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Osian is an ancient town located in the of state in western 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 and the headquarters for Osian tehsil. It lies 69km 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. 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 town was a major trading center at least as early as the Gupta period. It maintained this status, while also being a major center of Brahmanism and Jainism for hundreds of year. This came to an abrupt end when the town was attacked by the armies of Muhammed of Ghor in 1195.HistoryEvidence suggests that Osian is a very old settlement. Some of its early names include Uvasisala, Ukesa and Upkesapur-pattana. In its early history, the village was a center for Brahmanism. It was a major stop for camel caravans during the Gupta period. The town was an important center for the Gurjar Pratihar dynasty. Tradition states that, after being abandoned for a time, the village was re-established by Utpaladeva (c. 900-950). Utpaladeva converted to Jainism, and turned the village into a center for the religion. However, Jainism had a presence in the village long before that. The town was prosperous and successful at this time. At its peak, it had over one hundred Jain temples.Plan your tour of Osian and India travel itinerary using our India holiday planner.
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