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Rajasthan - Osian - A Traveller's Guide
Located at a distance of 66 km from Jodhpur, Osian, nestled in the Thar Desert, was a renowned business hub of Rajasthan previously. It is lovingly called the Khajuraho of Rajasthan. The architectural magnificence of Brahmanical and ruins of 16 Jain temples are prime and foremost enticements of Osian. Innumerable sanctified temples, erected way back during 8-11th century by Pratihara emperors, are standing tall and are displaying the primeval architectural excellence and flair. Huge number of historians and tourists still flock to the place year after year due to the historical values of these scattered Jain temples.
The diminutive Hindu temple called Harihara, located towards the southern side of the city, is one of the brightest tourists’ destinations of Osian.
The Mahavir temple dedicated to the 24th Jain Tirthankar, however, depicts excellent diversified art forms and is one of the biggest tourists’ attractions of Asia. The renowned Mahavir temple had been reconstructed many times in 8th century. The temple, later on, had been ornamented in 1015. The base of the front end of the holy Mahavir temple is established on 24 contiguous pillars. The replica of numerous architectural sculptures, erected manually, is maintained for the hordes of holiday makers.
The nearby Durga temple is a holy abode of both Durga and Ganesha. One of the incarnations of Devi Durga namely Sachiya Mata is residing in the nearby temple, built in 12th century. Plenty of women flock to the Sachiya Mata temple and all of them wish for a child. The worldly desires of many devotees who visit the temple are fulfilled. Hindu deities, such as, Ganesh, Shiva, Surya and Vishnu are residing in this hallowed temple as well. The pillars of the temple soothe the eyes as all of these pillars are ornamented with shimmering glasses. The pleasing and agreeable architectural beauty of the Sachiya Mata temple is praiseworthy as well.
Nagaur Merta: Nagaur, about 138 km away from Jodhpur, the historical monument, was a kind gift of the Mughal emperor Shahjahan to the Naga Rajput Amar Singh Rathore. Shahjahan was amused with the bravery and skills of Amar Singh. Nagaur depicts excellent Rajput architectural splendor.
Amar Singh cenotaph, the commemorative of Amar Singh, located at the entrance of Nagaur, is bejeweled with Mural pictures which show the brilliant planning and designing of the Nagaur architects.
The Circular Fort, erected in 12th century, is located right in the middle of the city. The grand fort houses Moti Mahal, Badal Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Hammam and Akbar Mahal. The entire premise of the fort is a treat for the travelers as various parts of the fort showcase beguiling Mural portraits. Bhakt Singh palace, on the premise of the fort, was constructed in 18th century.
Innumerable homes scattered in and around the place, display carvings of several mythological tales on Fresco pictures. Besides Sufi Ka Masjid (built by the emperor Akbar), Tarkan ki Dargah and Kanch-ka-Mandir (In Gandhi Chawk), a number of other temples, Dargahs and mosques are significant tourists’ attractions of Nagaur.
Trades of camels, horses and bullocks take place in the one week long cattle fair, held in Nagaur. The race of camels and many eventful ceremonies are prime allurements of the fair.
Hotel Kurja, Hotel Sujan, Hotel Bhaskar, Motel Mahaveer, CH, DB and Dharamsalas are few notable places where tourists can stay at. You can even enjoy a stay in the tent, placed temporarily on the premise of the fort during the cattle fair. It would be an adventurous outing for all the tourists.
The biggest cattle fair of Rajasthan, however, takes place in Tilwara, about 127 km away from Nagaur.
Tourists who are high on energy should travel to the Khimsar Fort, about 40 km away from Nagaur towards Jodhpur. Another destination for the spiritual crowds is the holy Shiva temple at Soyala, lies 64 km off Nagaur. If you want to purchase something to remember the tour for a long time, then there is no better place than Nokha Market, about 57 km away from Nagaur towards Bikaner.
Many love to watch the sumptuousness of the historical spots. Merta, located at a distance of 76 km from Nagaur, is a place for them. The fort (built by Rao Dudha in 15th century), quadrilateral temple, the mosque over the Shiva temple (constructed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb), Doodh Sagar Sarovar, the ashram of Mauni Baba and the Chattis are the other sought after destinations of Merta. This is the consecrated place where the Krishna Stotram was written by Mirabai.
Hotel Raj Palace, Prince Hotel, Charbhuja Hotel, DB and Dharamsala are the places where tourists can stay overnight in Merta.
Drive all the way to Sujangarh, about 151 km away from Jodhpur. A number of mythological tales are associated with the name of this small destination. The holy Tirupati temple of Sujangarh resembles the structure of the Venkatesh temple. The Gopuram of this temple is impressive.
The Jhalamond castle, about 12 km towards the southern side of Jodhpur, can be accessed hiring a car. The heritage hotel has been built now in the rooms of this notable and imposing castle. Spend your day quietly sitting in castle and watching the prolonged sandy Desert and Jodhpur fort.
Luni is another nearby destination, lies 35 km off Jodhpur. The Luni fort, made up of sandstones during 19th century, houses the Fort Chanwa Heritage Hotel now. It’s probably the best place to stay at Luni. Tourists who are interested to enjoy the village safari can hire a car from the Hotel premise and explore the villages around.
The home of Vaishno tribes, Rohet, is situated towards the south- eastern side of Luni. The small village is renowned for handicrafts. Inhabitants truly deserve applause for their excellent pottery work, woven textiles, tannery work and embroidered items of Rohet.
Rohetgarh Heritage Hotel, on the banks of the Lake, would arrange a room for you to stay comfortably. Fort Kajaria (85 km from Jaipur) and Rawla Jojowar (at Marwar Junction) are the other hotels where tourists can stay at as well.
How to reach: Osian is well connected to Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Pokharan both by bus and by train.
Where to stay: A number of Jain Dharamsalas are there in Osian. It is better to stay at Jodhpur and cover Osian from there. It is 65 kilometers from Jodhpur.