The Rishabhdev Atishaya Kshetra is located in the Dhulev village 40 kms from Udaipur in Rajasthan. It is a famous pilgrimage centre of the Jains and is also known as Kesariyaji because of the tradition of worshipping the idol with Kesar or saffron. It is dedicated to the first Tirthankar Rishabhdev or Adinath. It is also referred to as Kalia Baba by the local public as the idol is black in colour. 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 Bhil Dhula(Bhil artists) in ancient times hence the village came to be known as Dhulev.
It is said that the beautiful idol of Lord Rishabhdev was brought here from village Khoonadary. Khoonadary according to the ruins found there was a prosperous city in ancient times. 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. During the 8th or 9th century the idol was revered by the great Jain monk Acharya Vidyanand. Many ancient petrographs (drawings, writings or inscriptions on stone eg paintings on a cave wall) have been found here that suggest that renovations and restorations have been carried out on the temple from time to time by people who were motivated by the Jain teachings.
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. 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.
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.
How To Reach
Road: – Buses & taxis are available from any part of Rajasthan for ‘Udaipur’ – the Lake City. Buses & taxies are available from Udaipur to the Rishabhdev temple
Train: – Rishabdev Road Railway Station is at a distance of 12 km from the temple on Udaipur – Ahmedabad Line. Buses are available from here to the temple.
Airport: – Udaipur – 80 km
Bhattaraka Yash Kirti Dharmarth Trust- 15 Normal Rooms, 10 Deluxe Rooms. Mess Facility is also available. Items like utensils, bed, tent etc. are available.
K. P. Dharmashala – 20 Normal Rooms, 60 Semi-Deluxe Rooms, 40 Deluxe Rooms, 8 AC Rooms. Mess Facility is also available. Items like utensils, bed, tent etc. are available.
Temple Dharmashala- 85 Normal Rooms, 100 Semi-Deluxe Rooms, 20 Deluxe Rooms. Items like utensils, bed, tent etc. are available.
This temple of Lord Rishabhdev is sanctified by the spiritual footprints of millions of pilgrims whose faith and devotion have hallowed the place through centuries and rendered it pure. It is said that wishes made at this place are fulfilled and the presence of the Tirthankars and their divine vibrations of compassion and tolerance has made this place a truly holy pilgrimage centre for the devotees.