The township of Sonepur is located in the Saran District of Bihar in proximity to Patna. The town on the banks of River Gandak is also a divisional headquarters of the East Central Railway of the Indian Railways. Sonepur was also identified as the gateway during the times of Lord Buddha, which provided access from Nepal Tarai to Magadh.
Sonepur is renowned for hosting one of the largest cattle fairs in the world, known as Sonepur Mela. It is situated at the confluence of two rivers, Ganges and Gandak, due to which the town is regarded as a holy site by Hindus. There are several ancient testimonies in the form of archaic stupas, Ashokan pillars and ancient mosques in the region that are reminiscent of medieval times.
A three week cattle fair is organised every year in the month of November, which draws a large number of people. In this fair, various animals starting from elephants to camels, cattle and birds are bought and sold. Earlier, the fair was organised at Hajipur and the ritual was performed at the Harihar Nath temple of Sonepur.
Sonepur fair of Bihar has its roots dating back to the Maurya Dynasty, when Chandragupta Maurya bought elephants and horses across the river Ganges from Patliputra. Keeping the tradition and culture of yesteryears alive, livestock is beautifully decorated and painted during the festival. A myriad of colours, music and dance performances are the highlighting attractions of this international event.
Travelling to Sonepur is not a hassle as the district is connected by air, rail and road transportation. The railhead of Sonepur is connected with the rest of the country. The airbase of Patna is the nearest airport serving the destination. The closest international airport to the town is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport of Kolkata.
Sonepur has significant variations in temperature throughout the year. Unaffected by the temperature changes, the destination experiences its peak season during the annual cattle fair in November.