Osian, Jodhpur

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This article is about an Indian town. For a Scottish character, see Ossian. For a Central Asian people, see Osians.
Osiyan Temple
Osiyan Temple
Osian is located in Rajasthan
Coordinates: 26°43′00″N 72°55′00″E / 26.7167°N 72.9167°E / 26.7167; 72.9167Coordinates: 26°43′00″N 72°55′00″E / 26.7167°N 72.9167°E / 26.7167; 72.9167
Country India
State Rajasthan
District Jodhpur
Tehsil Osian
Elevation 323 m (1,060 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 12,452
 • Density 126/km2 (330/sq mi)
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 342303
Telephone code +91-2922
Vehicle registration RJ-19

Osian (Osiyan) is an ancient town located in the Jodhpur District of Rajasthan state in western India. It is an oasis in the Thar Desert, and has been known as the "Khajuraho of Rajasthan" for its temples. The town is a panchayat village[1] and the headquarters for Osian Taluka. It lies 69 km (43 mi) by road north of the district headquarters at Jodhpur, on a diversion off the main Jodhpur – Bikaner Highway.

Osian is famous as home to the cluster of ruined Brahmanical and Jain temples dating from the 8th to 11th centuries. The city was a major religious centre of the kingdom of Marwar during the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty.[2] Of the 18 shrines in the group, the Surya or Sun Temple and the later Kali temple, Sachiya Mata Temple and the main Jain temple dedicated to Mahavira stands out in their grace and architecture.

The nearest airport is at Jodhpur. National Highway 11 passes through Osian. Osian Railway Station is situated on the Jodhpur – Phalodi line of North Western Railway. Astonfield completed a five megawatt (MW) solar power plant in the town, which is the first industry in this holy town.

History of Osian[edit]

Osian is an important Jain pilgrimage center for the Maheshwari's and Oswal Jain community. The (Mahavira, महावीर) Temple, built here in A. D. 783, is an important tirtha for Jains built by Gurjara Pratihara King Vatsaraja.[2]

The Jain Harivamsa Purana refers to Vatsaraja's rule in Saka year 705 (A. D. 783). It is believed that he was highly influiential in Upakesapura (Osian), as inscriptions of Vikram Samvat dating back to 1013 (A. D. 956), and referring to this place, have been found.

In "Nabhinandana-jirnodhara Prabandha" -:Upakesapura has been described as the 'Svastika' (a mystical mark denoting good luck) of the earth, an ornament of the desert endowed with natural beauty where the groves are full of trees and the noble ascetics are wifeless (adara), but amongst the citizens none are like that; where the beautiful damsels and the peacocks educate each other without formal instructions merely by observing each other's graceful gait; where the tanks are replete with fully blossomed lotuses and the nocturnal darkness is dispelled by the light emanating from the luminous gems and where the rays of moon entering during the night through latticed windows in the houses of fair ladies, separated from their spouses, appear like the silver-arrows hurled by Cupid. Shorn of its usual literary exaggerations, the description does indicate that Osian was an important flourishing town then. The derivation of the cast name Oswal from Osian - the place name also sounds acceptable as it is a common practice in India to derive the family names from place names. [3]

Osian- Hinduism and Jainism[edit]

Goddess Osiyan Idol

It is conjectured from several evidences that the people of Osian were converted to Jainism by Jain Acharya Ratnaprabhasuriji, who had impressed the populace of the region by his supernatural powers.[citation needed]

A niche in Mahavira Temple contains sculpture of interwined snakes which also is worshipped by Oswal Jain, as adhisthatyaka - devetas. This leads us to believe that a sizeable part of the populace in that period may have belonged to naga extraction. Nagabhata II was a Pratihara ruler of Mandore near Jodhpur. It is said that the Nagabhata II must have defeated the nagas and so he must have been given the name Nagabhatta which means 'master of nagas'. 'Nagabhatta' the son of 'Narbhatta' of Mandore line established his capital at Merta near Nagaur, whose old name as Nagapura. The Pratiharas may have conquered these areas from the nagas. Nagapriyagachha of Jain also indicates in the same direction.

The Nagas of Osian and surrounding region, thus seem to have continued serpent worship even after their conversion to Jainism and for this reason their parallel worship of Hindu goddess Sachiya Mata by Oswal Jain community seems relevant. The Sachiya Mata Temple also equally old and important situated on a hill north-east of Mahavira Temple, enable us some clues to understand the social history of that period. This Temple was built by Upaldev who is the brother of Raja Punj the son of King 'Bheemsain' (king of Bhinmal).

This has many decorative features of a Jain temple. However, it is dedicated to Sachiya Mata, though Jains also worship here, which also is a matter of interest to understand the emergence of Jain community in this city.

The Bafna, Lunawat, Tated, Parekh, Karnavat and many other clans of Jain community conduct their 'Mundan-Sanskar' in Sachiya Mata Temple there is most famous personality in there this is Bheem Carpernter, Mundel (Jats) carry out their mundan-sanskar at sachiya mata temple, Osian.


In the 2001 India census, Osian reported 12,452 inhabitants, 6,555 of whom were male and 5,897 of whom were female, which gave a gender ratio of 900 females per thousand males.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2011 Village Panchayat Code for Osian = 35850, "Reports of National Panchayat Directory: Village Panchayat Names of Osian, Jodhpur, Rajasthan". Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India. 
  2. ^ a b Brajesh Krishna (1990). The art under the Gurjara-Pratihāras. Harman Pub. House. p. 45. ISBN 8185151164, ISBN 978-81-85151-16-8. 
  3. ^ Temple http://voyage-inde-nord.travelblog
  4. ^ "Census 2001 Population Finder: Rajasthan: Jodhpur: Osian: Osian". Office of The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. 

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