Bahur is a small village in the Union Territory of Pondicherry. It lies about 19 km distant from the town of Pondicherry on the road to Cuddalore. The settlement proper is 1 km west of the trunk route 45 A.
In the 8th century A.D., Bahur was a great centre of Sanskrit studies; the Vidyasthana (seat of learning). There was a provision for teaching the Chaturdasa Vidya, fourteen branches of learning comprising the four Vedas, the six Vedangas (phonetics, prosody, grammar, etymology, astronomy and ritual), Puranas, Nyaya (logic), Mimamsa (exegesis) and Dharmasastra (law). In the 8th regnal year of Pallava King Nrpatungavarman (latter half of 9th century) a grant of three villages as endowment was made to this Vidyasthana by the minister of the King, Marthandan alias Nilaitangi. The revenues were to be enjoyed by the residents of this great seat of learning (vide the Bahur Plates kept in the Madras Museum).
Bahur is known in inscriptions as Vahur. The presiding diety of this temple is called Sri Mulasthanam Udaiya Perumanadigal or Paramesvarar. There are six inscriptions of Kannara deva (Krishna III, Rashtrakuta) on the walls, among which one (ARE 172 of 1902) mentions a gift of four stone slabs towards construction work suggesting the construction of this temple in the latter part of 10th century, the period of Krishna III and Parantaka Chola I.
The temple has undergone many a modification in later years; but the walls of the sanctum and the deva koshta (niches) figures of Dancing Ganesha (southside), Vishnu (west rear side) and Brahma (north side) seem to belong to the original temple.
The parivara devatas include Ganesha, Subramonia, Durga, Navagrahas etc. There are a number of dancing figures on the adhistana (basement) of this temple.
This temple marks a stage of transition from Pallava to Chola style of architecture and is a protected monument.
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