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Archaeology And Ethnography

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Chapter Summary

The temples at Osiāñ have been well known since D. R. Bhandarkar's 1912: 100-115 visit in 1904 and publication of his archaeological report on them. Scattered across the desert, these monuments are framed by two living shrines: the Mahāvῑra Jain temple - the oldest structural Jain temple in India - and the Sacciyāmātā temple, built on a hill at the center of the site. The Sacciyāmātā compound today is surrounded by nine newly built shrines for the Navadurgas, approached up a stairway sheltered by ten gateways built in the past thirty years, and encumbered with new dormitories for pilgrims. The Mahāvῑra Temple also has undergone numerous transformations, in the past as well as in the last forty years. Late in the nineteenth century, a Jain sage wandering through Osiāñ, Ratnavijay, 'rediscovered' the Mahāvῑra Temple and urged the neighboring Jain community in Phalodi to pay for its restoration and rededication.

Keywords: Mahāvῑra Jain temple; Osiāñ; Sacciyāmātā temple



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