Rajasthan’s peak travel season is between October and March. It is winters in India and the time is right to explore Rajasthan. The warmth of the winter sun, the rustic towns, colorful marketplaces, the formidable forts, stunning palaces, beautiful lakes, sand dunes, camels, soulful music, mouth watering cuisine and world famous hospitality is an unforgettable travel experience. Among major Tourist attractions like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Udaipur, Pushkar, Mandawa, there is Osian for those who love the desert, the dunes and the desert safari. Osian is an offbeat destination at the edge of mighty Thar Desert which is an experience like no other.
Where is Osian located?
Osian (also spelt Osiyan) is an ancient town located in the Jodhpur District of Rajasthan state in western India. It is an oasis in the Thar Desert. Osian is located 60 Km from Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
The best time to visit Osian is from October till March – during the winter months.
How to reach Osian?
By Air – Jodhpur is the nearest airport to Osian. From Airport, take a taxi and you will reach in about an Hours time.
BY TRAIN – Osian has its own railway station. However limited number of trains cross through Osian. Jodhpur Railway station is 60 Kms away and offers better connectivity.
BY ROAD – Traveling by own vehicle or private cab is a joy as the roads are smooth and a driver’s dream come true. Regular bus services connect Osian to nearest cities and towns.
What is Osian Famous For?
Osian is famous as home to the cluster of ruined Hindu and Jain temples dating from the 8th to 12th centuries. The city was a major religious centre of the kingdom of Marwar during the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty.
Osian has not less than 100 temples belonging to the sect of Hindus and Jains, hence it is also known as Khajuraho of Rajasthan. The city of Osian is said to have founded by Utpaladeva, who was a Rajput Prince belonging to Pratihara Dynasty. It was an important silk route trading center till the Muslim invaders destroyed it forcing the locals to leave Osian.Time and faith brought the people back and the town was rebuilt again.
What to do in Osian?
Osian is situated at the edge of the great Thar Desert and has beautiful sand dunes which present a great opportunity for holiday makers who like camel and jeep safari and wish to stay in desert safari camps, experiencing a new way of live. There are luxury camps and resorts located around these dunes and they offer all the modern amenities and facilities for the travelers.
The evenings are charmed by Rajasthani folk dance and music program where guests are entertained by tribal artisans. Watch the sunsets, go bird watching, meet the locals, click pics, enjoy the delicious rajasthani cuisine, experience the famous rajasthani hospitality and relax as you watch the star studded sky that will take you back to your childhood!
Top 5 Desert Safari Camps in Osian Jodhpur
The nearest Desert safari Camps near Jodhpur are situated in Osian, which is just 60kms away. Osian is known as the gateway to the thar desert. It is an ancient rustic town which is known for sand dunes, stunning temples and the luxury camps and resorts which offer overnight stay in desert camps, evening dance and music programs, camel and jeep safari, temple tours and trips to Khichan bird sanctuary. The best time to visit Osian is from October till March when the winter sun is pleasant enough.
Here is the list of Top 5 Desert Camps ard Resorts in Osian which offer desert camping and activities to create a rich memorable holiday experience. Visit their website or give them a call to book your perfect desert vacation.
Reggie’s Camel Camp
Reggies Camel Camp is an easy 60 Km drive from Jodhpur. With expansive views of the mighty Thar desert on one side and the ancient 8th century temple town of Osian on the other, Reggie’s Camel Camp, the original luxury tented camp in India, offers an unappalled experience of rural Rajasthan.
Venturing out on camel or jeep, one can meet the proud local tribes, the Bishnois and Bhils, potters and weavers and shepherds in their natural surroundings, not to mention the various varieties of desert wildlife such as blue bulls, gazelles, foxes, peacocks and partridges.
Address: Khetasar – Osian Rd, Rajasthan 342303
Phone: 099280 09608
Rohida Camp Osian
Set on 40 acres of private sand dunes, the Rohida Camp Osian is an ideal destination for relaxing and adventurous, letting you seek solace in the desert, while also exposing you to with adrenaline-soaring activities like jeep safari, camel safari, long guided walks across the dunes and more.
With the famed Rajput hospitality, the entire experience is designed to make your vacation nothing but extraordinary. The site features 13 Luxury Air-conditioned Tents, alongside an array of exciting activities that will keep you spell bound.
Address: Rohida Camp, Pratap Nagar, Khetasar – Osian Rd, Osian, Rajasthan 342303
Phone: 094135 22188
Camp Thar Osian
Camp Thar is considered as one of the best resorts which offers Safari-style permanent tents & cottages in a desert resort with a restaurant & live entertainment. Experience the pleasure to view the dunes from the camp window and enjoy the accommodation with Maharaja style bedroom, attached with a modern washroom.
