The Sonepur Fair/Sonepur Mela, also known as the Sonepur Cattle Fair, is a biennial fair held in the town of Sonepur in the state of Bihar, India. The fair is one of the largest cattle fairs in the world, and it is a major cultural and economic event in the region.
The Sonepur Mela, one of the oldest and most renowned fairs in India, has a long and interesting history. It was originally held in Hajipur, but was moved to Sonpur during the rule of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The Harihar Nath temple, which is the main venue of the fair, is believed to have been built by Lord Rama himself on his way to King Janak‘s court. Later, Raja Man Singh and Raja Ram Narain both made repairs and renovations to the temple. Today, the Harihar Nath temple stands as a testament to the rich history of the Sonpur Mela.
The Sonepur Fair is held on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartik, which usually falls in November. The fair lasts for about a month, and it attracts millions of visitors from all over India and beyond. The fair is known for its vibrant atmosphere, with stalls selling a wide variety of goods, including animals, handicrafts, and traditional clothing.
The main attraction of the this fair is the animal market, where buyers and sellers come from all over the country to trade in a variety of animals, including cows, bulls, goats, and camels. Once the fair was also a major venue for the trade of elephants, and it was known for its large elephant market.
In addition to the animal market, the Sonepur Fair also features a variety of cultural and entertainment events. There are traditional dance performances, music concerts, and other cultural programs, as well as rides and games for children. The fair is a great opportunity for visitors to experience the rich cultural heritage of Bihar and to learn more about the local traditions and customs.
The Fair also attracts International Visitors from countries like France, Italy, US, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Kazakhstan, Austria and Portugal.
If you’re planning to visit this fair, be sure to check out this photo gallery for a glimpse of the sights and sounds of the fair. The Sonepur Fair photo gallery by Subir Basak is a great way to get a feel for the atmosphere of the fair and to see some of the amazing animals and goods on display. From the vibrant colors of the stalls to the majestic elephants bathing, there is always something to see and photograph at the Sonepur Fair.
Whether you’re a photographer, a traveler, or simply someone who loves to experience new cultures, this fair is a must-see event. With its vibrant atmosphere and rich cultural traditions, the Sonepur Fair is a truly unique and unforgettable experience.