Sri Kanappa Temple is situated on a small hill in the town of Srikalahasti and has a very interesting legend associated with it. This temple in Srikalahasti is dedicated to an uncommon devotee of Lord Shiva who came to be known by the name Bhakta Kannapa. He is believed to be the reincarnation of Arjuna, the Pandava in the Mahabharata was a staunch Shiva devotee.
A tribal youth, by the name of Kanappa, became an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva after finding a lingam covered in leaves and dust. He brought water in his mouth from a nearby stream to clean the lingam and killed a wild boar and offered it as food to God, much against the scriptural rules. A priest challenged the devotion of Kanappa and to prove his superiority over other devotees and Lord Shiva decided to test Kanappa. The Lord made the Lingam bleed from the point of the eye.
Kanappa tried to stop the bleeding but was unable to do so. He then took out his own eye and placed it over the eye of the lingam and this immediately stopped the bleeding. Lord Shiva then appeared to him and granted Kanappa the boon of being worshipped along with Shiva Himself. Sri Kanappa temple is believed to be the site of the famous legend and devotees from all over the country visit this place all through the year.