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Sonepur Fair


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 month.

Fast Facts

Temperature : Summer: 40 - 30°C
Winter: 20 - 10°C
Season : October to March
Clothing : Light cotton in summer and woolen in winter
Languages spoken : Hindi and English
STD Code : 06158

Getting There

Air
The nearest airport is Patna that is connected to major cities in India.

Rail
Patna is the nearest railhead that is connected with major cities and places in India.

Road
Sonepur is connected by good motorable roads to all places in India.  
Sonepur is

  • 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
Tel/Fax: 2203060

Hotel Patliputra Ashok (ITDC)
Beer Chand Patel Path
Tel 0612 2226270

Tourist Bhawan
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. .

Excursions

Patna
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
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.

Muzaffarpur
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.

Kesaria
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
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.