Sonepur Mela PhotographyEach year in Bihar state, in a small town on the confluence of the Gandak and Ganges rivers the Sonepur Mela takes place on the full moon day in November. Kartik Purnima is a Hindu and Jain holy festival that begins at midnight with bathing in the river and is followed by a month long cattle fair.
The Mela celebrates the day that Lord Vishnu appeared to save an elephant king from a crocodile. Often devotees bath in the river in the belief that the following year would go well.
A colourful and noisy occasion with one of the highlights being the trading of elephants. This requires the elephants being bathed and dressed with colourful decorations each day. Horses, buffalo and cattle are also traded along with a myriad of colourful stalls selling everything from clothing to food.