Vihāra

viharaBuddhist monasteryviharasBuddhist monasteriesmonasterymonasterieswihanviharnBuddhist templetemple
Vihāra generally refers to a monastery for Buddhist renunciates.wikipedia
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Monastery

monasteriesmonasticmonastic community
Vihāra generally refers to a monastery for Buddhist renunciates.
Buddhist monasteries are generally called vihara (Pali language).

Architecture of India

Indian architectureIndianarchitecture
Vihara or vihara hall has a more specific meaning in the architecture of India, especially ancient Indian rock-cut architecture.
Later rock-cut viharas, occupied by monastic communities, survive, mostly in Western India, and in Bengal the floor-plans of brick-built equivalents survive.

Pali

PāliPali languagePāḷi
The concept is ancient and in early Sanskrit and Pali texts, it meant any arrangement of space or facilities for pleasure and entertainment.
According to K. R. Norman, it is likely that the viharas in North India had separate collections of material, preserved in the local dialect.

Chaitya

chaitya-grihachaitya hallChaitya-grihas
Some included a chaitya or worship hall nearby.
Chaityas appear at the same sites like the vihara, a strongly contrasting type of building with a low-ceilinged rectangular central hall, with small cells opening, off it, often on all sides.

Bihar

Bihar stateBihar, IndiaState of Bihar
The northern Indian state of Bihar derives its name from vihāra due to the abundance of Buddhist monasteries in that area.
The name Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit and Pali word vihāra (Devanagari: विहार), meaning "abode".

Ajanta Caves

AjantaAjanta caveAjantha
Typical large sites such as the Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad Caves, Karli Caves, and Kanheri Caves contain several viharas. These earliest rock-cut caves include the Bhaja Caves, the Karla Caves, and some of the Ajanta Caves.
The majority of the caves are vihara halls with symmetrical square plans.

Kyaung

Buddhist monasteriesBuddhist monasteryhpongyi kyaung
In Burmese, wihara, means "monastery," but the native Burmese word kyaung is preferred.
A kyaung is a monastery (vihara), comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of Buddhist monks.

Indian rock-cut architecture

rock-cutcave templesrock-cut monuments
Vihara or vihara hall has a more specific meaning in the architecture of India, especially ancient Indian rock-cut architecture.
These caves generally followed an apsidal plan with a stupa in the back for the chaityas, and a rectangular plan with surrounding cells for the viharas.

Karla Caves

KarleKarlaKarla Cave
Typical large sites such as the Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad Caves, Karli Caves, and Kanheri Caves contain several viharas. These earliest rock-cut caves include the Bhaja Caves, the Karla Caves, and some of the Ajanta Caves.
The caves house a Buddhist monastery dating back to the 2nd century BC.

Somapura Mahavihara

SomapuraPaharpurRuins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur
Somapura Mahavihara, also in Bangladesh, was a larger vihara, mostly 8th-century, with 177 cells around a huge central temple. According to Tibetan sources, five great mahaviharas stood out: Vikramashila, the premier university of the era; Nalanda, past its prime but still illustrious, Somapura, Odantapurā, and Jagaddala.
Somapura Mahavihara (সোমপুর মহাবিহার Shompur Môhabihar) in Paharpur, Badalgachhi Upazila, Naogaon District, Bangladesh is among the best known Buddhist viharas in the Indian Subcontinent and is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country.

Kanheri Caves

KanheriKanheri cave inscriptions
Typical large sites such as the Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad Caves, Karli Caves, and Kanheri Caves contain several viharas. Two vihara halls, Cave 5 at Ellora and Cave 11 at Kanheri, have very low platforms running most of the length of the main hall.
Most of the caves were Buddhist viharas, meant for living, studying, and meditating.

Ellora Caves

Elloracaves of ElloraEllora cave
Two vihara halls, Cave 5 at Ellora and Cave 11 at Kanheri, have very low platforms running most of the length of the main hall.
Eleven out of the twelve Buddhist caves consist of viharas, or monasteries with prayer halls: large, multi-storeyed buildings carved into the mountain face, including living quarters, sleeping quarters, kitchens, and other rooms.

Ashoka

AsokaAshoka the GreatEmperor Ashoka
During the 3rd-century BCE era of Ashoka, vihara yatras were travels aimed at enjoyments, pleasures and hobbies such as hunting.

