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Osian: The Khajuraho of Rajasthan

Osian a very old small temple town in the Thar Desert

Jodhpur, (Rajasthan), may 17 (UITV): Osian a very old small temple town in the Thar Desert which is located about 65 kms to the north west of Jodhpur. Osian is a enormous centre of Jain and Brahmanical religions. Osian has the largest group of Hindu and Jain temples in Rajasthan that belongs to the two periods, 8th century temple which is represented by about 12 temples and 12th century symbolized by 6 temples.
The village of Osia, 58 km. (36 miles) from Jodhpur is the area of sixteen ruined Brahmanical and Jain temples dating from the eighth century. “It is an example, not unusual in India, of a sizeable city whose substance has deceased and only the spirit remains.” The earlier of these temples are magnificent for the ingenuity of their frameqork and sculptural elegance. The vase-and-flower design sculpt on the pillars is best seen in India in these temples.

Of the eighth-century temples, those devoted to Harihar are rich in adornment. The one devoted to Surya, the Sun-god, however, is the, most elegant. Its pillars with the vase-and-flower pattern, are majestically carved. The temple devoted to Mahavira comprises a richly decorated torana (gateway) leading to an open porch, a closed hall and the sanctum. Built during diversified periods, the temples contemplate the styles of at least three centuries.

History of Osian
Osian was a great and busy town in the medieval period and groups from Afghanistan, central Asia, Persia and Arabia come here for trade. Osian was the capital of the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty from 8th to 12th century. Osian was a leading center of pilgrimage between 8th and 9th centuries. This can be known from the surviving Hindu temples of the Surya (Sun), Vaishnava, and Shakti (mother goddess) sects. During that period the Brahminical control was very powerful in Osian, later Jainism also enlarged in the place through the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty.

Today also devotees from all over visit the Osian temple devoted to the goddess Sachiyamata. Osian was known as Ukeshpur in the ancient times.

Tourist attractions in Osian

The Brahmanical Jain temples and Hindu temples are the popular tourist favoured hotspots in Osian. These temples were erected between 8th and 12th century during the rule of the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty. These temples are little and are lavishly fashioned and gorgeously built. In these temples, each temple has its own distinctive planning, layout, and design and no two temples are similar in any manner. These temples were erected from the stone which was withdrawn from local preys, and has managed to resisted the vagaries of nature for several centuries.

The eminent temple of Osian is located on a terrace whose walls are adorned with Miniatures and chisels. As the chief shrine of the temple is enclosed by four small shrines, the temple is called a panchavatan temple. key projections are there on the walls of the temple which are carved panels, above the panels there rise the curved towers topped by an amalaka and pot finial. The doorways are usually adorned with serpents, scrollwork, and river goddesses.

On the suburb of Osian village there are a category of 11 temples which belongs to 8th-9th centuries. On a hillock dominating the village the other temples are located which belong to 11th and 12th centuries. South group includes 3 Harihara Hindu temples. The inside decors of these temples is mexmerizing and these temples are known for the distinctly decorated walls. South group contains early 8th century  which is the Surya temple and 11th - 12th century temple which is the Sachiya Mata Temple. West group of temples comprises a mixture of Hindu (Vishnu, Pippala Devi and Surya) temples, an 8th century tank and an 11th century Jain (Mahavira) temple. Jain Mahavira temple is distinctive among various Osian temples with the vaulted design of its hall-ceiling. Sachiya Mata temple is the famous temple which was founded 1178 AD, it has a Shikhar which is collected by an itinerant and a massive assembly hall with an elaborate ceiling. The bygone temple of the group is the Sun temple. Its doorway is considered as one of the favoured temple doorways in India.