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His offerings to the Sivalinga included wild flowers and cooked meat of the animals that he had hunted. Shocked at the so-called desecration of the shrine, a Brahmin priest was about to stop Kannappa. But Lord Siva appeared to him in a dream and told him to observe the hunter from a hidden location.

A half-finished pillar in the dark circumambulatory passage of the temple shows Kannappa offering what looks like a monitor lizard to the Sivalinga.

One day, when Kannappa returned with offerings, he saw that one eye of the Sivalinga was bleeding. Without hesitation, the hunter gouged out his own eye and transplanted the linga's bleeding eye with his own healthy one. When the linga's second eye started bleeding, Kannapa planted his big toe on the linga's damaged eye to mark the socket that would receive his remaining eye. Just as he was about to scoop out his second eye, Lord Siva appeared, commanded Kannappa to stop, and restored his eyes.

The Story of Kannappa

Some pillars in the temple tell the story of a tribal hunter called Kannappa, who was a great devotee of Siva.