King Bali of Kerala was a generous ruler but also very ambitious. To propitiate the Gods he performed a Yagna (fire sacrifice). His Yagna was so successful that even the gods were terrified to appear before him and grant him a boon for fear that he might ask for something which was beyond their capacity. Some of the Gods pleaded with Lord Vishnu to check King Bali’s power. Lord Vishnu came to earth in the form of a dwarf dressed as priest(Vamana).
When Vamana reached King Bali’s court, he asked the king to grant him whatever he asked for. je proceeded saying, “You are the ruler of the three worlds: the Earth, the world above the skies and the underworld. Would you give me the space that I could cover with three strides?” King Bali laughed. This request seemed strange to all the courtiers, but king Bali granted it. Surely a dwarf could not cover much ground, thought the King, who agreed to dwarf’s request. Read more of this post