Ubosot of Wat Nimmanoradi, Bangkok

Buddhist art & architecture in Thailand

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is the and architecture of Buddhist temples in Thailand. Temples are known as wats, from the Pāḷi vāṭa, meaning “enclosure.” A temple has an enclosing wall that divides it from the secular world.

Wat architecture adheres to consistent principles. A wat, with few exceptions, consists of two parts: the Phutthawat and the Sangkhawat.

Thai Theravada Buddhism and Hindu cultures merged, and Hindu elements were introduced into Thai iconography.

Popular figures include the four-armed figure of Vishnu; the garuda (half man, half bird); the eight-armed Shiva; elephant-headed Ganesh; the Nāga, which appears as a snake, dragon or cobra; and the ghost-banishing giant Yaksha.

Ordination hall

The is a Buddhist building specifically consecrated and designated for the performance of the Buddhist ordination ritual (upasampada) and other ritual ceremonies, such as the recitation of the Patimokkha. The ordination hall is located within a boundary that defines “the space within which all members of a single local community have to assemble as a complete Sangha at a place appointed for ecclesiastical acts .” The constitution of the sīmā is regulated and defined by the Vinaya and its commentaries and sub-commentaries.

Maravijaya attitude

Māravijaya attitude or mara vichai is an attitude of Buddha in Thai art of which the seated Buddha is putting his hand in the relax posture towards to the ground, loosely holding his knee. The other hand is on his lap. His eyes, sometimes closed, look down to the ground. The gesture of the hand reaching the ground is called bhumisparshamudra, which also refers to the attitude as well. The gesture refers to the episode which the Buddha calling the earth to witness.

Meditation attitude

or known as meditating Buddha is an attitude of Buddha in Thai, Burmese, Khmer, Lao, and other Buddhist countries art, of which the seated Buddha is putting both of his upturned hands on the lap, usually putting his right hand on the top. His eyes are closed. The attitude refers to an episode where he reached enlightenment, meditating in this posture under the Bodhi tree. Other names in Thai are “reaching enlightment attitude” or the “first attitude” The attitude has another version called “Diamond Mediation attitude”, which the positions of his feet differs from this one.

Mondop

The is a building form in traditional Thai religious architecture featuring a square or cruciform building with a usually pointed roof. In the narrow sense, it refers to an enclosed square building with a roughly pyramidal, multi-tiered roof culminating in a tall pointed spire, with a roof structure very similar to the smaller . In the wider sense, the term may refer to religious buildings following a wide range of architectural styles, including historical structures more closely reflecting the Indic mandapa, from which they are likely derived.

Naga Prok attitude

(Thai: ปางนาคปรก; RTGS: pang nak prok), translated as “sheltered-by-the-naga Buddha”, is an attitude of Buddha in Burmese, Khmer, Lao and Thai art of which the seated Buddha in either the meditation attitude, or , is sheltered by or covered with a multi-headed nāga. The naga, whose name is Mucalinda, usually has seven or nine heads and appeared to coil the base of the Buddha statue.

Thai temple art and architecture

Thai temple art and architecture is the art and architecture of Buddhist temples in Thailand. Temples are known as wats, from the Pāḷi vāṭa, meaning “enclosure.” A temple has an enclosing wall that divides it from the secular world.

U Thong Style

The is one of the definitive styles for Buddha icons which developed in Thailand (Siam) in the southern capital of Ayutthaya. There are three distinct periods for the style, 12th to 13th century, 13th to 14th century and 13th to the 15th century, with some obvious overlap.

Ubosot

The ordination hall is a Buddhist building specifically consecrated and designated for the performance of the Buddhist ordination ritual (upasampada) and other ritual ceremonies, such as the recitation of the Patimokkha. The ordination hall is located within a boundary that defines “the space within which all members of a single local community have to assemble as a complete Sangha at a place appointed for ecclesiastical acts .” The constitution of the sīmā is regulated and defined by the Vinaya and its commentaries and sub-commentaries.

Bai sema

are boundary stones which designate the sacred area for a phra within a Thai Buddhist temple (wat); otherwise called sema hin (เสมาหิน).

Bell tower (wat)

Bell tower is one category of the Thai architectural structure in a wat for signaling the monks to do their praying ceremony.

Busabok

A busabok is a small open structure used in Thai culture as a throne for the monarch or for the enshrinement of Buddha images or other sacred objects. It is square-based and open-sided, usually with twelve indented corners, with four posts supporting a roughly pyramidal multi-tiered roof culminating in a pointed spire, and usually richly decorated. The structure of the multi-tiered roof is very similar, but much smaller in size, to the mondop architectural form. The term is derived from the Sanskrit word puṣpaka, a reference to the Pushpaka Vimana, a flying chariot from the Hindu epic Ramayana.

Chofa

is a Lao and Thai architectural decorative ornament that adorns the top at the end of wat and palace roofs in most Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. It resembles a tall thin bird and looks hornlike. The chofa is generally believed to represent the mythical creature Garuda, half bird and half man, who is the vehicle of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Ho trai

A is the library of a Thai Buddhist temple.

Indented corners (Thai architecture)

Indented corners, known in Thai as yo mum (ย่อมุม), are a feature of traditional Thai architecture where the corners of a rectangular structure are broken up into multiple recessed corners. The most common form features three angles at each of the structure’s four corners, and is referred to as twelve indented corners, or yo mum mai sip song (ย่อมุมไม้สิบสอง). The form is featured extensively in the religious architecture of the late Ayutthaya period, and can be found in stupas (chedi), building columns, and the tiered spires of the prasat architectural form.

Sala kan parian

is the highest form of a Thai temple sala (pavilion). This pavilion is traditionally built as a hall in which clerics can instruct lay people in Buddhist doctrine, and is sometimes also used as a place for monks to chant and perform ceremonies. A sala kan parian may be as large as an assembly hall, or even larger, and partly or fully enclosed by walls.

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