Vihara (विहार, vihāra) is the Sanskrit and Pali term for a Buddhist monastery. It originally meant "a secluded place in which to walk", and referred to "dwellings" or "refuges" used by wandering monks during the rainy season.
The northern Indian state of Bihar derives its name from the word "vihara", probably due to the abundance of Buddhist monasteries in that area. The word "vihara" also been borrowed in Malay where it is spelled "biara," and denotes a monastery or other non-Muslim places of worship. In Thailand and China (called jingshe; Chinese: 精舎), "vihara" has a narrower meaning, and designates a shrine hall. It is called a "Wihan" (วิหาร) in Thai, and a "Vihear" in Khmer. In Burmese, wihara (ဝိဟာရ, IPA: [wḭhəɹa̰]), means "monastery," but the native Burmese word kyaung (ကျောင်း, IPA: [tɕáʊɴ]) is preferred.