Sonepur offers lots of places of historical and spiritual importance to the Pilgrims and Tourists visiting Bihar.
Harihar Nath Temple
It is a World famous temple of Lord Hariharnath and the site of battle of Gaj(Elephant) and Grah (Crocodile) when Lord Vishnu rescued the Gaj on the day of Kartik Purnima (Full Moon Day in November). Sonepur is also known as Harihar Kshetra due to this.
The Ancient Temple was destroyed with time, the present day temple was built by Raja Ram Narain, a king during Mughal period.
On Kartik Purnima, Devotees assemble in masses to take holy dip at the confluence of River Ganga and Gandak and offer prayers to Lord Hariharnath.
It is the confluence of Rivers Ganga and Gandak. The River Gandak originates from the glaciers at Nepal-Tibet border. The River drains Nepal, passes through Royal Chitwan National Park (Nepal), Valmiki Tiger Reserve (Bihar) and finally merges in River Ganga at Sonepur. It is also known as Gandaki, Kali Gandaki or Narayani River.
The River is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata and its evolution is described in Holy Shiva Purana.
The river Gandak must have been the route of the movement of Budha and his followers from Nepal Tarai to Magadh that is why many of the stupas and similar structures, including Ashokas pillars, are found on the banks of the river.
The Temple of Lord Hariharnath is situated near the confluence of the two rivers. Another River called Mehi also meets Ganga near the confluence.
Sonepur Railway Station
Sonepur Junction is one of the prominent Railway Stations India. It has the 8th largest Railway Platform in the World with the end to end length of 2,415 ft (736 m). It was 2nd largest in World at the time of its construction.
Sonepur is one of the Six Divisions of East Central Railways.
World Famous Sonepur Cattle Fair is organized every year during November-December. It is considered by many as World’s Largest Cattle Fair where one can find large number of Elephants. Major attraction is the sight of numerous elephants, beautifully decorated for the purpose of sale.
Apart from elephants, a large number of cattle and horses are also brought to the fair for sale. Many farm animals can be bought at the Sonepur mela from all breeds of dogs, buffaloes, donkeys, ponies, Persian horses, rabbits, goats and even the occasional camel. Many varieties of birds and poultry are also available.
Numerous stalls are also set up at the grounds of the Sonepur Cattle Fair. You will find a wide variety of goods in these stalls, ranging from garments, to weapons and furniture, toys, utensils and agricultural implements, jewelry and handicrafts. Various folk shows, games and jugglers can be seen in the fair.
The Fair has its origins during ancient times when noted Magadha ruler Chandragupta Maurya (340 BC – 298 BC) used to buy elephants and horses across the river Ganges.
The Fair commences on the day of Kartik Poornima and lasts for more than a fortnight.
The Fair attracts International Visitors from countries like France, Italy, US, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Kazakhstan, Austria and Portugal.
Local Market is very rich where one can find lots of Handicrafts, Traditional Artefacts, souvenirs, Dresses, Pets, Furnitures.
Nepalese Temple, Kali Temple and several other places of social and historical importance are located in the area