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For the 1983 Indian film, see Mahabali (film).
Not to be confused with Mahaabali.
Vamana with Bali Maharaj
Family Virochana (father)
Children Banasura
Avatara Vamana splashes Bali’s head, and sends him to the Patala

Mahabali (IAST: Mahābalī, Devanagari: महाबली, Malayalam: മാവേലി, മഹാബലി) is also known as Bali or Māveli or "Vairochana" was a benevolent Asura King, and the grandson of Prahlada in Indian scriptures.

The story goes that Kerala was ruled by an Asura king, Mahabali. The King was greatly respected in his kingdom and was considered to be wise, judicious and extremely generous. It is said that Kerala witnessed its golden era in the reign of King Mahabali. Everybody was happy in the kingdom, there was no discrimination on the basis of caste or class. Rich and poor were equally treated. There was neither crime, nor corruption. People did not even lock their doors, as there were no thieves in that kingdom. There was no poverty, sorrow or disease in the reign of King Mahabali and everybody was happy and content.[1]

The festival of Onam is celebrated in Kerala to mark his yearly homecoming after being sent down to the underworld Sutala by Vamana, a dwarf and the fifth incarnation avatar of Vishnu.[2] The government of Kerala declared Onam as the ‘State Festival’ of Kerala in 1960.

Onappottan, a symbolic representation of King Bali.[3] Onappottan visits houses during the onam and gives blessings. Of late onappottan has become a rare sight, confined to villages.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "King Mahabali and Onam,Legend of King Mahabali,Story of King Mahabali". Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
  2. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 74. 
  3. ^ M. Nazeer (2010-08-10). "The abiding lore and spirit of Onam". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 

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Succeeded by