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Known as the biggest cattle fair in Asia, Sonepur Mela is also popular as the Harihar Kshetra Mela. It is a very interesting annual fare for those who want to buy and sell animals like elephants, dogs, and even birds. 

Taking place in the month of November, this festival falls on the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima. It is a month-long fair which usually attracts a lot of people from all around the nation. What’s really interesting is that this place also has a historical angle associated with it dating back to the time period of Chandragupta Maurya. 

History of Sonpur Mela Cattle Fair 

If the legends are to be believed then, once upon a time Sonepur was a battleground of the never-ending fight of Gaj and Grah i.e. the elephant and the crocodile. As per the story, the elephant had come to bathe in the lake and that was when a crocodile, who was hiding in the water all this time, grabbed one of the elephant’s legs. 

It is said that the struggle to break free from the grip of the crocodile had lasted for years. And in his weak moments, the elephant had prayed to Lord Vishnu to save him. It was only after a lot of praying and devotion that the elephant was saved by Lord Vishnu himself. 

Also Read: This fun fair attracts over half a million people every year

Historical Background of Sonepur Mela

Historically, the origins of this fair can be traced back to the reign of King Chandragupta Maurya. Yes, this is so because he used to buy elephants and horses across the holy river, Ganges. It is said that during that particular time, Sonepur used to be just a religious site and the fair used to be held at Hajipur. However, all of this changed during the rule of Aurangzeb and since then, this place has been the venue for this fair. 

Major Attractions of Sonepur Mela Cattle Fair

The major attraction of the Sonepur Mela Fair is the extensively decorated elephants lined up for sale. There, one gets to witness a very diverse variety of animals like cattle, birds, dogs, and even cats. 

Apart from this, Sonepur Mela not just promises the tourists with an abundance of cattle trading but also a nice blend of fun activities. During this festival, people from different cultures and traditions come here to experience it and take home some of the most memorable moments with them. Many devotees also come to take a holy dip in the mighty Ganges as this time is considered quite auspicious for self-purification. 

How to Reach

Sonepur Mela is a very interesting event to explore. Happening in the state of Bihar Sonepur Mela sometimes also referred to as Sonpur Mela and Harihar Kshetra Mela happens on the confluence of Ganges. Sonepur, Bihar is located at a total distance of 1,071, 1,761, 2,105, 568 from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. Let’s discuss how you can reach here via the following routes.

By Air. The nearest airport is the Patna Airport (PAT) which is situated at an approximate distance of about 30 km. Patna Airport, also known as Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport is considered as the 16th busiest airport in India.

And to further meet the overall demands, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has been working for expanding this airport’s infrastructural facilities.

Many airlines like Vistara Airlines, Spicejet, IndiGo, and Go Air operate to and fro Patna with good connectivity with cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai. After you deboard at the airport, you can easily take a cab.

By Train. You will need to deboard at the Sonpur Junction. There are a total number of four platforms at this station and has been connected with about 4 foot-over bridges. In 2011, the overall length of these platforms was increased so that they could accommodate 24 train coaches at a time. Here is how you can reach Sonpur via the following places. 

  1. Delhi - Board Bihar S Kranti or Vaishali Express from New Delhi Railway Station and deboard at Sonpur Junction
  2. Lucknow - Board Shaheed Express via Aishbagh Junction and deboard at Sonpur Junction
  3. Kanpur - Board Vaishali Express via Kanpur Central station and deboard at Sonpur Junction
  4. Ranchi - Board Maurya Express via Ranchi Junction and deboard at Sonpur Junction
  5. Ludhiana - Board Maur Dhawaj Express via Ludhiana Junction and deboard at Sonpur Junction 

After getting off the train at Sonpur Junction, you will need to take a cab or some other means of transportation like a bus. 

By Road. Sonpur is well connected with other cities via road networks. Here is how you can reach Sonepur via roads. Depending upon your location you can either take a cab or a bus to travel here.

  1. Delhi - 1,070 km via Agra Lucknow Expressway 
  2. Lucknow - 518 km via NH27
  3. Ghaziabad - 1,045 km via NH19
  4. Dehradun - 1,274 km via NH27 

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here


  • 31 Days

  • Fairs

  • Bihar
  • Event date

    20 November 2020 - 05 December 2020

  • Venue

    Sonpur

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