The Vihara

Wihan Phra Phut Nuntaburi Sri Sakkayamuni, a Buddha's Teachings Hall, Nan

The Vihara is a replica of the Bot-it is used to keep Buddha images. In central Thailand the Vihara is smaller than the Bot, while in the north of Thailand it is the reverse. The reason of this difference is because in the north there are so many Wats that each Wat has few bhikkus-hence the Bot does not need to be large.


The image of the Reclining Buddha. The pearl-shell inlay soles of the Reclining Buddha showing the 108 auspicious signs placing in 67 small squares surrounding the Chakra at the centre

The Vihara or the Bot, according to the importance given to one of these structures when it was erected, is generally built in the centre of the courtyyard enclosed by a gallery walled outside and open inside having generally square pillars to support the roof. Along the gallery there are many Buddha images modelled in stucco, or cast in bronze. In few cases the walls of the verandah are decorated with paintings.


Small Viharn at behind the Wiharn Lai Kham, Chiang Mai

Four or more gateways give access to the courtyard. The roof of these galleries and gateways is covered with the universally used glazed tiles in brilliant colours, while the walls are painted in white. The general planning corresponds to the Indian prototype.


Phra Khuntarat in Wiharn Noi, Ayutthaya