A temple (from the Latin word templum) is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual rituals and activities
such as prayer and sacrifice . It is typically used for such buildings
belonging to all faiths where a more specific term such as church, mosque or synagogue is not generally used in English. These include Hinduism , Buddhism
, and Jainism among religions with many
modern followers, as well as other ancient
religions such as Ancient
Egyptian religion .
The form and function of temples is thus very variable, though they are often considered by believers to be in some sense the " house " of one
or more deities. Typically offerings of some sort are made to the deity , and other rituals enacted, and a special group of clergy maintain, and operate the temple. The degree to which the whole population of believers can access the building
varies significantly; often parts or even the whole main building
can only be accessed by the clergy . Temples typically have a main building
and a larger precinct, which may contain many other buildings
The word comes from Ancient
Rome , where a templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest , or augur. It has the same root as the word "template", a plan in preparation of the building
that was marked out on the ground by the augur. Templa also became associated with the dwelling places of a god or gods .