This is one of the holy places of Saivism today. Legend has it that Mrikandu, a sage and devotee of Lord Siva, prayed to God to bless him with a son. God appeared and gave him a choice to select the type of child he wanted - An honest responsible and virtuous son who will live only for 16 years or a son who would live for 100 years but whose behavior is bad. Mrikandu chose the former.
The boy, named Markandeya also grew up to be an ardent devotee of Siva. The destined time came, when Yama (the lord of death) tried to snatch the life of the boy. Markandeya went to the temple and clutched at the Siva Lingam in a bid to escape death. Pleased by the boy's belief, Siva rescued him from death, incarnating him as Kalantaka (the ender of death).
Here the Lord Shiva killed Yama, for the sake of his votary and has known as Lord Mirthunjayamoorthi. Hence, people perform Shastiapthapoorthi at the begininning of 61st Age of their Star Birthday, Bheemaradha Shanthi at the beginning of 70th Age of their Star Birthday and Sadabishegam at the beginning of 80th Age of their Star Birthday. Other important functions take place here are Ayush-Homam for Children to remove the future Astrolgical difficulties arising from Navagrahas. If anybody is suffering from serious disease and is in the verge of their lives, Mirthunja-Homam is performed here to Lord to save their lives and to relieve them from all illness. This is a proven fact.