Dear Ragini, Thanks very much for posting this great thing right here to share with biharis.It was here at Sonepur in 1888, the first meeting of the “Indian Association of Cow Protection” seminar took place. It was here at the Sonepur mela (mela in Hindi) that the freedom fighter Veer Kunwar Singh took the occasion of the assembly to actively recruit and inspire the people for fighting against the British imperialism both before and during the First Indian was of Independence in 1857. The cover of Sonepur mela led to the main launch of the struggle movement against the British in Bihar. The Provincial Congress Committee of Bihar and the Bihar Kisan Sabha (Farmers union) also used this mela and the gathering as a recruitment ground. That is why Sonepur mela was considered a political hotbed during the colonial rule by the British and kept a watchful eye.
Sonepur fair in Bihar, India has its origins during ancient times. This is where Chandragupta Maurya used to buy elephants and horses across the river Ganges from Patliputra (Patna of ancient times). Now Sonepur mela is one of the biggest and the world’s greatest fair. It takes place annually, 35 kilometres from Patna, the capital of Bihar. Sonepur mela is held for 21 days in the month of November (from around 5-6th) at the junction of the rivers, Ganga and Gandak. It even has a legendary tale attached to it. Many believe that a struggle took place at this spot in Sonepur between the ruler of Gandharva, Huhu and Indraya muni; ultimately Lord Vishnu helping the weaker latter. That is why there is a vast gathering of devotees gathered at the confluence for the two holy rivers for the blessed dip at the adjacent “Harihar Nath temple” on the full moon day (Kartik Purnima). Many believe that Lord Ram established the temple on his way to Lanka. The locals regard that a dip here at this confluence of the 2 rivers is equivalent to giving away of 100 cows. However, it now attracts people from all geographical and religious diversity from the Punjab and Kashmir to Bhutan and Kerala. During the British Raj, merchants from Afghanistan and Britain used to attend.
Sonepur mela is the Asia’s and probably one of the worlds largest cattle fair. No other mela in Bihar can boast about the crowds it attracts whether it’s Diwali, Chhath, Sivaratri, Ramnavami, Kartik Purnima, Janmashthami, Holi or Durga puja.
Nearly all animals brought here for sale include all breeds of dogs to camels to buffaloes, donkeys, ponies, monkeys, chimps, Persian horses, sheep, rabbits, bears, cats, and guinea pigs. All varieties of birds, poultry and fishes are also available. The Sonepur mela specialises in the sale of every type of bird and animal, big or small.This is only place in the world that sells elephants in large numbers. Handicrafts, paintings and pottery not only from famous Madhubani but all over India can be seen here. All varieties of horticulture can be admired; this is a particular feast for the people of Bihar as it’s a major opportunity to enhance their gardens. Temporary shops selling household goods, local and branded clothing and commercial merchandise are also up for sale. At the Sonepure mela one can buy almost anything. Not to forget the food lovers, it’s absolutely divine. In recent years, government and several companies have started installing their shops to promote their products and services.
It even runs health camps for the wellbeing of animals specially elephants. Animal farmers, circus entertainers, traders and individuals come for a bargain. Some come for the sheer entertainment and a family day out that it provides.
Sonpur mela is very famous it is the bigeest cattele fair in asia. u can find various types of animals birds and etc. u can enjoy every moment of life.
Dear Ragini namskaar
Ur disccusion is very interesting and attractiv. I also belong to sonpur sonpur is my village. I saw the fair. in mela u can see all new types of animals birds,. And u can see the nautanki, dances and enjoy everymoments of meal activities. Mela sponsered by the bihar govt. nr, hariharnath temple. and u can see and purchase of furniture, crockery items and animals and very interesting place.
Indeed, it is a great place to be in during Mela but someone rightly commented that now a days it is famous for Crudely indecent behaviour. Government has fail to tame these immoral activity in the fair and due to that many Bihari abstain to attend the Mela. Sonepur Mela can generate millions of foreign currency, provided it is promoted well through good event management company.. Pushkar mela has been a great example for its extraordinary success and popularity among international tourist.
Sonepur Mela is no lesser than Pushakar Mela and to a certain extent it is far better than Pushkar but it is failing due to ill associated with this mela and due to poor show by the government and no promotion by Indian tourism department , particularly I shall blame Bihar tourism department...
Let us use this sight to create awareness to non biharis about sonepur mela....Ragini has done her part, let us do ours...
Originally, the venue of the fair was Hajipur and only the performance of the puja used to take place at the Harihar Nath temple of Sonepur. However, under the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the venue of the fair got shifted to Sonepur. The temple of Harihar Nath is believed to have been originally built by Lord Rama, on his way to the court of King Janak to win the hand of Mata Sita. It is further said that Raja Man Singh later got the temple repaired. The Harihar Nath temple, as it stands today, was built by Raja Ram Narain, an influential person during the late Mughal period.
Gajendhra Moksha legend is associated with the temple in Sonepur. It involves the story of king Indrayamuna and the Gandharva chief Huhu, who were turned into an elephant and a crocodile respectively by the curse of great sages Agasthya and Dewala muni. One day the elephant's leg was caught by the crocodile. It is said that both of them fought hard for many years with their herds. But ultimately the King Elephant weakened and prayed to the supreme god Vishnu (Hari) to save him. Vishnu heard his prayer and cut down the crocodile with his Chakra . But the touch of the chakra released Huhu from the curse. Vishnu also released Indrayamuna from his curse and took him to his abode Vaikuntha.
Since Sonepur is situated at the convergence of the sacred rivers Ganges and Gandak , the Hindu regard it as a holy site. One of the purposes of the people visiting the Sonepur Cattle Fair, apart from the fair, is to take a holy dip at the convergence and pay respects at the Hariharnath Temple