Sonpur, Bihar

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Sonpur
city
Sonpur is located in Bihar
Sonpur
Sonpur
Location in Bihar, India
Coordinates: 25°42′N 85°11′E / 25.7°N 85.18°E / 25.7; 85.18Coordinates: 25°42′N 85°11′E / 25.7°N 85.18°E / 25.7; 85.18
Country India
StateBihar
DistrictSaran
Government
 • MLADr Ramanauj Prasad (R.J.D)
 • Member of ParliamentRajiv Pratap Rudy
Area
 • Total8.27 km2 (3.19 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total37,776[1][2]
 • Density4,568/km2 (11,830/sq mi)
Languages
 • OfficialBhojpuri, Hindi, (English language)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
841101
Telephone code+91-6158
ISO 3166 codeIN-BR
Vehicle registrationBR-04
Lok Sabha constituencySaran
Vidhan Sabha constituencySonpur
Planning agencySonepur Nagar Panchayat
Civic agencySonepur Nagar Panchayat

Sonpur is a city and sub-division in the Indian state of Bihar, situated on the banks of the River Gandak (River Narayani) and Ganges River in the Saran District. Sonpur once famous for its longest Railway Platform also hosts world's largest Cattle Fair which starts on Kartik Poornima.[3]

Sonepur Sub-division comprises Sonpur, Parsa, Garkha, Dighwara, Dariapur blocks. Sonpur Block has 98 villages.

Geography[edit]

The town is located at 25°42′00″N 85°11′00″E / 25.7°N 85.1832°E / 25.7; 85.1832 at 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 Masjid 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[edit]

Sonepur is a town located in the Saran District of Bihar and is easily accessible via Railways, Roadways, Waterways.[4]

Roadways[edit]

Sonepur is nearly 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.

Railways[edit]

Sonepur station

The Nearest Railway Station is Sonepur Junction railway station. It has the 8th Largest Railway Platform in the World. It has trains connecting almost every part of India.[5] It is the divisional headquarter of the East Central Railway of the Indian Railways.

Waterways[edit]

BSTDC organizes ferries to Sonepur during the Season of Sonepur Cattle Fair.[4]

Airways[edit]

Nearest Airport to Sonepur is Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport at Patna, which is 25km away.

Real estate boom[edit]

The real estate land prices soared in Sonepur after the start of construction of Digha–Sonepur rail–cum–road bridge in 2002.[6][7] Real estate companies like are acquiring large chunk of land and selling it by dividing those into small plots.[8][9][10]

Cattle Fair[edit]

Sonepur Cattle Fair is held annually in Sonepur.[11] The sight of numerous elephants, decorated for the purpose of sale, is an important visitor attraction.[12][13]

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 second largest cattle fair of India and stretches on from fifteen days to one month. It has its origins during ancient times. This is when Chandragupta Maurya (340 - 297 BCE) 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 2001, the number of elephants brought to Sonpur Mela was 92, 354 elephants in 2004, while in 2016, 13 elephants made it to the fair,[14] only for display, not for sale.[15] In 2017, there were 3 tuskers at the fair.[16] Sonpur Mela continues to attract foreign tourists who arrive with the motive of capturing various elements of rural settlement.[17][18] Apart from the photo opportunity, elephants continue to lure most foreign tourists. Swiss cottages are set up by Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) at the Sonepur fair,[19][20] with facilities of Internet facility, motor boat ride in river Gandak , food at the tourist village and pre-paid taxis from Patna Airport to Sonpur fair.[21][22] Disneyland park is set up during the Sonpur Mela.[23] A 'railgram' stall is set up by Railways,[24] where toy train is also erected for children.[25]

2017 Sonepur Harihar Kshetra Mela will commence from 2 November and finish on 3 December.[26][27] It will be for 32 days. The fair will include events like boat racing, Dangal, water surfing, Water Bath Canning.[28]

Hariharnath Mandir[edit]

Hariharnath Mandir (Hindi: हरिहर नाथ मंदिर) in Sonepur 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 Sonepur of Bihar rather it is of India and world fame.

