IS ASIA’S LARGEST CATTLE FAIR LOSING ITS SIGNIFICANCE ??

Abhinav kumar singh
4 min readNov 29, 2022

The shocking data on Sonpur Mela

Ravi Raman Sinem Günel

Sonpur Mela alo known as Harihar Kshetra Mela is popular from the both point of view Historical and Cultural . With the attendence of more than 3 million it is the Asia’s largest cattle fair . Here the trade of animals like Dogs , Cats , Horses , Oxes and Elephants of every breed are done on the high scale . It begins on the Kartik poornima with the worship in the Hariharnath temple and lasts for almost one month.Since Sonpur is situated at the convergence of the sacred rivers Ganges and Gandak, the Hindus regard it as a holy site.

Sonpur Mela

The Sonpur Mela is held since the Vedic period . The fair was begun by the Chandrugupta maurya around 400 BCE . The actual venue of the fair was held in the Hajipur , only the puja was held in the Hariharnath temple , Sonpur . But during the rule of Mughal emperor Auragzeb the venue of the fair shifted to the Sonpur .

It is belived that the Hariharnath temple was actually built by the Hindu god Lord Rama on his way to the court of king Janak to win the goddess Sita .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.

Hariharnath Temple
No of animals brought in the fair from 2001 to 2017

In the above data it can be clearly seen that there were 11700% more elephants , 178.4% more horses and 32.754% more oxes were in the Sonpur mela in 2004 as compared to 2017 . This data is the matter of worry because the number of animals in the mela is decreasing every year by 17.83%.

Elephants lined up for the sale

In Sonpur Mela the animals of every breed of dogs , donkeys , cows , oxes , horses , rabits , goats and even the occassional camels and the variety of birds and poultry are sold . The Haathi bazaar is the place where elephants are lined up for the sale . However , since 2004 they cannot be legally sold for the enforcement of Wildlife Protection Act , 1972 . This is reason given by the experts for the decreasing number of elephants in the fair .

However , only the Elephants are getting disappered from the fair , the other animals are now too sold on the very high scale here ,maintaining its significance and popularity.

Sonpur Mela is not only famous for the trade of animals but also for the trade of various items such as clothes . The traders from the every part of the country such as Tamil Nadu , Punjab , Kashmir , Gujarat , Odisha , Jharkhand , Madhya Pradesh , Assam , Nagaland and etc comes here with there various art and crafts.

With the various rides the Sonpour Mela also had one small Disnep Land for the children and the yungsters too . Its rides are thrilling and exciting . Some examples are Marry Go Round , Break Dance , Swinging Boat and etc.

Rides in Sonpur Mela

Due to the Covid , the fair wasn’t held for two consecutive years for the first time in the past 200 years . However , in 2022 it is held once more . Many Foreign tourists visits the fair every year and the government also provides the special facilities to these tourists . Some are the Transportation facility from airport which is just 34 kms away from here in the capital city Patna , the living facility and many more . Various exhibitions are held here to spread awareness , tell everyone about the ancient indian culture and these all things are sponsered by the Bihar government .

--

--

Abhinav kumar singh

I am a high school student in India and I write about the multiple subjects. Since I am a young writer, Kindly support me.