Three historical Harihara shrines of Osian, Rajasthan

Harihara temple, Osiyan, Rajasthan

Osian (also spelt Osiyan), an ancient town  in the Jodhpur District of Rajasthan state of western India is home to lots of damaged Hindu and Jain temples dating from the 8th to 12th centuries. The site is about 65 Km  from Jodhpur city.

Harihara temple, Osiyan, Rajasthan 

Front view of Harihar temple, Osiyan, Rajasthan 

The city was once a major pilgrimge center in the kingdom of Marwar during the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty. Among the many temples,  the Hindu shine of Harihara , though small gets the attention of the visitors. The site has a rare distinction of having  three Harihara shrines.  They arelike many Hindu temple  built on a raised platform at different periods for unknown reasons. 

The first two temples came up in the 8th century whereas the third one was built in the 9th century.  The architecture of these temples appears to be more advanced than other structures of Osiyan. The main shrine of Harihara  flanked by four other shrines, is called Panchvatan.  The Harihara I and III are renowned for their interiors and decorations on the walls. There are sculptures on temple walls displaying Lord Krishna and Radha in dancing postures. What is interesting is all the temples have captivating stone sculptures of exceptional workmanship. 

.Hari Hara


Above image; Harihara or Shankara Narayanan - Harihara, the dual representation of the Hindu deities Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara) also goes by the name of Shankaranarayana ("Shankara" is Shiva, and "Narayana" is Vishnu).The latter is more common in southern India than in the northern states. The concept of Harihara has philosophical connotations highlighting  "oneness of all existence". Some of the earliest sculptures of Harihara, with one half of the image as Vishnu and other half as Shiva, are traced back to  6th century as at  the Badami  cave temples cave 1 and cave 3 of Karnataka state, India,  The 7th century CE Dharmaraja Ratha of Pancha Rathas complex at Mahabalipuram near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal is a famous one and the carved cave complex came up during the Pallava period.............