Sonepur is located on the banks of River Gandak, a tributary of Holy River Ganges. It lies in Saran District in State of Bihar, India.
Why is Sonepur Famous?
Sonepur is famous for Hariharnath Temple and Sonepur Cattle Fair which is largest in Asia.
- Coordinates- 25.7°N to 85.18°E
- AMSL- 42 meters
- Nearest Highway – National Highway-19
How to reach Sonpur, Bihar :
Sonepur lies in Saran District of Bihar. It is few kilometers away from Patna, Capital City of Bihar. Sonepur is well connected through Rail, Road and Air routes to important places of India. Roadways
Sonepur is nearly 3 Km from Hajipur and 25 km from Patna. Buses, Taxis and Auto-rickshaws are easily available as means of transportation.
Railways : The Nearest Railway Station is Sonepur Junction. It is the 8th Largest Railway Platform in the World. It has trains connecting almost every part of India and the divisional headquarters of the East Central Railway of the Indian Railways
Waterways : Bihar State Transport Development Corporation arranges ferries in Ganges and Gandak Rivers to Sonepur during the season of Sonepur Cattle Fair. During Tourist seasons, BSTDC organizes River Cruises from Patna to Sonpur.
Places to visit in Sonpur :
Sonepur has a nice itinerary of tourist places. These are, Historical, cultural, adventurous in nature and give tourist a big opportunity to enjoy the environment. Some must see sites at Sonepur Bihar are as following:
Sonepur Cattle Fair :
Sonepur Town at Saran District of Bihar in India is famous for its Cattle Fair that is held annually.The Fair is held on Kartik Poornima (the full moon day) in November which is going to fall on November 14 in 2016. Kartik Poornima is celebrated 15 days after the Diwali Festival in India. Fair is spread over 15 days and sometimes to month. It is also famous as Harihar Kshetra Mela and it attracts visitors from across Asia.
Sonepur Cattle Fair is mainly famous for large number of Elephants bought and sold in fair. These elephants are mostly brought from neighboring Assam state and are mesmerizingly decorated with bright colors.
Harihar Nath Temple :
The Temple of Lord Hariharnath is situated near the confluence of the two rivers.
Hariharnath Temple is dedicated to one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu i.e. Hariharnath. People arrive at the temple on Kartik Purnima in huge numbers and take a holy dip into the River Ganges and River Gandak. Belief is that, taking a dip on the occasion of Kartika Purnima gives one freedom from cycle of rebirth.
Hariharnath Temple has historical relevance from ancient times. It is believed that Lord Vishnu took Avatara of Hariharnath to kill Crocodile to save the elephant he was trying to kill.
The temple has been erased many times in Mughal Period and restored by local rulers.
Sangam of Sonpur :
Sangam in Hindi translates to confluence. Sangam is the place where River Ganges and River Gandak meet each other. River Gandak emerges from the glaciers at Nepal-Tibet border. The River drains Nepal and called by the names Sadanira and Shaligrami. It passes through Royal Chitwan National Park (Nepal), Valmiki Tiger Reserve (Bihar) and finally merges in River Ganges at Sonpur. It is also called Gandaki, Kali Gandaki or Narayani River at different places it passes from.
River is described in ancient scriptures of Hindu religion. It is also important as it is a perennial river which is evergreen source of water. Another river called Mehi also meets Ganga near the confluence.
Sonepur Market :
You can find a large variety of souvenirs especially made for tourists in local market of Sonpur. Else, all the household articles, luxury goods, items of basic needs, furniture and handicrafts are abundant in market.
Besides these important sites there are other tourist attractions too in Sonpur. Some of the most visited places other than Hariharnath Temple, Cattle Fair and Sangam are listed below for your better convenience:
- Nepalese Temple
- Kali Temple
- Buddhist Stupa
- Asokan Pillars and Inscriptions
- Rajgir Mahotsav
History of Sonepur Town :
Sonepur has been important from ancient times as described in legends of Hindu Scriptures. It is said that once Lord Vishnu appeared on earth to save elephant from clutches of crocodile. Since Lord Vishnu is also called Hari, the place is famous as Harihar Kshetra. A temple also exists at the place in the name of Lord Hariharnath to pay reverence to Lord Vishnu.
Later, Sonepur came in to prominence in 3rd-4th century in the reign of mighty Mauryan Rulers. Chandragupta used to visit Sonepur yearly to buy elephants and horses for his infantry and cavalry.
In the time of Mughals Sonepur used to be a market supplying elephants and horses for Mughal army and expeditions of Aurangzeb.
Afterwards, British lived in Bihar in colonial period and used to visit the place to see the congregation.