The Property features 35 Swiss Tent, 26 Luxury Tent Accommodation, 16 Royal Tents Accommodation, 5 Luxury Dhani Cottages, Conference Hall, Roof Top Canopy Bar, Leisure Room, Hygienic Open Kitchen for Traditional Food, Machan/Tree house, Indoor Dining Option.
Address: Pratap Nagar Road, Jodhpur District, Osian, Rajasthan 342303
Phone: 0291 264 7555
Safari Camp Osian
Safari Camp Osian is the largest camp and resort located on the finest dunes of the Thar Desert. Here you can enjoy the experience of Desert Camping, Camel /Jeep Safari, Folk Dance and Music Programs, Hot Air Ballooning in the Thar Desert. Furnished with all the modern amenities the camps are exquisitely designed to put forth an experience of a lifetime.
Safari Camp Osian offers the perfect dessert safari camp packages, which includes plenty of facilities and amenities for you to explore and choose. The camp is also ideal for pre-wedding shoots, destination weddings / parties and corporate events.
Address: Pratap negar khesra no 808, Osian, Rajasthan 342303
Phone: 070234 77221
Rawla Osian Camps
Rawla Osian Camps are located in the heart of the Thar desert near the ancient and picturesque desert town of the Osian on the Jodhpur – Jaisalmer Highway. Designed like an old desert fortress, located in a huge belt of Sand Dunes, Rawla Osian Camps offers guest a chance to spend time in the midst of the desert, away from all disturbances.
Rawla Osian Camps also provide visitors a comfortable stay in Swiss tents and A/c Deluxe Rooms. The tents have permanent bathrooms with running hot and cold water.The restaurants offers a choice of Rajasthani and Indian Continental cuisines in a cosy rural ambience. The camp is also ideal for marriage / theme parties and Gala dinners.
Address: Khetasar – Osian Rd, Pratapnagar, Osian, Rajasthan 342303
Phone: 063500 20768
The details for the camps can be checked on their respective websites.
Places to Visit in Osian
Katan Baori Stepwell – Katan Baori Stepwell at Osian is an ancient stepwell and probably the earliest symbol of woman empowerment in the world. The story goes that due to water shortage in Osian, the women folk were forced to travel a few kms on foot everyday to fetch water for home. They asked the men to get a well built, but the men refused, saying that it required a lot of money. The ladies then, decided to fund it themselves. They started weaving and sold merchandise to merchants on silk route. The work on Katan Baori started in this way, however, it could not be completed as the muslim armies invaded the region destroying much.
Mahavir Jain Temple – The Mahavira Temple is an important tirtha for Jains. According to an inscription found at Sachiya Mata Temple dating back to 956 A.D., it was built during the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty by King Vatsaraja in 783 AD, making it the oldest surviving Jain temple in Western India. Dedicated to Lord Mahavira (24th Jain Tirthankara), the temple is considered as an important pilgrimage of the Jains. The temple is celebrated for its stunning architecture. The main door is carved with an impression of young maidens on it.
Osian Mata (Shri Sachchiyay Mataji) Temple – This temple is believed to have been constructed by King Upendran during the 10th century AD. Ma Sachyee is also known as Shri Osiya Mataji. The goddess appears having ashtabhuja (eight arms) and is seated on a lion. Demon Mahisha’s face is seen near the goddess’s feet. An archaeological team found many samples, statues, and paintings there. Depictions included the ancient deity of Harihar (half Shiva and half Vishnu), Vasudeva with baby Krishna on his head, Krishna fighting with a horse, the killing of Putna, Kalidaman, Govardhan dharan, and butter stealing along with images of Balram which seem to represent him as the incarnation of Seshnaga.
Khichan Bird Sanctuary is located some 50 Kms from Osian. It is a place visited by thousands of migrating Demoiselle Cranes during winter months in India. Khichan is but a small village, made world famous because of this. It has an amazing story – how these birds first came there and how their numbers grew over time. It is a love story between a man and these birds. The prominent place here is the Chuga Ghar, where the birds visit early morning between 7am and 8 am for feeding. They fly in groups, waves upon waves as the sky is full of them. They circle, wait for their turn and come to feed. After feeding they fly of to lakes and water bodies nearby. Watching these birds – in thousands from just a few meters away is a spell binding experience.
