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Osian TempleOsian 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.
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.
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 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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