Most Thai people are Theravaden Buddhists. Theravada (pronounced "terra-vah-dah") meaning "doctorine of the elders" is based on the earliest surviving record of the Buddha's teachings. Buddhism and Temples are an important aspect of Thai life.
This is the Thai name given to a temple or temple complex in Thailand. The common types of buildings in a temple complex would be the Viharn, Phra Ubosot, Chedi, Prang, Ho Trai and Sala. Some temple complexes in rural areas may also have a school.
Also spelt as Wiharn. It is where the lay Buddhists come to pray. A temple complex can have several Viharn.It will house a large Buddha and smaller Buddha images inside.
Commonly called a Bot or Ubosot.
This is the hall where monks in Thailand get ordained and is also their main prayer room. Looking much like a Viharn but disquinguishable by the placement of Sema stones at the four corners of the building and the center of each wall of the building. A total of eight stones on the outside. A Ubosot may not be open to the public.
A Prang is built in the form of a spire. In Thailand the Prang originates from old Khmer architecture. Commonly found in the ancient city of Ayutthaya but the most famous Prang in Thailand is Wat Arun which is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. The photo here shows a Prang from Ayutthaya.
Also commonly called a Stupa.They are for containing the relics or cremated remains of a Buddhist monk or nun.
A small wooden stilted building to house a monk or more often they are large shared quarters for the monks and not individual dwellings.
The decorative ornament found on the roof top and end of a Wat. It is believed to symbolize the mythical creature Garuda.
Bell tower for calling the monks to perform morning and evening ceremonies.
A mythological giant found inside some temple grounds. Sometimes called a Yaksa who are the guardians of the gates.
A serpent creature in Buddhist and Hindu mythology. Often found adorning the top of the stairs or other outside entry to a temple.