According to Uday Pratap Singh, author of the book Baba Hariharanath, before 1757, the Hariharanath temple was composed of artistic rock clusters of timber and black stones. These pictures and praises of Hari were engraved on them. Meanwhile, this temple was reconstructed by Ram Narayan Singh, the deputy sub-ruler of Mir Qasim. He was a resident of Nayagaon, Saran. After this, in 1860, the Empress of Tekai built a hospice in the temple premises. In 1871, the remaining three oases of the temple complex were constructed by Maharana Jangbahadur of Nepal. In the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake, the temple complex, Osara and Pakora were damaged. After this Birla family rebuilt it. English writer Harry Abbott has highlighted the importance of this temple in his diary while visiting the Harihar Nath Temple. In 1871, English writer Minden Wilson described the Sonpur fair in his diary.[29]

Education[edit]

Education services in Sonepur is being provided by private as well as government schools and colleges.

1.Kendriya Vidyalaya is one of the notable school and is up to the senior secondary level with Science stream.

2.SPS Seminary School is one of the famous and old school in this small town which is up to 10+2. P.R.College is one of the oldest college of sonepur, providing bachelor level education (Arts, Science) affiliated to Jayprakesh University,saran.

3. Other Private schools like St.Joseph's Academy(Principal-Sister Rezi,Vice Principal - Sister Sosen, Director - CB Jha, School Captain -Chandan Sharma), Maxwell High school(Principal-N/A), Heritage Public School (Principal-N/A), Solanki Public School (Principal-N/A), JDS Public school(Principal-N/A),etc are gaining popularity among locals.

Banking Connectivity[edit]

There are many banks like Punjab National Bank, Bank of india, State bank of India, Central bank of india, Bank of India Axis bank Andhra Bank India post office Mannapuram gold loan

Gauttam Chawk

Gauttam chawk is a very famous place of Sonpur. This place was established by Alok Singh (kukku) in 1997.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Page 34 and Page 312 - 159.65 sq. km = 15,965 hectares" (PDF).
  2. ^ "INDIA: Bihar, Cities, Towns and Outgrowth Wards". citypopulation.de. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  3. ^ "World Famous Sonpur Cattle Fair to begin on November 16". Biharprabha News. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "How to reach Sonpur Town?". Explore Bihar. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Sonepur mela, Bihar". samastipur news.{{ }}
  6. ^ "Lack of infra deters people from buying land at Sonepur".
  7. ^ "Realty to broaden horizon".
  8. ^ "यहां मिलेगा 15 लाख रुपए में फ्लैट, गंगा किनारे लग्जुरियस लाइफ जीने का मौका".
  9. ^ "पटना से सटे सोनपुर बना रियल एस्‍टेट का बड़ा बाजार सस्‍ती प्रॉपर्टी खरीदने का मौका".
  10. ^ "TCW Reality" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Destinations :: Sonepur".
  12. ^ "The gentle giants of Sonepur".
  13. ^ "The Sonpur Cattle Fair". Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  14. ^ "At the centuries-old Sonepur cattle fair, animals are no longer the main attraction".
  15. ^ "Tuskers bid adieu to Sonepur Mela".
  16. ^ "बिहार: सोनपुर पशु मेले में अब तक सिर्फ 3 हाथी पहुंचे". Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Rustic touch of Sonepur Mela attracts foreigners".
  18. ^ "Through foreign eyes, Sonepur fares better Visitors say state's cattle mela mirrors real India more than Pushkar fair does".
  19. ^ "Foreign tourists line up for Sonepur fair Swiss cottages".
  20. ^ "Deputy CM to inaugurate Sonepur fair today".
  21. ^ "Swiss cottages at Sonepur fair a tourist delight".
  22. ^ "Swiss cottages to cost more".
  23. ^ "2 days on, govt stalls yet to open at Sonepur Mela".
  24. ^ "अगर सोनपुर मेला घूम रहे हैं तो रेल ग्राम प्रदर्शनी जरूर देखें".
  25. ^ "AGM inaugurates 'Railgram' at Sonepur fair".
  26. ^ "Sonepur Mela to be a 32-day affair".
  27. ^ "इस बार 32 दिनों का होगा हरिहर क्षेत्र सोनपुर मेला".
  28. ^ "इस बार 32 दिनों का होगा हरिहर क्षेत्र मेला".
  29. ^ "बिहार में विश्‍वप्रसिद्ध सोनपुर मेले का आगाज, यहां से कभी अंग्रेजों ने खरीदे थे लाखों घोड़े".