Difference between Chaityas and Viharas

Viharas were for the purpose of living, Chaityas were assemblies for the purpose of discussions. Further, Chaityas were with Stupas, Viharas did not have stupas.

Both early Chaityas and Viharas were made by woods and later stone-cut Chaityas and Viharas were made. Chaitya was a rectangular prayer hall with a stupa placed in the centre, the purpose was prayer. The Chaitya was divided into three parts, and had an apsidal ending, that is, a semicircular rear end, The central part of the hall (also called the nave) was separated from the two aisles by two rows of pillars, The chaityas also had polished interior walls, semicircular roofs and horse-shoe shaped windows called the Chaitya windows. Viharas were the residences of the monks.

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