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Osian In Rajasthan - A Cluster of Jain Temples

An ancient Osian village is a home to cluster of Jain and Hindu temples, some dating back to 8th and 11th centuries. The city was once the major religious centre of the kingdom of Marwar, at the time of Pratihara dynasty.
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Ancient Town Of Marwar Dynasty !!!
Osian is an ancient village town known for its cluster of temples, located in the Jodhpur District of Rajasthan, lying nearly 65 km away in the north of Jodhpur, on a diversion off the main Jodhpur - Bikaner Highway.
Hot Tour Packages - Heritage Tour with Heritage Hospitality
Though a small village now, history confirms that Osian was once a large and prosperous city. So large in fact, that according to the local story, Osian at the height of its prosperity had its grain market in the town.

Osian was an important pilgrimage centre between the 8th and 9th centuries, apparent from the surviving Hindu temples of the Vaishnava, Saura (Sun) and Shakti (mother goddess) sects. Later, inspite of the ruler's adoption of Jainism, Osian continued to attract Hindu devotees to its temple of the goddess Sachiyamata (a folk transformation of Mahishasuramardini), still in use today.

Factroid
It is amazing to know that Osian town history is traced back to as far back as the 8th century. In fact Osian was once a flourishing desert trading center in between the 8th and 12th centuries.
There are 15 brahminical temples and shrines, and a cluster of Jain temples, all built during the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty between the 8th and the 12th centuries: testimony to the significance of religion in the life of its people for 400 years. One group of 11 temples belonging to the early phase (8th-9th centuries), lies within and on the outskirts of the present-day village. The other group belonging to the 11th and 12th centuries is located on a hill overlooking the village. Though small, these temples are beautifully built and richly sculpted. A striking feature is the variety in their design. Each temple has its original design, planning and layout.

The stone from which these temples were built was extracted from local quarries, and has managed for the most part to withstand the ravages of time.

Getting There
Airways : Jodhpur Domestic Airport is the nearest airport to Osian Temples, lying 70 km away from here. It has an excellent daily flights to the major cities of Rajasthan and India like Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Udaipur, Delhi and Mumbai. Indian Airlines operate several flights each week to Jaipur and other destinations. After reaching Jodhpur, one can take RSTC buses or taxi to reach Osian Temple Complex, which is nearly 65 km away.

Railways : The nearest Railway Station to Osiyan is Jodhpur Railway Station,. It has well organised tracks, some of the important trains are 2466 Intercity Jodhpur-Jaipur, 192 Jodhpur-Kota passenger, 349 Jodhpur- Bikaner passenger that connect Jodhpur with in a span of few hours to various travelled sections of India. Once you are in Jodhpur, you can look for RSTC buses, taxi, and local buses to converge to Osian.

Roadways : Osian is located 65 km away in the north of Jodhpur, on a diversion off the main Jodhpur - Bikaner Highway, you can chose to travel to Osian from Bikaner or Jodhpur, both are convenient routes. Jodhpur is well connected to National Highway No. 65, linking mostly travelled sections of Rajasthan. You can easily get buses from outside the Roadways Bus Stand of Jodhpur and Bikaner or you can also hire taxi to reach Osian Temples.

Home To Cluster Of Temples !!!
The Sun Temple
Walk a few yards away, amidst the town houses and you come to the Sun Temple. The two fluted pillars of the front porch give it an almost imposing and classical appearance.
Hot Tour Packages - Heritage Tour with Heritage Hospitality
The temple faces the west and has a shrine, a hall and a portico. The four subsidiary shrines were originally connected by a cloister, which served the purpose of a compound wall and contained a row of flat-roofed chambers that provided shelter for visiting devotees. This temple too has its distinctive qualities in the shape of the shikhara and in the style of its pillar ornamentation. Here too, the sanctum has no idol now, but the back principal niche preserves a beautiful sculpture of Surya, the sun god. The other beautiful sculptures here are of Mahishasuramardini, Ganesha, Lakshmi Narayana, Balarama; all showing admirable craftsmanship.

Factroid
The most wonderful aspect of the richly chiseled temples at Osian is the fact that no two temples are the same with respect to architectural style.
Harihara Temples
These three early temples are dedicated to the god Harihara, a combination of Vishnu and Shiva, and have a beautiful sculpture of Harihara on the back principal niche. The sanctum has no idol now. Since the temples are built on a raised plinth, they are similar to the famous Khajuraho temples, while their shikaras (towers) resemble the early Orissa temples. Stroll through the mandapam, an open-pillared hall; there is a naivete and vigour in the carving on the pillars. Note the sculptures of the navgrahas (the nine planets); the double spiral motif symbolizing kundalini or spiritual energy, the cosmic serpent sesha symbolizing eternity.

