Sonepur Mela – Asia’s largest Cattle Fair
Sonepur mela is one of the biggest and the world’s greatest fair, it held every year in the month of November for 21 days.
Many believe that a struggle took place at this spot in Sonepur between the ruler of Gandharva, Huhu and Indraya muni; ultimately Lord Vishnu helping the weaker latter. That is why there is a vast gathering of devotees gathered at the confluence for the two holy rivers for the blessed dip at the adjacent “Harihar Nath temple” on the full moon day (Kartik Purnima). Many believe that Lord Ram established the temple on his way to Lanka. The locals regard that a dip here at this confluence of the 2 rivers is equivalent to giving away of 100 cows. However, it now attracts people from all geographical and religious diversity from the Punjab and Kashmir to Bhutan and Kerala. During the British Raj, merchants from Afghanistan and Britain used to attend.
Video of Sonepur Mela
Sonepur Mela is a famous cattle fair held at Sonepur, in Northern Bihar, on the banks of the River Ganga. It is one of the largest cattle fair of Asia. The full moon day of the month of Kartik is regarded as one of the most sacred days for the Hindus. It coincides with the month of November.
Photo Gallery of Sonepur Mela 2011 Sonepur cattle fair 2011, theater in sonepur mela
Sonepur located on the convergence of holy rivers Ganga and Gandak is revered as a blessed piece of land. The fair lasts for a fortnight.
In historic times, the Nawabs and Royal Rajahs used to camp here. Thus the Sonepur fair has unique and historical significance.
The main attraction of the Sonepur Mela is a bath at the confluence. Thousands of devotees also visit the Hariharnath Temple on the Kartika Purnima day.
The elaborate Mela ground bustles with the pulsating market and has the widest possible range of cattle and commodities. The array of shops sells various kinds of merchandise. Sonepur Fair is one of its kind, where a huge number of elephants are sold. These are purchased, mainly by, those working in the forest departments, and those involved in logging operations.
Apart from elephants, a large number of horses and cattle are also taken to the fair for sale.
Image Courtesy – http://www.pbase.com/clodreno/sonepur_fair