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.

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.

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This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Prabashi Hirunika

    what a great insight to the rural life

  2. 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. 🙂

  3. nabanita

    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.

  4. Ruma

    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

  5. Sheryl Thompson

    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.

  6. Amber

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

  7. I really enjoyed this. I love when I find new posts about places I’ve never been, especially when there is a very interesting cultural aspect as well.

  8. Shannon Gurnee

    I’ve never heard of this place before, but it sounds like an amazing place to visit. I would love to check it out someday.

  9. 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

  10. Olga Zak

    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.

  11. Pradnya

    It’s unfortunate how such traditional forms of entertainment are dying in our country.

  12. Emma Riley

    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.

  13. glamglitzgloss

    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

  14. Abrah

    Love your story and your photos. What an adventure you are on.

  15. Ruth I.

    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!

  16. Jojo Hua

    Those photos look so professional and beautiful! I haven’t been here before but now I’m aware of it so I’ll know if I ever go here!

  17. tigerlilly quinn

    This is why I love reading blogs from all around the world as it gives you a perspective to a whole different lifestyle! I love your pictures too x

  18. Dalene Ekirapa

    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?

  19. anosa

    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.

  20. This Mum At Home

    That instagram post is crazy! Im still trying t figure out how they managed to do that! Great insite into your youger though .