Sonepur: The month-long Sonepur cattle fair, one of Bihar's most prominent events, was inaugurated on Thursday by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi in the states Saran district.
Speaking on the occasion, Sushil Modi said the fair has been taking place since Mughal period with people thronging in large numbers at the famous Hariharnath temple here to offer their prayers.
Stating that Bihar has been one of the major cultural centres in the country, it was getting difficult to protect the Sonepur cattle fair in view of various laws.
After quite a long period, there is a government of one party (NDA) both at the centre and in the state which would help in the development of Sonepur area, he said.
He also released a book titled Mela Darpan which provides all types of information regarding the fair and all other programmes lined up for the event.
Tourism Minister Pramod Kumar said the state, which is a land of salvation, has got distinct identity with Sonepur fair.
Artistes from Information and Public Relations Department presented a cultural programme at the event where singer Kumar Sanu regaled the visitors on the inaugural evening.
Revenue and Land Reforms Minister Ram Narayan Mandal, Cooperative Minister Rana Randhir Singh, Maharajganj MP Janardan Singh Sigriwal, Tourism Department Secretary Pankaj Kumar, Saran Divisional Commissioner Narmedshwar Lal, Saran DM Harihar Prasad, Saran Superintendent of Police Harkishore Rai were among a host of people who graced the inaugural function.
The traditional cattle fair, which is being held on the confluence of Ganga, Gandak and Mahi rivers, will witness various cultural and musical programmes before concluding on December 3.
A host of animals like cows, horses, dogs, goats, birds, camels and other domestic cattle have been brought from across the country for display at the fair, official sources said.
Over 20 departments, including agriculture, health, education and industries, have set up stalls to exhibit and sell items manufactured by them, sources said.
Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) has also set up 20 Swiss cottages with modern amenities at Paryatak Gram for tourist accommodations.