The ancient city of Osian is famous for its architectural temples that date back to medieval age. Located at the verge of the Thar Desert, Osiyan can be easily reached from anywhere in Rajasthan. Osian is accessible from Jodhpur that lies at a distance of 65 kms in the north-west. However, one can reach Osiyan Temples by taking regular buses or by hiring taxis. Ossian has not less than 100 temples belonging to the sect of Hindus and Jains.
The city of Osiyan is said to have founded by Utpaladeva, who was a Rajput Prince belonging to Pratihara Dynasty. In those times, the city was named as Ukesha or Upkeshapur. During the Pratihara dynasty, Osian is believed to be the major religious and cultural centre of the Mewar kingdom. A major number of shrines are devastated with the ravages of the time, however 18 shrines are still there unfolding the royal legacy of past.
Amongst these temples, Surya (Sun) Temple, Harihara Temple, Sachiya Mata Temple and a Jain temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira get the prime importance. Osian is regarded as a prominent pilgrimage site for Oswal Jain community. Ravages of the time have destroyed these temples to an extent, still their charm attract people to visit the ancient city of Ossian.
In 783 A.D, the Jain Temple was built by Pratihara King Vatsa. Dedicated to Lord Mahavira (24th Jain Tirthankara), the temple is considered as an important pilgrimage of the Jains. The temple is celebrated for its stunning architecture. The main door is carved with an impression of young maidens on it. Intricately carved pillars adorn the site of the main porch. In another porch, one can find a shade of a little stylish construction. The main shrine is sited on a high platform made of sandstone. The sanctum encompasses the idol of Lord Mahavira. In the hall, three balconies make the sanctum well ventilated.
Sachiya Mata Temple
The initial structure of Sachiya Mata temple was built in the 8th century. However, the present temple was materialized during the 12th century. Sachiya Temple is dedicated to Sachi Mata. Wife of Lord Indra (Rain God), Goddess Sachi is also known as Indrani. The temple complex has two other shrines that are dedicated to Chandi Devi and Amba Mata respectively. Built in many phases, Sachiya Mata Temple can be entered through a series of wonderfully sculpted arches.
The interiors of the temple are decorated with beautiful images and sculptures of deities from the Hindu pantheon. In the north, a sculpture of Varaha (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Boar) embellishes the site, whereas an image of Lakshmi-Vishnu is visible in the east. A stone slab crammed with sculptures, emerging from the wall, can be traced in the west. This ancient temple is a perfect example of the medieval architecture. The artistic brilliance of the temple is worth seeing.
Ossian Surya Temple traces its origin in the 10th century. The structure of the temple is often compared with the Sun Temple at Ranakpur. As the name suggests, this temple is dedicated to Lord Surya or Sun God. The sanctum comprises the striking idol of Lord Surya. The main hall also has the idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga. The ceiling is festooned with the images of serpents coiled around lotus flowers. The life-story is depicted here in the form of murals and scriptures. The initial Surya Temple dates back to the 8th century and it was later merged into the complex of Sachiya Mata Temple.
The city of Ossian also boasts of three Harihara temples. Dedicated to Lord Harihara (A union of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu), these temples are built on a raised platform. In the 8th century, the first two temples took their shape, whereas the third temple was built in the 9th century. The whole temples are resplendent with sculptures. The architecture of these temples is a little different and advanced as compared to the other temples of Osian.
Location : In Osian, Near Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Built in : During 8th -11th century
Dedicated to : Lord Mahavira, Sachi Mata, Lord Surya
Significance : an important pilgrimage of the Jains