The home to the world’s largest cattle fair, Sonepur is a subdivision in the state of Bihar. This subdivision is located at the banks of River Gandak and River Ganges which also makes it a sacred place for Hindu devotees. Sonepur city, in the Saran district of Bihar, hosts a cattle fair every year on the occasion of Kartik Purnima which is attended by thousands of people from all around the nation. The Sonepur Cattle Fair is the Biggest Cattle Fair in Asia. It used to be famous for the longest railway platform earlier.
Best Time to Visit Sonepur
Sonepur is one of the major cities of Bihar, hence it has got an important position when it comes to tourism. It is not only naturally blessed but also rich in culture. This makes it a year-round destination for anyone to get curious about. Though, exploring the city during March, and April, and October to December is an ideal time.
History of Sonepur
Sonepur has a significant mention in Hindu Mythology. And, it is also famous as Harihar Kshetra as “Hari” is another name of Lord Vishnu. According to history, the place used to hold a significant prominence during the reign of Mauryans.
Chandragupta Maurya used to visit the Sonepur market to buy elephants and horses for his army. During the Mughal rule, it was a major market for the trade of elephants and horses. British also used to visit Sonepur quite often to see the popularity of Sonepur Market.
Major Attractions in and Around Sonepur
The temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu and it is believed that Lord Rama constructed this temple during his visit to Janakpur. A large number of tourists are attracted to the temple on the full moon night in the month of Kartik.
2. Sashisena Temple
The temple is built to make the love between Sashisena, the princess of Amaravati, and Ahimanikya, the son of the minister of the kingdom immortal. This love story is quite famous among the villagers.
3. Saraswati Temple
It is known as the oldest Shakti shrine in Subarnapur where an idol of goddess Sureswari was placed after the killing of Kshatriyas by her. You’ll find the face of the idol towards the North in the temple and it was constructed by king Achal Singh of Chauhan of the dynasty.
If you want to spend some peaceful time with yourself, then visit the river Narayani aka Gandaki, a sacred river. Hindu devotees come here for holy dips in the Gandaki. You can enjoy boating and also can get an opportunity to check out Sonepur city.
5. Sonepur Cattle Fair
The biggest Cattle Fair in Asia, Sonepur Cattle Fair is a magnificent spectacle one can witness. Also, it is one of the major attractions for small traders in India and is quite significant for being one of the most ancient fairs in India. The cattle fair is held on Kartik Poornima. You can find several decorated elephants for sale, horses, and other breeds of domestic animals.
6. Local Market
There are several small shopping stalls that are quite famous. Tourists can also buy some local handicrafts, dresses, and pets when exploring the ancient Sonepur City.
How to Reach Sonepur
An ancient city holding a myriad of mythological and historical significance that can be seen in every element of Sonepur. Here, people mostly speak in Hindi and their local dialects of Bihar such as Maithili, Magahi, etc. The city is 1,071.0 km via NH27, 1,894.5 km via NH27, 599.9 km via NH19, 2,079.4 km via NH44 away from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively.
Sonepur does not have its own airport. The nearest airport is Jay Prakash Narayan Airport aka Patna Airport which is 25 kilometers away from Sonepur. The airport is one of the major airports of Bihar. It is connected to major cities of India such as Ranchi, Delhi, Amritsar, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore. It is served by well-known airline services such as GoAir, Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Vistara.
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Sonepur
The roads of Sonepur are well-routed with neighboring cities of the region. If you are planning a road trip from Delhi to Sonepur, you need to take the National Highway 27 which is Agra-Lucknow Expressway. If you are traveling from Kolkata to Sonepur, you will need to cover a distance of approximately 600 kilometers when you take the National Highway No. 19. Though, traveling from Mumbai and Bengaluru to Sonepure can be a little unbearable.
The nearest railway station is Sonpur Junction Railway Station. The station is well-networked with the neighboring cities as well as other cities in India. Another nearest station is Hajipur Railway Station which connects Sonepur, Muzaffarpur, Chhapra, Patna, and Barauni.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sonepur
Q. What are the popular tourist destinations in Sonepur?
A. Some of the popular tourist destinations in Sonepur include the Hariharnath Temple, Sonepur Mela Fairground, and Sonepur Cattle Fair.