Wat

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For other uses, see Wat (disambiguation).
Wat Kor pagoda, Battambang (2012).jpg Wat Peapahd.Battambang.2009.jpg
Cambodian pagodas: Left: Wat Ko, Right: Wat Peapat

A wat or vat is a monastery-temple in Thailand, Cambodia or Laos. (Thai: วัด wat Lao: ວັດ vad, Khmer: វត្ត wōat) is borrowed from Sanskrit: वाट vāṭa "enclosure".

Introduction[edit]

Front of Wat Mahathat in Luang Prabang, Laos

Strictly speaking a wat is a Buddhist sacred precinct with a vihara (quarters for bhikkhus), a temple, an edifice housing a large image of Buddha and a structure for lessons. A site without a minimum of three resident bhikkhus 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, from which temple derives, having the same root as template.

In everyday language in Thailand, a wat is any place of worship except a mosque (Thai สุเหร่า surao or มัสยิด masjid; a mosque may also be described as โบสถ์ของอิสลาม - bodkhong Isalam, literally "Islam church"). Thus a wat cheen is a Chinese temple (either Buddhist or Taoist), wat khaek is a Hindu temple and wat krit or wat farang is a Christian church, though Thai โบสถ์ (โบสถ์ bodkhong) may be used descriptively as with mosques.

In Cambodia, a wat is used to refer to all kinds of places of worship. Technically, wat generally refers to a Buddhist place of worship, but the technical term is វត្តពុទ្ធសាសនា vott poutthosaeasanea. A Christian church can be referred as វិហារយេស៊ូ vihear Yesaou or "Jesus vihear". Angkor Wat អង្គរវត្ត means "city of temples".

Types[edit]

According to Thai law, the Thai Buddhist temples are categorised into two types:

The facade to the Phra Viharn Luang (meeting hall) at Wat Suthat, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Bangkok, Thailand

Structure[edit]

A typical Buddhist wat consists of the following buildings:

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

The roofs of Thai temples are often adorned with chofahs.

Examples[edit]

Some well-known wats include:

Cambodia[edit]

Laos[edit]

Thailand[edit]

Malaysia[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา, ประกาศกระทรวงธรรมการ แผนกกรมสังฆการี เรื่อง จัดระเบียบพระอารามหลวง, เล่ม ๓๒, ตอน ๐ ก, ๓ ตุลาคม พ.ศ.๒๔๕๘, หน้า ๒๘๔

See also[edit]