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November 13, 2008-Sonepur, Bihar, India - Elephant market during the Sonepur festival.
The Sonepur festival is famous for its cattle fair, held in Sonepur, in northern Bihar state in India on the banks of the River Ganga. It is one of the biggest cattle fair in Asia. According to the Hindu calendar the full moon day of the month of Kartik, that is, November is regarded as one of the most favorable days for the Hindus. A bath at the confluence and a visit to the Hariharnath temple here is the aim for thousands of devotees on the Kartika Purnima day (13th November), and this fair continues for 25 days. The Sonepur Mela has an exclusive and historical importance. Sonepur Mela is the only fair where a large number of elephants are sold. The elephants are bought mainly by the forest departments and people dealing with logging operations. A large number of cattle and horses are also brought in the fair for sale. Various kinds of folk shows, games and jugglery can be seen in the fair. Apart form the trading of the cattle the other things those are traded in this fair are garments, weapons and furniture, toys, utensils, agricultural implements, jewelry and various handicrafts and etc.