Bangkok Chiang Mai Eastern Thailand Elephant Training Golden Triangle Hill Tribes Wat



ancient temple

A wat (derived from the Pali word avasa as well as from the Sanskrit word avasatha) is a monastery temple in Cambodia, Laos or Thailand. The word "wat" (Thai วัด) (sometimes rendered "vat" when referring to Laos) means "school." Strictly speaking a wat is a Buddhist sacred precinct with monks' quarters , the temple proper, an edifice housing a large image of Buddha, and a structure for lessons. A Buddhist site without a minimum of three resident monks cannot correctly be described as a wat, although the term is frequently used more loosely, even for ruins of ancient temples. (As a transitive or intransitive verb, wat means to measure, to take measurements; compare templum, which has the same root as template).


In everyday language in Thailand, a wat is any place of worship except a mosque (Thai สุเหร่า su-rao; or มัสยิด Thai rendering of masjid; a mosque may also be described as โบสด์ของอิสลาม bot khong Is-a-lam). Thus wat cheen is a Chinese temple (either Buddhist or Taoist), wat khaek is a Hindu temple, and wat kris or wat krit or wat farang is a Christian church, though Thai โบสด์ (โบด bot) may be used descriptively as with mosque.




A typical Buddhist wat consists of the following buildings:

* chedi - (from Sanskrit: Chaitya - Temple) เจดีย์ usually conical or bell-shaped buildings, often containing relics of Buddha;

* viharn or wihaan วิหาร (from Sanskrit: vihara and Pali vihaan ) - a meeting and prayer room;

* mondop มณฑป (from Sanskrit: Mandapa) - a usually open, square building with four arches and a pyramidal roof, used to worship religious texts or objects.

* sala ศาลา - a pavilion for relaxation or miscellaneous activities; from Sanskrit: Shala - School, from an earlier meaning of shelter

* bot โบสด์ or ubosoth - อุโบสถ the most holy prayer room, also called the "ordination hall" as it is where new monks take their vows. Architecturally it is similar to the vihara; the main differences are the eight cornerstones placed around the bot to ward off evil. The bot is usually more decorated than the viharn. (from Pali: Uposatha)

* haw trai หอไตร - Tripitaka library where Buddhist scriptures are kept ;

* haw klawng หอกลอง - drum tower ;

* haw rakhang หอระฆัง - bell tower.

The living quarters of the monks, including the กุฏิ (กุติ kuti or กุด kut (monk cells) are separated from the sacred buildings.

Text from Wikipedia












Return to Thailand page

Bangkok Chiang Mai Eastern Thailand Elephant Training Golden Triangle Hill Tribes Wat

Azerbaijan Bangladesh Bhutan Brunei Burma Cambodia China India Japan Kazakhistan Korea Kyrgyzstan Laos Malaysia Mongolia Nepal Pakistan Philippines Siberia Singapore Tajikistan Thailand Turkey in Asia Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Viet Nam

World Heritage Mosaics Roman World Africa Antarctica Asia Atlantic Islands Australia Caribbean Central America Europe Indian Ocean Middle East North America Pacific Islands South America The Traveler Recent Adventures Adventure Travel


People and Places