Bali Chakravarti (बलिचक्रवर्तिः)

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The most famous donation of land in Hindu tradition is that by the Danav King Bali, who was the master of the entire Earth. He was asked for three paces of land by Shri Vishnu, disguised as a Brahmin. The King agreed to this, despite advice to the contrary by his Guru, Shukracharya.

Shri Vishnu then measured the entire Earth in one step, and the heavens in the second step. This left King Bali with no land to offer for the third step. The King then invited Shri Vishnu to place the third step on his head. Pleased with this, Shri Vishnu gave him the kingdom of the netherworld (Pataal). He also added that the benefits of any daan made without proper rituals will accrue to King Bali instead.[1]


  1. Agarwal, Sanjay. (2010) Daan and Other Giving Traditions in India. New Delhi: AccountAid, India