The Mahavira Jain Temple in Osian (or Osiyan, Rajasthan) is dedicated to Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara. It is a major pilgrimage site for Jains in this region of Rajasthan.
Located in the western outskirts of the village, the temple was constructed by Gurjara Pratihara King Vatsaraja in 783 A.D.
The temple complex has one main temple and seven other temples, of which four temples are located on the eastern side and three on western side.
Close to the temple there is a dharmashala and a school of theology, both run by the temple trust. Apart from being a holy place, the temple of Mahavira if of course famous for its architecture.
Always remember to look up ! 🙂
The walls and pillars of the temple display carved images of countless Gods and Goddesses, in addition to depictions of the different stages of the life of Lord Neminath (22nd Jain Tirthankara). A 32 inch high statue of Lord Mahavira in the padmasana posture is placed on a high platform made of sandstone (not photographed).
The main doorway of the temple, constructed in 1015 A.D. is superbly carved with impressions of young maidens.
Note however that much of this temple has been restored, a process that was clearly on-going. Even whilst I was there stone masons were hard at work chiseling away new pieces, many of which are likely to be direct copies of ancient carvings that have almost eroded away.
Osian was a major trading center at least as early as the 4th century A.D. It maintained this status, while also being a major center of Brahmanism and Jainism, for hundreds of years.
This came to an abrupt end when the town was attacked by the armies of Muhammed of Ghor in 1195. It is said that at its peak, Osian had over one hundred Jain temples.
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