By Aditya Bastikar, Std 3A, AVMBW

Once upon a time there was a King called Mahabali. Mahabali was an Asura but a worshipper of Lord Vishnu. He was a wise king. Because of his kindness he became very popular in heaven and on Earth. All of the gods became very jealous of him. They went to Lord Vishnu for help.

Lord Vishnu took the form of a dwarf Vamana and went to Mahabali’s  palace. He asked King Mahabali for one wish. And that was to take 3 strides on the earth and then that part of the land would be ruled by him. Mahabali granted his wish. Vamana started to grow bigger and bigger. He grew bigger than the earth. He took one step on heaven and the other on earth and had no more space for the third step. King Mahabali then offered his head for the third step. He bowed down.

Being a good king, the Gods offered him a last wish. He wished to come down to earth once a year to meet his people.

Every year this day is celebrated as Onam in Kerala. Onam falls in the harvest season. It is celebrated for days and during this time there are boat races and many other exciting celebrations.

The people of Kerala prepare a grand sadhya, which is served on a banana leaf and every guest is served with as much respect as King Mahabali.