|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2013)|
|• Official||Bhojpuri, Hindi|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Saran|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Sonpur|
|Planning agency||Patna Regional Development Authority|
|Civic agency||Sonpur Nagar Panchayat|
Sonpur is a town in the Indian state of Bihar, situated on the banks of the River Gandak in Saran district in the Indian state of Bihar. It hosts one of the world's largest Animal Fair which starts on Kartik Poornima. Nearest Hajipur Vaishali is only 3 km and connecting by road NH-19 or by train Jagjivan bridge for double line railway bridge.
The town is located atat an altitude of 42 metres (137 ft).
The river Gandak must have been the route of the movement of Buddha and his followers from Nepal Tarai to Magadh that is why many of the stupas and similar structures, including Ashoka pillars, are found on the banks of the river. The location of Pathar ki Maszid just opposite the meeting point of the gandak, that is southern bank of the Ganges, shows the Muslim influence of trade and commerce in medieval times. The current township Patna is just the modern version of the makeshift headquarters of military establishments of old Patna city which in turn was later version of Pataliputra, the capital of Maurya Empire.
Of the ten railway stations in the world having the longest railway platforms, Sonepur being on the 8th (and 2nd longest at the time of construction) longest platform in the world at 2,415 ft (736 m). It is connected by two rivers, the Ganges and the Gandak.
Transportation and Connectivity
Sonpur is a town located in the Saran District of Bihar and is easily accessible via Railways, Roadways, Waterways and Airways.
Sonpur is merely 3 Km from Hajipur and 25 km from Patna and 58 km from Muzaffarpur in Bihar & 60 km from Chhapra, the headquarter of Saran District. Buses, Taxis and Auto-rickshaws are easily available.
The Nearest Railway Station is Sonpur Junction railway station. It has the 8th Largest Railway Platform in the World. It has trains connecting almost every part of India. It is the divisional headquarters of the East Central Railway of the Indian Railways.
As of 2001[update] India census, Sonpur had a population of 33,389. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Sonpur has an average literacy rate of 60%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 70%, and female literacy is 48%. In Sonpur, 16% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The Fair is held on Kartik Poornima (the full moon day) in November. 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. The Sonepur Cattle Fair once used to attract traders from places as distant as Central Asia. In 2013, the Fair started on November 16 and continued till December 15.
Hariharnath Mandir in Sonpur is also known for the famous temple of shree Hariharnath and the site of the battle of Gaj-Grah and rescue of the former by Hari During Kartik Purnima Ganga Snan or ceremonial bathing in the Ganges is held by Hindus to be unusually efficacious. On the day of full moon (Kartik Purnima) immense crowd assembles and take bath. The Mela commences on that day and lasts for more than a fortnight. The Shiva temple, Kali temple and other temples and historical religious monuments are situated here and social and economical activities are at the highest peak during the Mela period. People come here to pay their oblation to the lords and thus its importance is not within Sonpur of Bihar rather it is of India and world fame.
Education services in Sonpur is being provided by private as well as government schools and colleges. Kendriya Vidyalaya is one of the notable school and is up to the senior secondary level with Science stream.
SPS Seminary is one of the famous and old school in this small town which is upto 10+2. Kendriya vidyalaya near sonpur railway station is one of the popular school in the region.
- "INDIA: Bihar, Cities, Towns and Outgrowth Wards". citypopulation.de. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "World Famous Sonpur Cattle Fair to begin on November 16". Biharprabha News. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "How to reach Sonpur Town?". Explore Bihar. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Trains to Sonepur, Bihar". Explore Bihar. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "The Sonpur Cattle Fair". Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Sonpur Division – Eastern Central Railways