Sonepur, November 6: The world-famous cattle fair will kick off at Sonepur in Bihar's Saran district on Wednesday, a day ahead of Kartik Purnima on which lakhs of devotees from across the country congregate at the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Gandak to take a bath on the auspicious occasion.
Bihar's Tourism Minister Javed Iqbal Ansari will inaugarate the month-long cattle fair, said to be Asia's biggest, for which elaborate arrangement has been made, Principal Secretary (Tourism) Deepak Prasad told reporters.
The opening ceremony of the fair has been advanced by a day, he said.This year, the fair has been made more innovative by blending the cattle fair with traditional and adventure sports and cultural activities, he said.
Besides getting to see a variety of animals like elephants, horses, birds and domestic cattle, visitors can also take part in sports activities like Kabaddi, Cricket, Football, Wrestling, etc, besides adventure sports like boat race, parasailing, water skiiing, water canning, the Principal Secretary (Tourism) said.
The trade of animals like elephant has been banned from r in view of provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, the Principal Secretary (Tourism) said.
Civic amenties, like Swiss cottage, food stalls and related arrangments have been made for the visitors, he said, adding that one can book accomodation at a fixed rate for stay in Swiss cottages during cattle fair duration.
An expenditure of Rs 3 crore has been incurred on making various arrangements for the cattle fair at Sonepur this year spread over ten acres, Prasad said, adding that at least 20 to 25 lakh visitors are expected to throng the fair.