Known as the biggest cattle fair in Asia, Sonepur Mela in Bihar, also known as Harihar Kshetra Mela, is a fascinating annual event that transcends traditional boundaries. Enchanting visitors with its vibrant blend of commerce and culture, the fair is renowned for facilitating the trade of diverse animals, including elephants, dogs, and birds. Beyond being a hub for livestock transactions, Sonepur Mela boasts an array of cultural activities, religious rituals, and lively performances, making it a multifaceted experience.
The fair's historical significance, coupled with its contemporary allure, draws people from far and wide, creating a lively tapestry that reflects the rich heritage and traditions of this remarkable region. Sonepur Mela is not just a marketplace; it's a cultural celebration that captivates the senses of all who partake in its charm. Keep reading to grab more insights into the event!
Date & Venue of Sonpur Mela 2024
Taking place from 20th November to 5th December, this festival falls on the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima. It is about a 15-day fair which usually attracts a lot of people from all around the nation. What’s interesting is that this place also has a historical angle associated with it dating back to the period of Chandragupta Maurya.
History of Sonpur Mela 2024 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 crocodile's grip 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 Lord Vishnu himself saved the elephant.
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, the 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 2024
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 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 Fair 2024
Sonepur Mela is a very interesting event to explore. In the state of Bihar Sonepur Mela sometimes also referred to as Sonpur Mela and Harihar Kshetra Mela happens on the confluence of Ganges. Let’s discuss how you can reach here via the following routes.
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 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.
You will need to deboard at the Sonpur Junction. There are a total number of four platforms at this station and have 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.
Delhi - Board Bihar S Kranti or Vaishali Express from New Delhi Railway Station and deboard at Sonpur Junction
Lucknow - Board Shaheed Express via Aishbagh Junction and deboard at Sonpur Junction
Kanpur - Board Vaishali Express via Kanpur Central station and deboard at Sonpur Junction
Ranchi - Board Maurya Express via Ranchi Junction and deboard at Sonpur Junction
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.
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.
Delhi - 1,070 km via Agra Lucknow Expressway
Lucknow - 518 km via NH27
Ghaziabad - 1,045 km via NH19
Dehradun - 1,274 km via NH27
In conclusion, the Sonepur Mela stands as a testament to India's vibrant cultural tapestry, blending tradition and modernity with unparalleled charm. The melange of activities, from religious ceremonies to bustling trade, creates an atmosphere that is both spiritually enriching and commercially vibrant. The Sonepur Mela is not merely an event; it's a living spectacle that mirrors the resilience and diversity of India's cultural heritage, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those who partake in its festivities. Come, book with adotrip.com and unlock a completely hassle-free travel experience.
Q1. What is Sonepur Mela?
A1. Sonepur Mela is a historic fair in Bihar, India, renowned as Asia's largest cattle fair and a vibrant cultural extravaganza.
Q2. When does Sonepur Mela take place?
A2. Sonepur Mela typically takes place in November, starting on Kartik Purnima and lasting for several weeks.
Q3. What can visitors expect to see at Sonepur Mela?
A3. Visitors can witness a diverse range of activities, including cattle trading, religious rituals, cultural performances, and a bustling marketplace.
Q 4. How to reach Sonepur Mela?
A4. Sonepur is well-connected by road and rail; the nearest airport is Patna Airport, approximately 25 kilometres away.
Q5. Are there accommodations available near Sonepur Mela?
A5. Yes, there are various accommodation options, including hotels and guesthouses, in Sonepur and nearby towns to cater to the influx of visitors during the Mela.