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Rajasthan Pilgrimages » Osian Temple, Jodhpur

About Osian Temple, Jodhpur

Osian is a small village situated 65 kms north west of Jodhpur. There are a cluster of Hindu and Jain temples in Osian built between 8th and 12th centuries. Though a few temples could not stand the test of time, most of them are still intact.

An oasis in the desert, situated on the diversion off the main Jodhpur - Bikaner Highway. A drive to this ancient township takes one past undulating terrain, punctuated by desert stretches and little hamlets. Osian has 15 beautifully sculpted Jain and Brahmanical temples.

Of these the most outstanding ones are the earlier Surya or Sun Temple and the later Kali temple,Sachiya Mata Temple and the main temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira.

History

Osian was an important centre of pilgrimage between the 8th and 9th centuries. History also confirms that Osian was a large and prosperous city during the early medieval period. Brahminical influences were very strong in Osian during that period. Later, Jainism also flourished in the place. This was the chief reason for the construction of many Hindu and Jain temples in the place. At the time of construction of the temples between 8th and 12th centuries, Gurjara Pratihara dynasty was ruling in Osian. In ancient times, Osian was known as Ukeshpur.

The Osian Temple

A group of 11 temples belonging to the 8th and 9th centuries are located within Osian village. Another group dating to 11th and 12th century is located on a hill that overlooks the village.

The oldest of the group is the Sun temple of the place. The doorway of this temple is regarded as one of the finest temple doorways in India. Another old and attractive temple is the Harihara I temple. The central shrine stands on a terrace surrounded by four other smaller shrines. The temple is called a panchavatan temple as the central shrine is surrounded by four others. The Harihara III temple built a few years after Harihara I is known for beautifully decorated walls. The architecture of the interiors of this temple is very impressive. There are also a few sculptures showing Lord Krishna and Radha in dancing postures.

Some other temples worth a mention are Vishnu temples III, IV and V. All these temples are west facing with beautifully decorated walls. Though small in size, all the Osian temples have been richly sculpted. Another striking feature of the temples is that no two temples are alike in any manner and every temple has its original design. All the temples were built using stone from local quarries that have withstood the ravages of time successfully.

 
 
 
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