One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Sri Lanka: the dwelling or hermitage of a Buddhist monk; the living-quarters of a Buddhist monastery. Also: the monastery itself; that part of a Buddhist temple complex that is for the monks.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in John Davy (1790–1868), physiologist and anatomist. From Sinhala pansala from Pali paṇṇasālā ascetic's hut from Sanskrit parṇaśālā forest shelter from parṇa leaf + śālā dwelling.
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