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Legend says that markandeyan was a bhakt of lord Shiva. On his attaining the full term of life namely sixteen years, the yamaraja comes with the rope to snatch his life. Lord Shiva appears in disguise to save his bhakt Markandeya. The rope thrown by Yemaraj falls on lord Shiva and was pulled by yema along with his devotee Markandeya. Lord Shiva saved his devotee with blessing that he will never become old beyond sixteen and thus his life will not be snatched ever by yema, as he will be 16 for ever. This is the reason why people visit the famous temple at Thirukadaiyur in Tamil Nadu to perform Mrutunjeya Homa, to invoke the blessings of lord Shiva