The Sonepur Cattle Fair is held on Kartik Poornima (the full moon day) in the month of November in Sonepur, Bihar, on the confluence of river Ganges and Gandak.It is also known as Harihar Kshetra Mela and it attracts visitors from all over Asia. Till date, it is the biggest cattle fair of Asia and stretches on from fifteen days to one month. It has its origins during ancient times. This is when Chandragupta Maurya used to buy elephants and horses across the river Ganges.
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. The area that attracts all, however, is the Haathi Bazaar where elephants are lined up for sale. The Sonepur Fair is the only place where such a large number of elephants are traded – although they cannot legally be sold. Numerous stalls are also set up at the grounds of the Sonepur Cattle Fair. One 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. Major attraction is the sight of numerous elephants, beautifully decorated for the purpose of sale.