A QUITE HAMLET
Situated on the confluence of the river Gandak and Ganges, Sonepur, shaped like a triangle is demarcated by three mighty rivers - the Ganga, Gandak, and Ghagra that demarcate this district. Sonepur is located in the Saran district in the northern part of Bihar.
Set in panoramic surroundings, Sonepur is a small quiet town situated over Asia's longest bridge, the Mahatma Gandhi Setu, which is a short distance from Patna. It is famed for the unique 3 week long Sonepur fair, rightly called the 'king of fairs' that is only one of its kind in the whole of Asia, that it hosts in the period of October - November.
ASIA'S LARGEST CATTLE FAIR
The Sonepur Fair is held on Karthik Purnima (the full moon day) in the month of November in Sonepur (Bihar), on the banks of river Ganga. It lasts for a fortnight and the cattle are decorated for the occasion.
In the months of November/December Sonepur in Bihar becomes the site of the Sonepur Livestock fair. It is Asia's largest cattle fair where anything can be bought right from elephants to camels, buffaloes, goats and all sorts of four-legged creatures.
The fair becomes a virtual explosion of colours, music, dances, magic shows, cattle, merchants and handicrafts as people from all over the world congregate to participate in this huge event. It has all the fun and hue of a popular fair, which has religious connotations as well and is enjoyed with a lot of jest and fanfare by all.
The fair is also a celebration of good over evil. Local folklore has it that a crocodile once caught the leg of an elephant that was bathing in the lake, who in turn tried to crush it under his feet. Then followed a mighty battle for thousands of years, joined by other crocodiles and elephants. Finally the elephant prayed to Vishnu for help and was released from the crocodile's hold when Vishnu killed it.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Patna airport is 25 kms from Sonepur.
Rail: sonepur is 25 kms from patna airport.
Road: Buses to Sonepur are available from Patna.
WHERE TO STAY
Tourist Rest House, Sonepur. Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation provides facilities for tourists in the traditional huts, during the fair.
Apart from the elephants, camels and other livestock, visitors to this fair can also buy garments, weapons and furniture, toys, utensils, agricultural implements, jewellery and various handicrafts.
Main languages: Bhojpuri, Maithili, Hindi and English
Clothing: Summer: Cotton And Tropical. Winter: Woollen.