Kiyomizu-dera Temple is located in Kyoto, Japan which has remained one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for worshippers since the Heian period in Japan. Kiyomizu literally means ‘pure water’ and it was named as Kiyomizu due to a waterfall within the complex, which flows from the nearby hills. This magnificent temple consists of 15 buildings that are now preserved as Japanese cultural heritage and this area where Kiyomizu temple is situated is known as the Eastern Hills (Higashiyama).
According to the most believed theory about its founder, the temple of Kiyomizu-dera was established in the year 798 by Enchin, a Buddhist priest dedicated to the Kannon Bosatsu (Bodhisattva of Mercy and Compassion). The bodhisattva is considered as one who keeps enlightenment but he remains on earth as a guide of achieving nirvana. Till 1629 it remained as it was built but then it was destroyed due to a fire. In 1633 the structure was restored and new buildings were constructed by Lemitsu Tokugawa, the 3rd shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Hondo is the name of its main hall which is built in ‘stage’ style and it is particularly known for the tremendous scenic background. Facing the magnificent hills it has a big veranda which is standing on massive pillars. ‘Kiyomizu Stage’ is also a big hall which is built on its top and offers splendid view below of the Kyoto city. These big halls and their large verandas were built in order to accommodate the day by day increase in the numbers of pilgrims.
Right beneath Hondo is a sacred waterfall which has three channels and the water is being fallen in a large pond. The pilgrims believe that drinking this water grants them power and their wishes come true. There are many shrines as well in the complex .The Jishu Shrine is the most prominent which has been linked with Ōkuninushi or Shinto Deity (god of love) that has two big stones and affixed together but with a gap so it has created a pass through. Walking in between these two stones and reaching the other stone with closed eyes implies that the pilgrim will find the partner and love.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple is specially known for the festivals which are held in the beginning of the New Year and during obon in the summer. Kiyomizu-dera Temple has also been mentioned in the ancient Japanese literature and it is considered as one of the wonders of the world due to its unique architecture.