of Parshvanath situated in Padmasana 5 feet high and Saptarishi in the south wall.

In the sanctum sanctorum, there is a three and a half feet high black-browed statue of Lord Rishabhdev situated in Padmasan with a human-like appearance. In which the goddess is situated between the two bullocks and elephants, lions, etc., made of all metals, are situated at the bottom in the middle. 16 dreams (which used to come when Tirthankar’s mother came to Tirthankara) are inscribed on them. There are small new-born statues on them. Which people call Navagraha. There is a Taurus sign in the middle of the Padmasana posture of the statue. Which is a symbol of ritualistic culture. In the side and upper part of the statue, there is a grand throne inscribed with the statues of the remaining 23 Tirthankaras made of all-metal. Except for this throne, the entire sanctum sanctorum and its door are covered with silver.

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Beautiful view of Rishabhdev temple

There is no inscription or era inscribed on the idol of Lord Rishabhdev located in the Rishabhdev temple. Therefore, many legends are prevalent regarding its antiquity and prestige. According to a legend, this idol was seated in the temple of Lanka during the Ramayana period. Lord Ramachandra brought it with him when he came to conquer Lanka and established it in Ujjain.

According to another legend, this statue was built in the 8th century and was consecrated in Vikram Samvat 82 by Acharya Shri Vidyanandi of Ujjain Sangh.

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On one hand, according to legend, it is said that during the time of Alauddin, this idol was in a temple located in the forest, 64 km away from this place. When the foreign invaders broke the temple of Somnath and attacked this temple too, then the whole army went blind. And a priest had a dream according to which he brought the idol to Dhuvel here by keeping it in the Kavand. And a moneylender got it established.

On the one hand, according to the popular legend, it is believed that this statue was situated in Baroda near Dungarpur area. Terrified by foreign invasions, some devotees bring it here in Kanwar for security. And placed at Palyaji (Special Location). But on the same day the idol disappeared. While looking for the idol, a priest reached the forest with the help of a cowherd. There he sees that a cow is pouring milk on the statue kept in a bamboo bush. Impressed by this miracle, Seth, the owner of the cow, built a temple there and duly consecrated the idol. Everyone was astonished to see the wound on the idol while bathing. On this, in the night Seth lost the dream, God said that Glechho had slaughtered cow near my ashram. The wounds of the cows at that time. They come on my body. Even today the statue is seen broken near the waist.

Do not know how many people come here every year to pray for their work accomplishment. If someone’s courtyard is deserted, then with the desire to get children, if someone is sick, then with the wish of recovery, everyone comes here with their own wishes for darshan.

There is a fixed program of daily service worship in Rishabhdev temple. Under which water purification is done from 7:30 in the morning. which lasts for half an hour. An employee comes every morning to inform the passengers staying in Dharamshalas. All the devotees take a bath and do Jalabhishek of the Lord duly. Exactly at 8 in the morning the milk wash starts. The supernatural image of this time is created on sight. After this, again the water is washed and incense is consumed. Worship is done with saffron and flowers at 9 o’clock. The aarti of Lord Rishabhdev is performed only after 10 minutes of Kesar Puja. In the afternoon from one o’clock to four o’clock the worship is done like in the morning. After that the main idol is made to wear an angi (tableau). Which lasts from 7 pm to 11 pm in the evening. Aarti, eulogy and vritya etc. continue to happen during this time.

Apoorva Rath Yatra takes place here on Ashwini Krishna first and second. And on Krishna Ashtami and Navami, a huge fair is held in Rishabhdev. In which thousands of passengers gather.

There are many other places of interest around Rishabhdev, in which Pagalyaji, Chandragiri, Bhima Pagalya, Bhattarakh Yashkirti Bhavan, the first Peepli temple etc. are notable.

A lot of saffron is offered on the idol of Rishabhdev. For this reason it is also famous as Kesariji or Kesariji Nath. The idol of Rishabhdev temple is of shining black stone. Therefore, Bhil people also call him as Kalaji. And they have so much reverence for them and believe that they do not deviate from their truth when they are given the gift of Kalaji. Black color is also an indicator that God is transcendent. Just as all other colors become invisible in front of the black colour, similarly all the faults are removed by taking refuge in God. And he becomes immortal. Being located in Dhuleva village, they are also addressed by the name of Dhuleva Dhani. Due to the exquisiteness of the gentle statue, the purity of the environment and the beauty of the natural scenery, this place remains the center of attraction and reverence for millions of people even today.

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By Michael Caine

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