The legend and rituals of this temple is closely linked to the origin of Sri Krishna temple at Guruvayur.
Accordingly, when Guru of devas Brihaspati and Vayu (Lord of the air) searched for a place to consecrate the idol of Lord Vishnu, they saw the divine dance of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in present day Guruvayoor. So brihaspati decided to install the idol at that place. Lord Shiva permitted Deva Guru to consecrate the Lord Krishna idol near to the lake known as Rudratheertha (present day temple tank.)
Then Brihaspati and Vayu requested Lord Shiva to take abode at the place so that the devotees shall get the blessings of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva in one place. Lord Shiva agreed and he opted Mammiyoor as his abode.
The striking feature of this temple is that it has Shrines to both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva considered in equal reverence. This is a rare practice in Kerala.
To complete the darshan at Guruvayoor, tradition holds that, one should also have darshan at Mammiyoor temple. Besides shrine to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu there are other shrines to Ayyappa, Bhagavathi and Nagaraja in the temple.
The temple is about two kilometers away from the Guruvayur temple.