ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sonepur Animal Fair

Updated on November 19, 2013

Animal Fair

SONEPUR ANIMAL FAIR

Sonepur is a town in Saran district of the Indian state of Bihar. It is situated at the confluence of the holy rivers Gandak & the Ganges (Ganga) & along the bank of the river Gandak, which originates in Nepal & joins here with the Ganges, the holiest of all the rivers as believed by billions of Hindus. Gandak is also considered a very sacred river as the Shaligram Shila (Narayan Shila) – a fossilized mollusk considered to be the symbol of Lord Vishnu – is found in the upper stretches of the river.

A very large (considered to be the largest in Asia) animal fair is held at Sonepur every year in the month of November-December . The fair , known as the Sonepur Mela or Harihara kshetra Mela, starts on the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima (the full-moon day in the month of Kartik of the Hindu almanac) & continues for one month.


Two elephants returning to Haathi Baazaar after a dip in the river
Two elephants returning to Haathi Baazaar after a dip in the river
People resting in a mango grove in the fair ground
People resting in a mango grove in the fair ground
The visitors in the fair
The visitors in the fair
A sign board welcoming the visitors in the fair
A sign board welcoming the visitors in the fair
The merchandise at display
The merchandise at display
A shopper with mouth-watering food
A shopper with mouth-watering food
A decorated elephant at the Haathi Baazar (Elephant Market)
A decorated elephant at the Haathi Baazar (Elephant Market)
Decorated elephants at the Haathi Baazar (Elephant Market)
Decorated elephants at the Haathi Baazar (Elephant Market)
Goats at the Bakri Baazaar (The Goat Market)
Goats at the Bakri Baazaar (The Goat Market)
A good purchase
A good purchase
Waiting for customers
Waiting for customers
The holy dip in the river Gandak
The holy dip in the river Gandak
An elephant being bathed in Gandak river
An elephant being bathed in Gandak river
An elephant being bathed in Gandak river
An elephant being bathed in Gandak river

Kartik Purnima

Kartik Purnima

The Kartik Purnima day is very auspicious for the Hindus, & many legends are associated with it.

It is said that Lord Shiva killed the demon Tripurasura on this day here to protect the gods from the tyranny of the demon. The gods were overjoyed & they celebrated the victory by observing Dwipavali (the festival of lights) on this day. For this reason the Kartik Purnima day is also known as Deo-Diwali or Deva-Dwipavali (Festival of lights of the gods). It is said that Lord Shiva stayed here on the request of the gods as a combined form with Lord Vishnu as Lord Hari-Hara (Hari = Vishnu & Hara = Shiva), & a temple was constructed at this place for Lord Hari-Hara, & the place was named Harihara kshetra.

According to another legend, Lord Vishnu interfered here on this day in the battle between two cursed Gandharvas (a sort of demi-gods), the Gaja (=elephant) who was actually the king Indrayamuna & the Makara (=crocodile) who was actually the Gandharva chief Huhu, & saved the Gaja by killing the crocodile, both of the fighters were thus released from the curse & went back to the heaven.


Harihar Kshetra (Chhetra) Mela

The Sonepur fair is also known as Harihar Chhetra/ Kshetra Mela. This fair combines religion wit trading in a nice way. People come here to have a holy dip at the confluence of the holy rivers Gandak & Ganga which, they believe, will wash away all their sins. After the dip, they lock to the fair to buy things they need, to eat the foodstuffs that are not easily available at their homes & the height of all, to see the different animals brought for trading that is the unique feature of this fair.

The Sonepur fair would have been an ordinary rural fair with the normal shops & merchandize , though very large in dimension, but for the unique feature of the animal fare portion. The fair has its origin in the ancient times, & has attracted traders & customers from faraway places like central Asia. It is said that the great emperor Chandragupta Maruya used to buy elephants & horses for his armed forces from this fair.

Many types of animals are traded here, including elephants, horses, cattle, goats, dogs, birds , rabbits & occasional camels. There are separate places for different types of animals like Haathi Baazaar for the elephants, Ghora Baazar for the horses, Bakri Baazaar for the goats, Chiria Baazaar for birds & so on. It is said that even slaves were traded here in the past.

One can see different types of breeds of different animals at one place, & this attracts a large number of traders & visitors too. The most spectacular sights include the elephants , decorated for the occasion, lined up for sale at Haathi Baazaar & the buyers riding horses as test-rides at the Ghora Baazaar.

The fair is something special, & should be seen by those who want to see the real India.

How to reach

Sonepur has its own railway station, & is well connected with the rest of the country via Patna, the state capital of Bihar. Sonepur is only 30 km from Patna, & is well connected with the latter by good road & rail.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Makhdum Ashraf 816 gmil com 3 years ago

      Makhdum ASHRAF HURTHAZAR PO MUKURIYA VIA BARSOI P'S AZAMNAZAR DIST KATIHAR STATE BIHA

    • profile image

      Palash Ghosh 4 years ago

      Very Good Information....

    • profile image

      Pradip Haldar 4 years ago

      Beautiful..

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)