PVC Major Shaitan Singh Memorial – This small monument is dedicated to Major Shaitan Singh (in rajasthani the name sounds – Haitan Hingh), who lead a small group of soldiers in 1962 indo china war and defended Indian post from scores of invading Chinese soldiers. Overwhelmingly outnumbered and with little ammunition to counter such a large attack, he displayed exceptional courage and valor by motivating his fellow soldiers who gave a huge toll to the chinese army, before getting killed in action. The shock they sent across chinese army halted their progress and kept India safe. He and his fellow soldiers received Param Vir Chakra for the ultimate sacrifice.
How to Plan a Tour of Osian?
Osian Day Tour Plan – Most people prefer a day tour to Osian from Jodhpur, which is great as you start in the morning from Jodhpur, reach Osian, enjoy camel or jeep safari, relax for lunch, explore the temples and then head for an evening music and dance program which ends with dinner. There after you drive back to Jodhpur.
Osian 1N/2D Tour Plan – If you wish to experience life in desert and want to stay in Desert Camps or a Resort then, you can have a relaxed schedule in which you can visit Khichan Bird Sanctuary early morning from Osian, have breakfast, visit Major Shaitan Singh Memorial, arrive back at Resort for Lunch, Relax, Enjoy the evening music and dance program, have dinner and go to sleep. Next day, go for camel and jeep safari after breakfast. You can check out and visit Katan Baori Stepwell and Explore the temples at leisure. Go Shopping handmade stuff in the local market, buy spices, pickles and chutneys. Have Lunch on your way back home.
If you have One more day, then you must explore Jodhpur, the world famous Blue city. Here is the list of places you must visit on your trip:
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Mehrangarh Fort stands a hundred feet in splendor on a perpendicular cliff, four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur. Considered as one of the most formidable and magnificent forts of Rajasthan, Mehrangarh fort was built by Rao Jodha in the year 1459, though most of the existing structure is from the 17th century. The fort museum has amazing collection of antiquities and to explore it all you will need 2-3 hours. The city view from the palace windows is magnificent. Explore Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Jhanki Mahal, Mehrangarh Fort Museum, The Chamunda Mataji Temple and Chokelao Mehran Terrace.
Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur
The Jaswant Thada is an architectural marvel with intricate carvings. Famed as one of the most beautiful white marble memorials, it was built in 1899 by Maharaja Sardar Singh in commemoration of his father Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. This white marble wonder of Rajasthan is often called the Taj Mahal of Marwar. Jaswant Thada serves as the cremation ground for the royal Rajput family of Marwar. A Museum in Jaswant Thada displays portraits of Marwar rulers along with information which serves as orientation space to understand the history of Marwar through the Portraits. Walking around Jaswant Thada surrounded by lake and rocky structure is a wonderful experience. This is surrounded by well maintained garden. A waterbody next to Jaswant Thada is home to water birds and pigeons.
Clock Tower Jodhpur, Ghantaghar
Located in the Sadar Market square is the The Ghanta Ghar in Jodhpur, which is a magnificent clock tower in the centre of the city, built by Maharaja Sardar Singh about 200 years ago. It is a popular landmark that signifies the start of Old Jodhpur. The vibrant Sardar Market nest to the tower, and narrow alleys lead from here to a bazaar selling vegetables, spices, Indian sweets, textiles, silver and delicious street food.
Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum, Jodhpur
Built between 1928 and 1943, the sprawling Umaid Bhawan Palace can be seen for miles around. Part of the grand palace is a luxury hotel run by the Taj Group. This museum, placed in the mid of the Umaid garden is well maintained and displays many of the antique belongings of the Maharaja and the royal family. The museum exhibits glass, porcelain wares, memorabilia followed by the information on building of the palace. The classic cars of the Maharajas are also on display. A part of museum, Darbar hall, and miniature paintings are a rare collection of the expensive household paraphernalia
The Sardar Government Museum, Jodhpur
Located in the verdant green lawns of Ummed Bagh, the Sardar Government Museum is a quiet yet popular tourist attraction in Jodhpur. The museum is named after Sardar Singh, a maharaja of Jodhpur, and was constructed under the reign of his son, Maharaja Umed Singh. It was built by Henry Vaughan Lanchester in 1909 and formally opened to public on 17 March 1936. The Museum is divided into four archaeological areas; armoury, arts and crafts show, and historical section. The exhibits history dates back to nearly the sixth century. The museum’s pride is the paintings with different royalties and the Jain Tirthankaras.
While at Jodhpur, don’t forget to enjoy the local delicacies like Dal Baati Choorma, Mava Kachori, Gajar ka Halwa and the mouth watering Jalebi.
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