It was only my second day in Patna and I was already in love with the place, its history and its landmarks. Today I planned to go to the Sonepur Mela, Patna, which is a much celebrated affair in the month of November and December. I have heard a lot about this mela. It begins on Kartik Poornima in November and goes on for about a month or so. I would not have missed going to this mela for anything so I had checked already that the mela was continuing till the 15th of December and here I was waiting for my commute to the mela, which I was told is about 25 kilometers away.
The culture of India never failed to surprise me because as I stepped down the taxi I saw may be a thousand faces in one go in a fair that traded and sold animals like dogs, cattle, camels, buffaloes, ponies, donkeys and even elephants, though it is a common fact that elephants can no longer be sold and bought, but only traded. It was a kaleidoscope of colors and forms. There were various stalls too selling just about anything such as pottery, garments, furniture, utensils, handicrafts, jewellery and agricultural tools. I kept browsing until I came to a rather open space where in front of me was a sight that I would probably not see anywhere else. There were numerous elephants decorated beautifully and up for display. The animal trade here also involved birds and poultry. It is said that in the olden days people used to come to this mela from distant lands.
The mela also has a religious significance. Sonepur is situated on the banks of rivers Ganges and Gandek and the two holy rivers converge here. There is also the temple of Harinath, which is believed to be constructed by Lord Rama himself but I did not have the fortune of visiting the temple because whilst I was busy looking at the wares in the mela, I lost track of time in Sonepur mela, Patna and the temple timings for visiting is over now and I am scheduled to go to the Buddhist Nalanda University and Monastery, Patna.