Encompassed by the golden dunes and suburbs, Osian is an ancient town in Jodhpur District of Rajasthan. Mirages of the oasis, getting lost in the parched desert, everything you’ve seen in the movies is a reality of Osian.
Located 65 kilometers from the Sun City of Jodhpur, the desert town Osian is famous for its Jain and Hindu temples and numerous amorous structures within, and it’s for the very same reason it’s referred to as ‘Khajuraho of Rajasthan’.
Among the most famous of the 18 remaining temples, only the temples dedicated to Sachiya Mata, Sun God and Lord Mahavira still stand out in their grace and architecture.
This brings us to today’s topic, which is Sachiya Mata Temple.
Established on a hillock, this is an age-old shrine that dates back to the 8th-century and is dedicated to the daughter of the Pauloma, the demon king. The hillock, which is located just about 200 meters away from the highway bus stand, witnesses crowds of Hindu and Jain pilgrims all through the year. A fragment of the crowd consists of devotees who come to the temple prior to the marriage of their children. However, the majority of devotees flock the temple for Navratri, i.e. 9 days of worship in the months of March/April and October/November. This is because Sachiya Mata is believed to be the 9th and final incarnation of Goddess Durga.
There once existed a temple dedicated to Chamunda Devi in Upkeshpur, the present day Osian. The temple witnessed a mass killing of buffaloes to please the Goddess. Jain Acharya Shri Ratna Prabh Suri saw to it that no animal was harmed in his presence and put a complete ban on animal slaughter. Initially angered at such disservice, the Goddess later realized the power in Acharya’s decision and began to accept Prasad and lapsi as offerings. Seeing the transformation, Acharya named her Sachiya.
The complex that we see today is a temple built in the 8th century by Parmar King Upmendre in commemoration of his Kuldevi. It was later renovated in the 12-th century and has since remained unaltered.
This archaeologically brilliant temple resides on the western outskirts of Osian and stands within a walled enclosure. The main temple comprises of 7 smaller complexes, 4 of which are located on the eastern side and the other 3 on the western.
The entrance of the temple is formed by a string of beautifully sculpted and whimsically decorated arches. A long flight of stairs takes one to the fore-chamber, which enshrines the idol of Sachiya Mata along with the images of other Hindu deities. Before the pavilion and beyond the gateway are many sandstone statues of different incarnations of Goddess Durga. These were excavated by archaeologists and installed within the temple.
Within the temple are 2 smaller temples dedicated to Goddess Amba Mata and Chandi, along with a sculpture of Varaha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
While visiting the temple in Osian, make sure you get an accommodation at Ajit Bhawan Palace Hotel, India’s first heritage hotel. For the dearth of luxury hotels in Osian, Ajit Bhawan in Jodhpur is the best luxury hotel one can opt for. Make sure you book your suite well in advance.