Vamana avatar is a story of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation. Lord Vishnu decided to be born as Aditi and Kashyap’s son. The son was a dwarf or a Vamana. This was the Vamana avatara (dwarf incarnation) of Vishnu dashavatara which was taken to save Indra’s kingdom.
There was a king of the daityas named Bali. Bali was the grandson of Prahlada, the son of Hiranyakshyap. He was powerful and invincible. He was also righteous and truthful. The gods cold not bear to see Bali’s prosperity and began to plot how Bali might be foiled. So well did Bali rule that disease, drought and evil disappeared throughout the three worlds.
Bali had organised a horse sacrifice. Many sages came to the sacrifice and Shukracharya was the chief priest. The dwarf (Vamana) also arrived at yajna.
Shukracharya, the guru of Daityas, realised that the dwarf was none other than Vishnu. He warned Bali not to promise anything to the Vamana (The Dwarf), who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu ( a dashavatara).
Bali replied that it would be his honour to serve Lord Vishnu. Bali went to the dwarf and asked what he had wanted. Vishnu expressed the wish that he might be given as much of land as might be covered in three of the dwarf’s steps. This boon Bali readily granted. But no sooner than the boon had been granted, the dwarf adopted a gigantic form.
In two steps, the Dwarf covered the whole kingdom of Bali, from heaven to earth to nether world and demanded where he should place his third step. Bali offered himself. Vishnu was charmed at Bali’s generosity.He then appointed Bali king of the underworld and Indra’s kingdom was returned back to him.
Vamana Avatar is instantly recognizable with the short frame having a wooden umbrella.