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Rishabhdeo is located in Rajasthan
Location in Rajasthan, India
Coordinates: 24°06′N 73°24′E / 24.10°N 73.40°E / 24.10; 73.40Coordinates: 24°06′N 73°24′E / 24.10°N 73.40°E / 24.10; 73.40
Country  India
State Rajasthan
District Udaipur
Population (2001)
 • Total 8,023
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 313802
Telephone code 02907

Rikhabdeo (aka Dhulev) is a census town in Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan, in north-west India.

Rishabhadeo is situated 65 kilometres (40 mi) from Udaipur and is on Udaipur-Ahmedabad Road. The name of the town is also Dhulev (धुलेव), however it is better known as Rishabhadeo. It is a well-known pilgrim site. The main attraction is the temple of Rishabhadeoji, the first Jain tirthankara. Local Bhils also worship the deity. Lord Rishabhadeo is also "Kesariaji" because a large offering of saffron (keshar, a common ingredient in Jain rituals) is made to the deity.

This temple was considered to be one of the four main religious institutions of Mewar, ruled by the Sisodia Maharanas of Udaipur,[1] as stated by Chatur Singhji Bavji:

"Ekling Girirajdhar Rishabdev Bhujchaar
 Sumaron Sada Sneh so, Chaar Dham Mewar"

It has been a famous Jain pilgrimage center. The famous Arati by Mulchand refers to this temple:[2]

"Dusari Aarti Din Dayala,
 Dhuleva Nagarman Jug Ujavala"

The main idols in the temple[edit]

The main idol of this temple is Lord Rishabh Dev, carved in black stone in padmasana posture, about 3.5 feet (1.1 m) tall. Two oxen are carved in the center of the simhasana (platform) of the main idol, which also has 16 dreams of the mother of Tirthankar. Surrounding the main deity, there are 23 idols, 2 standing and 21 seated, in an ashtadhatu (composed of eight metals) parikar. Here, pilgrims are bound to be lost in unstinted devotion; both Jain and non-Jain visitors and pilgrims experience a sort of sacredness, thanks due to the simply indescribable aura of the image of Shri Prabhu. The round face of Shri Prabhu is extremely attractive and pleasing to the mind. The whole temple, with the main inner apartment, the deep pandal, nine chowkis, the assembly pandal, the Bhamati, the small shrines of gods, the Shrungara chowki, the peak and the encircling fort is simply majestic. Even from a distance, the gorgeous 52 Jinalayas can enrapture the viewer. In the north and south sides of the Khela Mandapa of the temple, idols of Tirthankaras Vasupujya, Mallinath, Neminath, Parshvanath and Mahavir Swami (collectively referred to as Panch-Balayati) are installed.[3]

There are 52 secondary ornate shrines (devakulikas) of the Tirthankaras.

Elephants carved of black stone stand at the entrance of the temple. On the north is the image of Goddess Chakreshvari, and on the southern side is an image of goddess Padmavati.

The structure and architecture, of idols and temple, show clearly that it is a Jain temple, but since all Hindu castes and Jain sects have been offering prayers here since a long time ago, the management of the temple is done by the state Government.

The Bhattaraks[edit]

A Jain Bhattaraka seat had existed at Rishabhdeo until the 20th century. Their memorials are marked by footprints. The footprints are present beside the elephant statues. Outside of the village, the foot-prints of Bhattaraka Chandrakirti and other Bhattarakas mark their memorials at Suraj Kund.

The Bhattarakas managed the temple until they were removed by the Maharana, who appointed a committee of some Brahmins and Shwetambara Jains for administration.


The temple has a long history.[4] The temple has about 65 inscriptions in the building and on several of the Tirthankara idols.[5]

According to Caroline Humphrey,[6] the temple was founded in the ninth century by Digambar Jains.

There is a 1376 (samvat 1431) inscription on the temple wall that mentions that Punja and Kota, sons of Shah Harda had the structure built as a result of the preachings of Bhattaraka Dharmakirti of Kashtha Sangh. That is when the garbhagriha and the khela mandap was constructed.

The compound wall was constructed in 1806 by a merchant, Dhanji Karanji of Sagwada. There is a long inscription in Sanskrit/Hindi that mentions Bhimsingh as the ruler. It gives a spiritual lineage of the Bhatarakas of Mula Sangh mentioning Kundakunda, Sakalkirti up to the reigning Bhattaraka Yashkirti, who blessed the construction. Names of the family of Sanghi Dhanji Karanji of Humbad community, of Kamaleshvar gotra, are also given.

The nakkarkhana (drum tower) was built in 1832. The smaller shrines (devakulika) were constructed later.

