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Shri Rishabh Dev Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra or Kesariyaji as it is more popularly known as, is situated in village Dhulev at a distance of sixty five kilo meters from Udaipur. It is one of the most popular Jain pilgrimage among the Jain community.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Rishbdev, the first Jain Tirthankara. The temple including its pinnacles, arches, doors, walls are very artistic, beautiful and fascinating. The fifty two pinnacles of the temple are seen from a long distance. The main temple of Atishaya Teerth Kshetra Rishabh Dev is very attractive, magnificent and artistic having 52 beautiful spires on it. According to Jain’s opinion, as a symbol of Nandishwar Dweep’s 52 temples this temple was constructed having 52 spires. This temple is constructed scientifically according to the art of architecture. Just before the courtyard and in front of the main temple there is an idol of Marudevi Mata, the mother of Lord Rikhabdev, seated on a marble elephant.
The main deity of this temple is Bhagwan Rishabh Dev’s idol in black stone, 108 cm. (3½ feet) in height sitting in Padmasana posture. Long hair of the idol of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev are touching the shoulders. Two oxen are carved in the center of platform of idol. On the platform, 16 dreams visited by the mother of Teerthankar are carved. On the back of principal deity, there are 23 idols – 2 standing and 21 in seating posture carved on an plate of Ashta Dhatu.In the north and south sides of ‘Khela Mandapa’ of this temple attractive idols of Bhagwan Vasupoojya, Mallinath, Neminath, Parshvanath and Mahaveer Swami (Panch Balyati) are installed.
It is said that the adivasi Bhils living in this region , discovered a black stone-image of Rishabha hidden in a tree. The tribals, Bhils, who worship the idol, call it Kalaji due to the black image of the idol. The town of Rikhabdev is also known as Dhulev as the Bhil Dhula had once protected the idol and worshipped it at this place. The Bhils are very loyal to this Lord and always take an oath by uttering the name of Kalaji.
It is believed 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 photos 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. Later in the Mughal period due to attacks on Khoonadary and killing of cows devotees shifted the idol at safer place.
Papgliyaji: Around 2km from the temple of Rikhabdev there is a place known as Pagliyaji, where the footprints of Lord Rikhabdev are placed in a cenotaph and worshipped quite dedicatedly. Just beside the chhatri (cenotaph) there is a trunk of a tree from where it is believed that the idol came out. In front of the tree there is another shrine where the idol of the Lord is enclosed in a hall. A big fair is held annually in the month of Chaitra (Mar/Apr) on the birthday of Lord Rikhabdev, when a procession of the Lord proceeds from the temple to Pagliyaji.