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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 Rishabhadeva, 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.
- "Ekling Girirajdhar Rishabdev Bhujchaar
- Sumaron Sada Sneh so, Chaar Dham Mewar"
- "Dusari Aarti Din Dayala,
- Dhuleva Nagarman Jug Ujavala"
The main idols in the temple
The main idol in the temple is of Tirthankara Rishabha, 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.
There are 52 secondary ornate shrines (devakulikas) of the Tirthankaras.
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 history of Kesariyaji Temple is not ever known clearly. Different different communities puts their own ideas for the temple. Therefore, temple's history is controversial. Temple is believed to have beautiful architecture before 15th century. The temple is believed to have been built in the ninth century by Digambara Jains. A 1376 (samvat 1431) inscription on the temple wall 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 temple and the Maharanas of Udaipur
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 administration was handed over to the government after India's independence.
The temple dispute
The nature of the temple has been in issue between Digambara, 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 temple 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 judgement 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.
- "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."
- "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. The violence had erupted on 7 February 2007, when 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. This has been causing alarm in the Jain community.
As of 2001[update] India census, 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. Shwetambar jains are also residing here. The history of temple actually rovolving around Shwetambar jains and Digambar jains. Many Shwetambar jains now left the town but the Shwetambar community contributed great in town development. Many bhil and meena villages are surrounding Rishabhdeo, and they have come every day to Rishbhdeo for prayer, in sects belonging to Bispanthi Narsingpura and Humad communities.
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.
Gaj Mandir is a Jain Shwetambar Temple built in 2011 in Rishabhdeo. The place is well known for the Kika Bhai Dharmshala. The management of Kika bhai dharmshala is under Kikabhai Premchand Trust and purely owned by Jain Shwetambar community.
Other local attractions
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.
- Mewar History: The State of Mewar and concept of Kingship, Trusteeship, webpage: MFhist.
- Recitation of Aarti
- "Shri Rishabh Dev Teerth Kshetra", jainteerth.com, webpage: JTdev.
- The Mewar Encyclopaedia: R
- SUPREME COURT OF INDIA JUDGEMENT ON SHREE KESARIAJI TEMPLE Courtesy: JAIN Gazette, LUCKNOW
- 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
- Army alerted, Hindu, 9 Feb 2007, http://www.hindu.com/2007/02/09/stories/2007020916490500.htm
- फिर लेंगे सुप्रीम कोर्ट की शरण
- ऋषभदेव विवाद पर सरकार पशोपेश में
- Dainik Bhaskar News Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgath, Haryana, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Newspaper
- The Govt will file review petition
- "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.
- The Assembly of Listeners: Jains in Society By Michael Carrithers, Caroline Humphrey, 1991, Cambridge University Press