The names of the Bhattarakas mentioned in the inscriptions include:

  • Bhattaraka Dharmakirti
  • Bhattaraka Jasakriti
  • Bhattaraka Kshemakriti
  • Bhattaraka Vijaratna
  • Bhattaraka Yashkirti
  • Bhattaraka Devendrakriti
  • Bhattaraka Tribhuvanakriti
  • Bhattaraka Surendrakriti

Amitesh Kumar comments on the historical significance:

यहाँ लगे शिलालेखों से ज्ञात होता है कि निजमंदिर तथा खेला मंडप विक्रम संवत् १४३१ में बनाये गये, जबकि नौचौकी तथा एक मंडप का निर्माण सन् १५१५ (विक्रम संमत् १५७२) में हुआ। मंदिर के चौतरफा बना पक्का कोट सन् १८०६ (वि. सं. १८६३) का है तथा नक्कारखाना सन् १८३२ (वि. सं. १८८९) में बनाया गया। देव कुलिकाओं का निर्माण इसके बाद हुआ। इसके संबंध में उपलब्ध शिलालेख नदी तट गच्छ की उत्पत्ति तथा उक्त गच्छ के आचार्यों की क्रम परंपरा का उल्लेख करती है। अतः जैन इतिहास में इसका विशेष महत्व है। यहाँ पर उपलब्ध शिलालेखों के अध्ययन से यह निष्कर्ष निकलता है कि मंदिर तथा देवकुलिकाओं का अधिकांश भाग काष्टासंघ के भट्टारकों के उपदेश से उनके दिगम्बरी अनुयायियों ने बनवाया था।,[7] from Ttdil.mit.gov.in[8]

The temple and the Maharanas of Udaipur[edit]

Udaipur became the capital of the Sisodias in 1559. The revival of the fortunes of the Sisodias was made possible by the Jain ministers, like Bhamashah, who provided funds to reestablish the Maharanas after they had to leave Chittor. Because of significant Jain influence, the Maharanas became devotees of Lord Rishabh and worshipped here. They also made gifts to the temple.

The Bhattarakas accepted the royal support. They also permitted Swetambaras to use the Swetambara rituals in Sam. 1702 for the main idol. However in Sam. 1842, the Swetambaras obtained rights of Swetambara rituals on four other idols, with the support of the Maharana.

Sometime after the building of the compound wall, built by the Digambaras in Sam 1863, the Maharana expelled the Digambara Bhattarakas from the temple, and took over the temple. He appointed Brahmin priests to worship at the temple, and created a committee that included the Shvetambara Jains, but excluded the Digambaras. Gradually Vaishnava rituals, such as Bhagavat Katha and Annakuta, were introduced by the Brahmin priests.

Maharana Fateh Singh (1884–1930) presented a jewel-studded angi (coat) to the temple which is used on special occasions costing one hundred thousand rupees.[9]

The administration was handed over to the government after India's independence.

The Digambara Bhattarakas built other temples in Dhulev, and continued the Bhattaraka seat at Rishabhadeo. The last Bhattaraka Yashakirti was consecrated by his guru Kshemakirti in 1917 AD. He died in 1978. His funeral memorial is on the Chandragiri hill.[10]

The temple dispute[edit]

The nature of the temple has been in issue between Digambers, Swetambers and other Hindus. However, the Supreme Court of India in its judgment delivered in 'The State of Rajasthan & Ors. Vs. Shri Sajjanlal Panjawat & Ors.' [reported as (1974) 1 SCC 500] has, after considering the material produced, decided that it is a 'Jain temple' [see para. 12 at pg. 509/510 SCC]. However, since the right to manage the said temple had been taken over by the State of Mewar before promulgation of the Indian Constitution, therefore, Jains had no right to manage the temple after the Indian Constitution came into force. For that reason, it was held, that the Jains had no right to protect under Article 25/26 of the Indian Constitution. The issue of management of the said tample was again cropped up, and Digambers, Swetambers, Hindus and the State of Rajasthan again brought the matter in the Supreme Court of India, claiming to have the right to manage the temple. However, this time on the strength of 'Rajasthan Public Trust Act', which says that those temples to which chapter X of the said Act is applicable, would be managed by a Committee constituted from the persons interested in the management. That case was decided by a Bench of the Indian Supreme Court and Hon'ble Justice S.B. Sinha and Hon'ble Justice Markandey Katju vide in the judgment dated 4 January 2007, delivered in Civil Appeal No.4092-95 of 2002 titled as "Deewan Singh & Ors. vs. Rajendra Prasad ARdevi & Ors". Other connected Civil Appeals, confirmed the judgment of Single Judge (which was modified by the Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court) and ordered that the management of the said temple be handed over to the committee, as envisaged under Section 53 of the 'Rajasthan Public Trust Act' within four months.

