(Last Updated on : 13/09/2010)
Located at the edge of the Thar Desert, Ossian was once a prosperous city. Though today, it does not find place in the regular tourist guides of India, Ossian boasts of more than 100 Hindu and Jain temples
dating back to the Medieval Age. According to some legend, Utpaladeva, a Rajput Prince of the Pratihara Dynasty founded this town. Then it was known as Ukesha or Upkeshapur.
Ossian boasts the earliest of all medieval temples of Rajasthan
. The earlier temples are like miniature shrines. Some temples are only eight feet in height. These are intricately carved red sandstone edifices. These are dedicated to Harihara or the union of Vishnu and Shiva. Even foreign scholars consider these as the architectural masterpieces for the carved raising plinths, pillars and the spires.
The Sun temple is among the oldest group of temples. It was built in the 10th century. They are also compared with the carvings of the Sun Temple
at Konark. Further records shows that there is another magnificent Sun Temple right in the middle of the town. This temple and some other subsequent shrines were destroyed during the Turkish and Afghan invasions of India. The house of more than hundred temples, Ossian, today only houses sixteen of them.
Majority of the temples at Ossian have decayed with time. The images of the deities have also been lost. The one temple that still remains vibrant is the shrine of Sachiyamata on a nearby hillock. This temple was built in 1234 AD and is dedicated to Durga or Mahisasura Mardini. Today it is a very important shrine of the Jains.