A benevolent Asura King, Mahabali, was loved and respected by all. However, the adoration of his subjects and absolute power inflated his ego, causing him to pompously declare that he was the Lord of of the three worlds and could give anyone anything they wanted. Lord Vishnu appeared as Vamana, the dwarf and asked Mahabali for three paces of land. When the king agreed, Vamana turned into the giant Urugaya, whose legs stretched beyound the abyss and his head rose above the clouds. With one step Vamana claimed the heavens and took his second step to claim the earth. When asked where He should place the third step, Bali was overwhelmed by humility at the sight of Trivikrama - conqueror of the three worlds and bowed his head. Vishnu’s foot on Bali’s head crushed his ego, granted him salvation and transformed him into a divine demon. This is the legend associated with the Ulagalandha Perumal Temple at Kanchipuram.
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