OSIANAn ancient town in the Thar desert, and situated one and a half hour from Jodhpur, Osian was a great trading center between the 8th and 12th centuries when it was dominated by the Jains.  They left behind a renowned cluster of now ruined Brahmanical and Jain temples dating to the 8th to 11th century.  Osian has a wealth of lavish and exquisitely sculptured temples, most of which have withstood the ravages of time.

The old Jain temple dedicated to Mahavira built of the local red sandstone has some beautiful carvings, especially the ceiling of the portico just inside the main gate. The statue of Mahavira in the central building is said to be over 2000 years old.

Unlike many other Jain temples, this is particularly active and you will see worshippers and priests wearing their traditional white clothes.

Apart from the Jain temples, the other attraction is the hindu temple built on a small hill and approached by climbing a flight of stairs interspaced with a series of sandstone gateways decorated with silver ornaments.  An added advantage is that the temple is an active place of worship with few if any other foreign tourists. This area is also the home of the Bishnoi tribe.