Onam – The Legend Behind

Our stories section gets its brand new entry – about the story or the legend behind celebration of Onam. With Onam festivities still on, it’s just the right time to narrate the story of Onam to all those who are not aware of it. The legendary story goes as follows.

There was once a king, by the name of Mahabali, who was extremely popular amongst his subjects. His fame rose to an extent where gods found him a threat to their own rule. Worried and anxious, they approached Lord Vishnu and entreated him to do something that would solve their problem. Lord Vishnu promised to help the gods.

Very soon King Mahabali was approached by a dwarf brahmin seeking some assistance. The brahmin urged the king to grant him as much land as could be covered in his three footsteps. The king, who was not only famous but also generous agreed to the brahmin’s demand. Little did he know that the brahmin was no ordinary being but Lord Vishnu himself. And the moment his wish was granted,  the lord shed his disguise and grew into huge size. In two steps, he covered the heaven and earth. For the third, he turned towards King Mahabali, who had by now understood the god’s identity. Humbly, he offered his head for the third step.

Lord Vishnu was happy with the king’s offer and asked him to seek a boon. Mahabali, who was so deeply attached to his subjects, begged Lord Vishnu’s permission to visit his people once every year. His wish was granted before Lord Vishnu put his third step on his head to push him to nether.

Today, the people of Kerala decorate their house to welcome their favourite king Mahabali’s visit every year. This is the day when Onam is celebrated.


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