Sage Mrikandu has no child and performed severe penance for several years.Lord Shiva granted him the boon and then Markandeya was born. He was supposed to live only upto the age of 16. After knowing this, young Markandeya left his parents and went to the forest and created a Shivalingam on soil on his own and performed deep meditation on Lord Shiva.
After his time in the earth is over, Lord Yama approached him and tried to put the rope on his neck but suddenly it was struck the Shivalingam. Lord Shiva angrily emerged from the Shivalingam and burnt Lord Yama into ashes.
Due to the prayers of divine gods, he gave the life for Lord Yama. And Lord Shiva granted Markandeya the boon for becoming Chiranjeevi – Always 16 and there is no end for his life. He always remain constant. Such a pure Bhakti he observed.
Markandeya returned to his place and narrated the detail to his parents. His parents were very happy and worshipped Lord Shiva for returning their child’s life. Even today, Markandeya Maharshi is alive and fulfills the wishes of his devotees.