A 2007 Supreme Court decision to hand over the administration to the Jain community[11] had led to protests and violence by the local tribals.[12][13] Frontline reported that:[14]

"The revenue earned by the temple was also perhaps the main issue behind the legal tangle and the current confrontation, in which tribal people have been used as cannon fodder. The temple complex lies on 378 hectares of land and houses a guest house as well. Its moveable property alone is said to be valued at about Rs. 510 million. It is estimated that on an average 2,000 devotees visit Rishabdeo every day.
"The temple's eight Brahmin priests share the bulk of the offerings.
"The priests insist that the management cannot be handed over to the Jain community. "Where will we go? The Maharanas of Mewar gave us the right to conduct prayers here. They also made valuable offerings to the god," says Bhogilal, a priest. "I won't let the mandir go either to the Devasthan or to the tribals," he says."

Gulabchand Kataria, the home minister of Rajasthan believes that the tribals were incited by some elements.[15] Dainik Navjyoti[16] had reported on 14 February 2007 that:

"Some members of the Jain community say that some leaders of the vaishnava community are behind instigation of the tribals."
"The priests get a large fraction of all the offerings. Because of this selfish interest, the group of priests do not want the management to go to the Jains."

Bhaskar reported the anonymous pamphlets were distributed among the tribals to incite them.[17] The violence had erupted on 7 February 2007, when the tribal leaders had declared a "Mahapadav". Several hundred tribals attacked the members of the Jain community and destroyed theirs shops, houses, cars, etc. The police were unable to contain the destruction even after the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. One person was killed in the police firing.

There is pressure being put on the state government not to implement the Supreme Court decision.[18] This has been causing alarm in the Jain community.


As of 2001 India census,[19] Rikhabdeo had a population of 8023. Males constituted 52% of the population, and females 48%. Rikhabdeo has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 70%. In Rikhabdeo, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age. Right now around 500 students are going outside of Rishbhdeo for higher education, such as MBBS, BTech, B.Com., C.A. and many courses.

About half the residents of the town are Jain, 95% belonging to the Digambara, and another half are Brahmin, suthar, lohar, tailor, mochi, kumhar, somupura and other casts are here from many years ago. Many bhil and meena villages are surrounding Rishabhdeo, and they have come every day to Rishbhdeo for prayer, in sects[20] belonging to Bispanthi Narsingpura and Humad communities. A small group of Svetambaras arrived about a hundred years ago.

Rishabhdeo is also famous for green marble. It has more than 300 marble mines in massaor ki obri and odavas kagder. About 90% percent of the green marble around the world is produced by Rishabhdeo. Nearly 70% percent of the marble of Rishabhdeo is exported to the USA, UAE, Canada and many other countries.

Picture gallery[edit]

Gaj Mandir[edit]

Gaj Mandir is a Jain Shwetambar Temple built in 2011 in Rishabhdeo. Also, Kika Bhai Dharmshala has been providing rooms and fooding facilities for all the yaatris travelling around India.

Other local attractions[edit]

Nearby places worth visiting include: Paglyaji, Rishabh Garden, Patshala Jain temple, Ram Mandir, Emliyachod Hanuman ji, Chandragiri, Bhim Pagalya, Bhattarak Kirti Bhavan, Dadabadi, Peepli temple and vaghuvan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mewar History: The State of Mewar and concept of Kingship, Trusteeship, webpage: MFhist.
  2. ^ Recitation of Aarti
  3. ^ "Shri Rishabh Dev Teerth Kshetra", jainteerth.com, webpage: JTdev.
  4. ^ Jain Inscriptions of Rajasthan, Radhavallabh Somani
  5. ^ मेवाड़ के दर्शनीय स्थल, ॠषभदेव, अमितेश कुमार, http://tdil.mit.gov.in/CoilNet/IGNCA/rj066.htm#rishabh
  6. ^ The Assembly of Listeners: Jains in Society By Michael Carrithers, Caroline Humphrey, 1991, Cambridge University Press
  7. ^ मेवाड़ के दर्शनीय स्थल, ॠषभदेव, अमितेश कुमार
  8. ^ "Lord Rishabh", Tdil.mit.gov.in, webpage: TD-Rish.
  9. ^ The Mewar Encyclopaedia: R
  10. ^ Johrapurkar, Bhattaraka Sampradaya.
  12. ^ Fresh violence rocks Udaipur town, IBN Live, 9 February 2007 http://www.ibnlive.com/news/cops-fire-on-udaipur-protest-1-killed/top/33164-3.html
  13. ^ Army alerted, Hindu, 9 Feb 2007, http://www.hindu.com/2007/02/09/stories/2007020916490500.htm
  14. ^ Anatomy of another confrontation
  15. ^ फिर लेंगे सुप्रीम कोर्ट की शरण
  16. ^ ऋषभदेव विवाद पर सरकार पशोपेश में
  17. ^ Dainik Bhaskar News Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgath, Haryana, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Newspaper
  18. ^ The Govt will file review petition
  19. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  20. ^ The Assembly of Listeners: Jains in Society By Michael Carrithers, Caroline Humphrey, 1991, Cambridge University Press