Finding a Glimpse into the Rural Life with Sonepur Mela

Growing up in Bihar means that you’ll be exposed to something called Mela. We used to have one for every occassion. There was one for Shivratri and a bigger one during Durga Puja. We used to wait for the puja vacations to start so that we can visit the mela grounds with parents.

One of the fairs was organized in Sonepur. It was our favorite place to be at New Year. In my childhood, Sonepur Mela had a more vibrant appeal that unfortunately violated many rules and regulations. From trafficking of rare animals to prostitution in the name of theater, there was everything that we will call unlawful today. Despite everything that happened behind the scenes, Sonepura mela remained in the list of best things to do in Bihar. Both Vaishali and Sonepur had their own cultural and mythological value and were counted among important places to visit in Bihar.

 

 

 

Times changed, we grew up and moved to bigger cities in search of a better life. Sonepur Mela started to lose its charm, not only for us but in general.

Last year when I visited this fair to shoot this video, it looked like a different place. Like an old frail man, Sonepur Mela is now counting its last days. Once counted among the most unique festivals in Bihar, it is now remained as a rural attraction. The lack of popularity and any initiative by Bihar government has ruined this festival. I wonder that how long till the Fair organizers stop coming here and move to the more lucrative options present in Nepal and Uttar Pradesh. We are just counting days until the stories of the biggest cattle fair of Asia will remain in videos like this.

Note: By the time I reached here, the cattle had already gone. This video shows the essence of mela and my stupidity to capture the actual thing that I was talking about.

Among the most vivid memories of my childhood include the yearly mela that used to have all kinds of bizzare activities. From a magician who’d take his head off to a bear who used to curse people (yes, he did), we used to have it all. But the maut ka kuan was the only this that would fascinate and scare the hell out of me at the same time. It used to be a nail-biting experience to watch these people ride their motorcycles over a artificially constructed well and that too for 10 shows every day. Time went by, mela stopped coming, the small town boy moved to a bigger city in search of a better life. . When I got to see the maut ka kuan at Sonepur mela this year, it brought all the memories back. 4 motorcyclists driving simultaneously, often holding hands and performing various stunts make you wonder, how far an individual would go in search of a better life. Later I got a chance to speak with these people, realized that each maut ka kuan is run by a family and they keep moving from a place to another. They go wherever the mela goes. . #Travel #Bihar #Jharkhand #Sonepur #SonepureMela #Patna #Hajipur #untamedjourneys#IncredibleIndia #Myluxetravel #IAmNikon #lonelyplanetindia #everydayindia #cntgiveitashot #IndiaPictures #shotoniphone #indianphotography #theuncommonbox #HalfArtist #worldbestgram #igersoftheday #photojournalism #mypixeldiary #vscocam #iphoneonly #bbctravel

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About Sonepur Mela – Sonepur Mela is the biggest cattle fair of Asia organized near Hajipur. An hour away from Patna, Sonepur is located on the banks of Gandak River and has a huge importance in mythology. Sonepur Mela is nearby attraction and one of the best places to visit near Patna.

Sonepur Mela is a month long festival that runs between late November and early January. One can travel from Patna by bus or taxi, spend a day and return home the same day.

Follow my journey on Instagram and Facebook

22 thoughts on “Finding a Glimpse into the Rural Life with Sonepur Mela

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  1. It is sad how some of the places of our best memories turn out, after we get older and revisit them. I too, have my share of them. I have realized though, that the younger generations have their own traditions now. It’s not like anything will be lost with time. Thing will only be transformed. 🙂

  2. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of village life.
    Sometimes when the city life gets too much I want to move away to a village and actually live there. But I know I won’t be able to.

  3. Things change with time, but your love for them keep it alive. Fairs are the life boosters of people of villages. the ‘maut ka kuwa’ looks great

  4. I love reading about exotic places that I most likely will never have a chance to visit. The traditions of other cultures are so fun to learn about. Thank you for a very interesting insight into rural life in your country.

  5. It can be tough when excitement starts to die out for things, that’s for sure. Your post was interesting to read.

  6. Wow, I love posts like this because they give me insights on places I probably will never get to visit. I’m sorry to hear that the fair might not be there much longer, such a shame. It really looks like so much fun. Well, hope you make the most of it before it ceases (if it ceases) Thanks for sharing

  7. Thank you for a very interesting insight into rural life in your country. I am so much excited to live in such a place. Great post and I love these kinds of posts.

  8. Wow, this is such an interesting post to read and I am so glad that your able to give a good insight about rural place.

  9. Such a shame to hear that it may not be there for much longer, one of the childhood fairs I used to visit no longer exists and it’s such a shame to lose a favourite place but memories last forever

  10. Sounds like fun memories! Well, there will really be changes but isn’t it good to have good memories? I am so curious about Bihar!

  11. A cattle affair sounds awesome…before though since today’s kids have very different preferences although I know that a much as you’ve grown, special memories like those are still cherished by you,right?

  12. aww this brings up feelings of nostalgia. As someone who left my home country at a young age, i have found memories of friends and places. Before we left Zambia for England. There was this field where we used to play and it was amazing, you can play and do anything there. However as times have changed etc, that play area is now a new housing estate.

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