Located on the confluence of river Ganga and Gandak, Sonepur in Saran district of
Bihar comes alive with excitement and vibrancy during the famed Sonepur Cattle Fair
or Sonepur Mela held on Kartik Poornima (the full moon day) in the month of November.
Also known as Harihar Kshetra Mela, this annual celebration, which dates back to
the Mauryan period, attracts visitors from all over Asia and offers the visitors
the opportunity to enjoy sights, sounds & shopping in a unique way. Till date,
it is the biggest cattle fair of Asia and stretches on from fifteen days to one
Summer: 40 - 30°C
Winter: 20 - 10°C
October to March
Light cotton in summer and woolen in winter
Hindi and English
The nearest airport is Patna that is connected to major cities in India.
Patna is the nearest railhead that is connected with major cities and places in
Sonepur is connected by good motorable roads to all places in India.
- 24 km from Patna
- 40 km from Motihari
- 80 km from Kesaria
- 80 km from Vaishali
- 42 km from Muzaffarpur
Hotels in Sonepur Fair
Fully furnished Swiss-type Cottages (with attached western toilets) in the Tourist
village set up at the Sonepur Fair Grounds, supported by catering and security facilities
and offering complimentary elephant ride. Visitors can also stay at many hotels
in Patna offering comfortable and reasonable accommodation.
Welcome Group Maurya
South Gandhi Maidan.
Tel: 0612 2203040
Hotel Patliputra Ashok (ITDC)
Beer Chand Patel Path
Tel 0612 2226270
Beerchand Patel Path
Things to Do
Sights to See
Harihar Nath Temple
One of the famous places of pilgrimages in Bihar, the shrine of Harihar Nath is
believed to have been originally built by Lord Ram, the famous prince of Ayodhya,
on his way to the court of King Janak to win the hand of Mata Sita. It is further
said that Raja Man Singh later got the temple repaired. The Harihar Nath temple,
as it stands today, was built by Raja Ram Narain and the most recent repairs on
the temple were undertaken by the Birlas.
The Fair Trade
Nearly all animals can be bought at the Sonepur Mela from all breeds of dogs, camels,
buffaloes, donkeys, ponies, monkeys, chimps, Persian horses, sheep, rabbits, bears,
cats, and guinea pigs. All varieties of birds, poultry and fishes are also available.
The area that attracts all, however, is the one where elephants are lined up for
sale. The Sonepur Fair is the only one where such a large number of elephants are
sold. Numerous stalls are also set up at the grounds of the Sonepur Cattle Fair.
You will find a wide variety of goods in these stalls, ranging from garments, to
weapons and furniture, toys, utensils and agricultural implements, jewelry and handicrafts.
Major attraction is the sight of numerous elephants, beautifully decorated for the
purpose of sale.
Nepalese Temple, Cattle Market, Animal show, Rural Theatres, Rural Markets and River
Ghats are other places of attractions in Sonepur. .
Patna, which in the ancient times was known as Pataliputra, is the capital of Bihar.
The city is among the world's oldest capital cities with unbroken history of
many centuries as imperial metropolis. The history and heritage of modern-day Patna
go back well over two millennia.
Vaishali attracts visitors who come to this district town in Bihar for a brush with
history and spirituality. The place has antiquities of centuries. One of the greatest
cities of the 5th century BC, Vaishali is credited with being the world's first
republic to have a duly elected assembly of representatives and efficient administration.
The place finds mention in the great epic of Ramayana.
One of the major cities and trading centres of Bihar, Muzaffarpur is located on
Burhi Gandak River and named after Muzaffar Khan who founded it in the 18th century.
The area which constitutes the present day Muzaffarpur once formed part of Lichhavi
kingdom, one of the oldest republics of the world. Vaishali, the seat of power of
the Lichhavi, shares its border with that of Muzaffarpur. Needless to say, there
are plenty of interesting historical sites around this area. The city’s other claim
to fame is its best quality Litchi, which are exported all over the world. Muzaffarpur
is also one of the gateways to Nepal.
There's a stupa at Kesaria near Motihari which is said to be the tallest and
the largest Buddhist stupa in the world. It was discovered in 1998 through excavation
by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Motihari is a town steeped in history. Motihari holds its eminence as the birth
place of famous writer George Orwell. It is the place where Mahatma Gandhi launched
his first Satyagraha known as Champaran Satyagraha.