The temples are profusely carved on the outside too, with sculptures of Vaishnava incarnations and deities from the Hindu pantheon. The sculpture of Buddha here shows that as early as the 9th century when the temple was built, Buddha had come to be regarded and worshipped as an avtara or reincarnation of the god Vishnu.

Sachiyamata Group of Temples
The goddess Sachchika or Sachiyamata is a transformation of Mahishasuramardini and is worshipped by both the Hindus and the Jains. They usually present their offerings here after accomplishing the tonsure or marriage ceremony of their children. According to the Jains, the Oswals of the Vaishya trader community originated Osian and Sachiyamata is their family deity or kula devi. They still come here to pay their respects. This temple faces west and consists of a sanctum with a circumambulatory path, and assembly halls. The roof of the assembly halls rests on pillars, which are so arranged as to form an octagon (indicate of its construction in the 11th century) and support a shallow dome. There are 16 brackets around the dome sculpted with female dancers. Extensive renovation and reconstruction was undertaken in the twelth century, through originally this temple was built in the eighth century. The exterior of the shrine is plain and simple.

Do You Know
At Sachiyamata Temple the image of Mahavira is difficult to make out in the dimly lit inner sanctum. According to legend it is over 2000 years old, and is made of sand and milk and coated in gold.
There are five niches on it, the principle nich containing the delineations of the goddesses Sitala, Mahishasuramardini and Chamunda respectively. A group of small temples dedicated to Vishnu and its incarnations surround the central shrine. They have exquisite carvings of serpent coils on the ceilings and sculptures of Radha and Krishna.

A characteristic feature of Osian temples is the representation of the life and childhood exploits of the god Krishna on the exterior of the temples in a long frieze around the main shikhara. The temples and sculptures here also reveal a synthesis between different religious sects. The composite sculpture of Harihara (equal halves of Vishnu and Shiva) present the synthesis between Shaivism and Vaishnavism. The doorways of Osian temples are particularly richly carved with fine portrayals of complete volumes of folklore and mythology by means of symbol and image.

An Ancient Step Well
Hidden among the houses behind the Sun temple is an ancient stepwell or katan baori, built during the reign of Vatsaraja (770 to 800 AD.) of the Pratihara dynasty. The stepwell is existent even today and is being restored by the tourism authorities.

Jain Temple
Walk a few yards away, amidst the town houses and you come to the Sun Temple. The two fluted pillars of the front porch give it an almost imposing and classical appearance. The temple faces the west and has a shrine, a hall and a portico. The four subsidiary shrines were originally connected by a cloister, which served the purpose of a compound wall and contained a row of flat-roofed chambers that provided shelter for visiting devotees. This temple too has its distinctive qualities in the shape of the shikhara and in the style of its pillar ornamentation. Here too, the sanctum has no idol now, but the back principal niche preserves a beautiful sculpture of Surya, the sun god. The other beautiful sculptures here are of Mahishasuramardini, Ganesha, Lakshmi Narayana, Balarama; all showing admirable craftsmanship.

Pippalajmata Temple
This temple dedicated to Pippalajmata (the mother-goddess Shakti) stands on a decorated plinth and has life size sculptures in the sanctum of Mahishasuramardini flanked by Kubera and Ganesa and various other manifestations of the mother goddess such as Kshemandari and Gajalakshmi. In the large sabha mandapam or assembly hall, there are 30 pillars. The carving on these pillars, probably belonging to the tenth century, seem to indicate that the stage in its development had been reached where in the art had passed its freshness and was becoming stylized and stiff.

Hindu Temple at OsianRed Chilli
Reggie's Camel Camps
Reggie's Camel Camps
5-star Heritage Palace Hotel
Once you are in Reggie's Camel Camps, you will be surprised with whisper of howling winds and rippling of glittering sands. As it supports a beautiful desert location, which is a prime reason behind its popularity. Being a guest in the royal privilege of camel camp, you will be personally taken care by Reggie Singh, grandson of Maharajah of Jodhpur. You will be invited for an evening of splendor with cocktails, folk entertainment and a semi formal candle lit dinner. Here you can also take the charm of trying thrilling camel safaris, meeting local villagers and to mix with the culture and style of the localities.

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Osian Guest House
Osian Guest House
5-star Heritage Palace Hotel
For most of the time Osian faces lack of accommodation, due to overnight stay, preferred by large number of pilgrims and tourists. Osian Guest House belong to the energetic Brahmin priest, located just near the Mahavira Temple. Though it is a small but pretty simple accommodation option in Osian village for number of pilgrims. This alluring guest house can also arrange jeep excursion and camel rides, and is also a guide to cluster of Osiyan Temples. To find this beautiful guest house, ask any of the village children, who will happily take you to the location.

Make Your Stay Here