Category: world’s largest animal fairs

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The Sonepur Fair- One of the World’s largest animal fairs

The Sonepur Cattle Fair is held on Kartik Poornima (the full moon day) in the month of November in Sonepur, Bihar, on the confluence of river Ganga and Gandak. It is also known as Harihar Kshetra Mela and it attracts visitors from all over Asia. Till date, it is the biggest cattle fair of Asia and stretches on from fifteen days to one month.It has its origins during ancient times. This is when Chandragupta Maurya used to buy elephants and horses across the river Ganges. The Sonepur Cattle Fair once used to attract traders from places as distant as Central Asia.Sonepur is a town in the Indian state of Bihar, situated on the banks of the River Gandak in Saran district in the Indian state of Bihar.The Sonepur mela has a profound historic grandeur. According to the travelogue of a British administrative officer, W W Hynter, in 1919, the Sonepur mela used to be held in over 43 villages in the past.It has its origins during ancient times. This is when Chandragupta Maurya used to buy elephants and horses across the river Ganges. The mela used to attract traders from places as distant as Central Asia.

The Sonepur Fair is of great antiquity because it has its origins during ancient times. History reveals that Chandragupta Maurya used to buy elephants and horses across the river Ganges. Then it attracted traders from several places as distant as Central Asia. The site of the present fair was originally at Hajipur but shifted to Sonepur during the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. One of the purposes of the people visiting the Sonepur Cattle Fair, apart from the fair, is to take a holy dip and offer puja at the Hariharnath MahadeoTemple. From local folklore it is believed that the Hariharnath temple have been originally built by Lord Rama, on his way to the court of King Janak to win the hand of his daughter princess Sita.