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. 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 .
Buddhist monasticism is one of the earliest surviving forms of organized monasticism and one of the fundamental institutions of Buddhism. Monks and nuns, called bhikkhu and bhikkhuni, are responsible for the preservation and dissemination of the Buddha's teaching and the guidance of Buddhist lay people. Three surviving traditions of monastic discipline (Vinaya), govern modern monastic life in different regional traditions: - the Theravada in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka - the Dharmaguptaka in East Asia - .
Buddhist religious architecture developed in the Indian subcontinent. Three types of structures are associated with the religious architecture of early Buddhism: monasteries (viharas), places to venerate relics (stupas), and shrines or prayer halls, which later came to be called temples in some places. The initial function of a stupa was the veneration and safe-guarding of the relics of Gautama Buddha. The earliest archaeologically known example of a stupa is the relic stupa located in Vaishali, .