The ancient city of Osian, situated 65 km north of Jodhpur, pleases an archaeologist. Located on the brink of the Thar Desert in Osian, there are fewer than 100 Brahminic and Jain temples from the 8th and 11th centuries. Beautifully sculptured and design, these temples are the largest and most protected temples in the state.
It is said that the Osian city was founded by Rajput Uttapaleedov, the Rajput king of the Pratihar dynasty. This Oswal Jain community is a major pilgrimage site. Osian is also called Khajuraho of Rajasthan.
Even though time has damaged these temples somewhat, their attraction attracts many people. Temples in Osian include Jain Temple, Chaitiya Mata Mandir, Surya Mandir, Pipala Devi Temple, Harihar Temple etc. These temples have been grouped in many of the city, north, west, and south of the city.
There are three Harihar temples in the southern group of small Hindu temples. This is dedicated to Lord Harihara (Lord Shiva and a union of Lord Vishnu). Of the three Harihar temples, the first two were constructed in the 8th century and the third century was built in the 9th century. These temples raised on huge temples have beautiful sculptures. Compared to the other temples of the Ocean, the architecture of the Harihar temple is far more advanced.
In the west group, there is a mixture of Hindu temples including the Sun Temple. Built in the 10th century, it has beautifully carved pillars. It is similar in the structure of the Sun Temple in Ranakpur. The Sun is dedicated to Lord, the inner sanctuary of the temple, in which the striking statue of Sun God is included. The main hall has statues of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga. In the temple, there are rooftops decorated with images of snakes rotated around lotus flowers. 200 meters forward, Jayanti Mahavir temple was built in 783 AD, by Pratihar Raja Vaasta. Standing on a hill, it is dedicated to Lord Mahavira, 24th Jain Tirthankar.
The best preserved, Mahavir temple of the temples is famous for its wonderful architecture. Made of red stones, there are beautifully carved images of God and Goddess in it. Standing on a high platform made of sandstone, it is the ‘Mahavir’ deity in the Padmasan posture in the main temple. About 32 inches high, this idol was established by Acharya Ratnapradasur. The main door is carved with the effect of young jobs and there are complexly carved pillars in the main porch. The temple also has three balcony windows. Apart from these Jain temples, there are other Jain temples here, which are quite small and are somewhat similar.
The other famous temple in the Osian is Sachiya Mata Temple, which is a perfect example of medieval architecture. Built by Parmar King Andre in the 8th century, this present structure was created during the 12th century. It is dedicated to the true mother (Lord Indra’s wife). There are two other temples in the temple premises, the temple of Chandi and the Amba Mata Mandir, which are respectively dedicated to Chandi Devi and Amba Mata. Built in many stages, the Saiya Mata Temple can be entered through a series of wonderful statues. Inside the temple are decorated with beautiful deities and statues of gods. In the north end of the premises, there is an idol of Varaah (Lord Vishnu’s pig avatar), whereas in the east an image of Lakshmi-Vishnu is visible.
The temple of Pipala Devi in Osian is a temple of the 9th century. Other Osian’s have come to the temples, it is very small. In addition to its artistic temples, the Osian is also known for its camel ride.