:"This article is about a name for a Thai temple. For the Ethiopian dish, see Wat (food). For the Japanese pop duo, see WaT. For the Laibach album, see "WAT". See also WAT (disambiguation)."A wat (derived from the Sanskrit word "Vattaka") is a monastery temple in Cambodia, Thailand or Laos. The word "wat" (Khmer វត្ត)(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", from which "temple" derives, having the same root as "template".)

In Cambodia, a wat is used generally to refer to all kind of place of worship. Technically, wat generally refers to a Buddhist place of worship, but the technical term is វត្តពូទ្ធសាសនា (wat pootasasna). A church can be referred to either as វត្តយេស៊ូ (wat yeasu) or វីហារយេស៊ូ (vihear yeasu). Angkor Wat អង្ករវត្ត means city of temples.

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:
* chaidei or chedi (Khmer ចេតិយ), (Thai เจดีย์) (from Sanskrit: "chaitya", temple) - usually conical or bell-shaped buildings, often containing relics of Buddha
* vihear,viharn or wihaan (Khmer វីហារ), (Thai 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 (Khmer សាលា), (Thai ศาลา) (from Sanskrit: "Shala" - School, from an earlier meaning of "shelter") - a pavilion for relaxation or miscellaneous activities
* bot โบสถ์ or ubosoth อุโบสถ์ (from Pali "uposatha") - the holiest 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.
* haw trai หอไตร - Tripitaka library where Buddhist scriptures are kept
* haw klawng หอกลอง - drum tower
* haw rakhang หอระฆัง - bell tower
* "sala kan parian" (Thai: ศาลาการเปรียญ, study hall) is a multipurpose hall in a "wat". In the past this hall was only for monks to study in, as "parian" is a Pali word meaning 'educated monk' or 'monk student'.The living quarters of the monks, including the กุฏิ (กุติ "kuti" or กุด "kut" - monk cells) are separated from the sacred buildings.


Some well-known wats include:


* Angkor Wat, near Siem Reap, Cambodia
* Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh
* Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh


* Pha That Luang, Vientiane, Laos
* Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang


* Wat Suthat, Bangkok Thailand
* Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple), Bangkok
* Wat Ratchanadda, Bangkok
* Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok
* Wat Arun, Bangkok
* Wat Bowonniwet, Bangkok
* Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai
* Wat Aranyawiwake, Chiang Mai
* Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai
* Wat Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakhon Pathom
* Wat Phumin, Nan


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