According to Hindu mythology, Markandeya was an ancient sage born in the clan of Rishi Bhrigu. Markandeya has been mentioned in several stories from the puranas. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. In Markandeya Purana, a dialogue between Markandeya and Jamini, a sage has been mentioned. In Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, there is a place called Markandeya Tirtha. It is believed that this is the place where Markandeya wrote the Markandeya Purana.

Markandeya Purana :

According to the legends, there used to be a rishi named Mrikandu, who used to live with his wife Marudmati. Both of them did not have any children and used to pray to Lord Shiva for a child. Lord Shiva pleased by their devotion appeared before them and gave them two choices. One was to be blessed with hundred sons, who will all live for long time and be foolish. The other choice was to be blessed with an intelligent son, but he will live for sixteen years only.

The rishi asked for the latter boon and was soon blessed with a son. This son of rishi was named Markandeya, who later grew up to be a handsome and intelligent boy. Everyone liked this boy and soon he learnt the Vedas and Sastras. But when this boy came close to become sixteen years old, the rishi became sad. Seeing his father sad, Markandeya asked him what the matter was. The rishi told his son about the boon of Lord Shiva and told him that soon when he turns sixteen, he will die.

Markandeya told his father that Lord Shiva is very kind to his devotees and from now onwards he will pray to Lord Shiva day and night. He built a Shivailinga and started to worship it. Yama the Lord of Death came to take Markandeya and pulled him, but Markandeya clung to Shiva-linga. Soon Lord Shiva emerged out of the Shiva-Linga and kicked Yama hard on his chest and told him to go away and never to get near to the child, since he will live forever. This is how Markandeya was saved from his death and he lived a long life due to the blessings of Lord Shiva.

Animated Story of Markandeya (Must Watch):

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