The types of temples and temple buildings in Thailand

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Very often during the tours, read the tourist information about the sights of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam , etc. you can find such words as Wat, Prang, Chedi and others. All these words are indicated by different types of temples and temple buildings in their huge variety. What is the meaning of these terms, read on. The information below about the types of temples are partially also applicable for the temples in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Wat (Wat)

Храм Wat Prathat Doi Suthep в Чианг-май Wat Prathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai

This is the most common type of temples. More precisely is the temple, which includes not only facilities for parishioners, but also a monastery, school rooms and sports grounds. Sometimes Wat is a complex of religious buildings of different types, combined in one area under one name. You should pay attention to the fact that the term Wat refers to any religious center, and it means that Christian churches, and Muslim mosques can be Wat.

Bot or Ubosot (Bot or Ubosot)

Убосот в серебряном храме в Чианг-мае The silver ubosot in the temple in Chiang Mai

Hall for the priesthood, where the newly made monks take Holy orders and conduct important ceremonies. Despite its importance, the Ubosot is not necessarily the largest building in the temple complex and may not always be open to the public.

In fact, it is assumed that the ubosot had always been closed to women, but nowadays this rule is not required. The Ubosot has at least one Buddha image, making himself similar to the Wiharn. The difference between these two types of temples in the boundary markers (Sema), which may be surrounded by only the Ubosot. Bot may also refer to the Christian Church.

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Viharn or Vihara (Bangkok or Wihara)

Вихарн Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit в Аюттайе Viharn Phra Viharn Mongkol Bopit in Ayutthaya

Vihara is a temple with an important Buddha images, where the laity come to pray. If Wat can be only one ubosot, Bangkok may be several. There are temples (Wat) which consist of only one construction Viharn. Often viharn is the largest and the most visited building on the site.

Chedi, stupa or pagoda (Chedi)

Чеди Phra Chedi Suriyothai в Аюттайе Chedi Phra Chedi Suriyothai at Ayutthaya

Sometimes translated as stupa or even pagoda. Chedi means a dome (bell) tower, which houses the remains of Buddha. It can also be constructed for insertion of the ashes of king or important monk. For those who can afford such a tomb, can also be constructed similar to the reduced square tower. Domed chedi for the first time became popular during the Golden age of Ayutthaya. An illustrative example of such structure can serve as Wat Yai Chai Mongkon.

Prang (Prang)

Руины пранга в храме Wat Phra Ram в Аюттайе Pranga in the ruins of Wat Phra Ram in Ayutthaya

The tower is phallic or "corn". Towers of this type appeared in the Angkor period in Cambodia and has spread further throughout Southeast Asia, and now they are called typically angarskii or Cambodian. Most of them now are ancient monuments, and only a few remained as active places of worship.

Hotri or Mondop (Mondop Ho Trai or)

Мондоп в королевском дворце Бангкока Mondop in the Royal Palace of Bangkok (the building on the right in the photo)

These two terms are commonly translated as "library". Ho Trai is always built on piles over a pond to protect from pests. Mondop is usually square in shape and designed to store Scriptures and special images. Perhaps one of the most outstanding Mondop in Thailand is Saraburi province over the Next Buddha.

Kuti (Kuti)

Кути в храме Wat Phanan Choeng в Аютайе Kuti in Wat Phanan Choeng in Ayutthaya

The temple of all shapes and sizes, which often performs the functions of the monastery has cells for the monks, is called kuti.

The bell tower and the drum tower (or Bell Drum Tower)

Барабанная башня в храме Дои Тунг в провинции Чианг-рай The drum tower in the temple of DOI Tung
in the province of Chiang Rai

In some churches a bell tower for zazywanie believers. However, the drums are used more often than the bell.

Naga (Naga)

Нага (на переднем плане) в храме в провинции Чианг-рай Naga in the temple in the province of Chiang Rai

Naga is a mythical Indian polonoreste-serpent, which, according to legend, protected the Buddha during his meditations. In the conventional version of the legend it was a Cobra, which is often depicted next to the Buddha. In architecture, the Naga is used as decoration stair railing or the roof edges. However, do not confuse Naked with dragons, which are shown in Chinese mythology.

SEMA (Bai Sema or)

Boundary markers in the shape of leaves, always made of stone. Bai, translated from the Thai language means "leaf". Usually such Ubosot surrounded by eight boundary stones, enclosing, therefore, sacred ground of the temple.

Cofah (Chofah)

Chofah is an architectural decoration on the roof of pediment of the temple. In Bangkok and the Central plains these ornaments are in the shape of the head of the antelope or birds.

Sala (Sala)

Usually, it's an outdoor tent or gazebo. As for temples, the Sala can be used as a place for preaching. In this style some built Viharn, one example of which is the Wat Laos Dok in Chiang Mai.

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