Shalban Vihara

Shalban Vihara in Bangladesh is an example of a structural monastery with 115 cells, where the lower parts of the brick-built structure have been excavated.
The ruins are in the middle of the Lalmai hills ridge, and these are of a 7th-century Paharpur-style Buddhist viharas with 115 cells for monks.

Nasik Caves

Pandavleni CavesNashik CavesCave No. 3
The Krishna or Kanha Cave (Cave 19) at Nasik has the central hall with connected cells, and it is generally dated to about the 1st century BCE.
Most of the caves are viharas except for Cave 18 which is a chaitya of the 1st century BCE.

Kalawan

Vihara with central shrine containing devotional images of the Buddha, dated to about the 2nd century CE are found in the northwestern area of Gandhara, in sites such as Jaulian, Kalawan (in the Taxila area) or Dharmarajika, which states Behrendt, possibly were the prototypes for the 4th century monasteries such as those at Devnimori in Gujarat.
Kalawan has a vihara monastery, which is the largest in northern India.

Mahavihara

MahāviharaMaha ViharaMahavihara school
According to Tibetan sources, five great mahaviharas stood out: Vikramashila, the premier university of the era; Nalanda, past its prime but still illustrious, Somapura, Odantapurā, and Jagaddala.
Mahavihara is the Sanskrit and Pali term for a great vihara (Buddhist monastery) and is used to describe a monastic complex of viharas.

Bhaja Caves

Bhaja
These earliest rock-cut caves include the Bhaja Caves, the Karla Caves, and some of the Ajanta Caves.
Its vihara (Cave XVIII) has a pillared verandah in front and is adorned with unique reliefs.

Pandit Vihara

Other notable monasteries of the Pala Empire were Traikuta, Devikota (identified with ancient Kotivarsa, 'modern Bangarh'), and Pandit Vihara.
Pandit Vihara is a Buddhist vihara of ancient Bengal called Chaityabhumi is now known as Chittagong in Bangladesh.

Mainamati

MoynamotiMainamati MuseumThe Lalmai-Mainamati Group of monuments
Other important structural complexes have been discovered at Mainamati (Comilla district, Bangladesh).
Mainamati (ময়নামতি Môynamoti) is an isolated low, dimpled range of hills, dotted with more than 50 ancient Buddhist settlements dating to between the 8th and 12th century CE.

Nava Vihara

NaubaharNava VihāraNava-Vihara
The (नवविहार "New Monastery", modern Nawbahār, ) were two Buddhist monasteries close to the ancient city of Balkh in northern Afghanistan.

Wat

templeThai Buddhist templeThai temple
The term vihara is still sometimes used to refer to the monasteries/temples, also known as wat, but in Thailand it also took on a narrower meaning referring to certain buildings in the temple complex.
Strictly speaking a wat is a Buddhist sacred precinct with vihara (quarters for bhikkhus), a temple, an edifice housing a large image of Buddha and a facility for lessons.

Devni Mori

Devnimori
Vihara with central shrine containing devotional images of the Buddha, dated to about the 2nd century CE are found in the northwestern area of Gandhara, in sites such as Jaulian, Kalawan (in the Taxila area) or Dharmarajika, which states Behrendt, possibly were the prototypes for the 4th century monasteries such as those at Devnimori in Gujarat.
The viharas in Devni Mori were built from fired bricks.

Jagjivanpur

Recent excavations at Jagjivanpur (Malda district, West Bengal) revealed another Buddhist monastery (Nandadirghika-Udranga Mahavihara) of the ninth century.
The most significant findings from this site include a copper-plate inscription of Pala emperor Mahendrapaladeva and the structural remains of a 9th-century Buddhist Vihara: Nandadirghika-Udranga Mahavihara.

Gompa

Buddhist monasterygompasmonastery
Gompas, Gönpas, or Gumbas ( "remote place", Sanskrit araṇya ), also known as ling, are Buddhist ecclesiastical fortifications of learning, lineage and sādhanā that may be understood as a conflation of a fortification, a vihara and a university associated with Tibetan Buddhism and thus common in historical Tibetan regions including parts of China, India, Nepal, Ladakh and Bhutan.