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Marriages made in Sonepur cattle fair

Devotees throng the Hariharnath temple in Sonepur, famed for the annual cattlefair, in Bihar. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

Devotees throng the Hariharnath temple in Sonepur, famed for the annual cattlefair, in Bihar. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar  

Over 500 matches have been made in the last few days since it was inaugurated. The fair begins on Kartik Purnima and is scheduled to end after a month on December 4.

The centuries old Sonepur fair is famed for its rustic charm and cattle trade but, of late, it has also become a place to arrange marriages.

Over 500 matches have been made in the last few days since it was inaugurated. The fair begins on Kartik Purnima and is scheduled to end after a month on December 4.

The local priest of the Hariharnath temple said that most of the devotees who came to take a holy bath at the confluence of rivers Gandak and Ganga preferred to extend their stay for a few days if they wanted to seek out matches for their sons or daughters.

“Till now, over 500 marriages must have been arranged. People believe that once the matches are finalised before Baba Hariharnath [Shiva] here, they would continue for eternity,” said the temple priest.

Sexagenarian Mahavir Jha appeared happy while returning from the Sonepur fair on Monday. He was seen invoking the name of lord Shiva loudly at the local temple. During his three days at the fair, he managed to arrange a suitable match for his third daughter through one his relatives, who too was at the fair.

“Yes, I’m obliged to Baba Hariharnath. Through his blessings, I could arrange the marriage of my third and last daughter here,” he said.

Similarly, Dhananjay Mishra, a retired police constable of Saran, also expressed satisfaction in finding a “good girl for my son working in the Army”.

“For the last three years, I was looking for a good girl for my second son. Here, through a relative I came in contact with someone and arranged the marriage,” he said.

There are scores of such people who visit Asia’s biggest cattle fair to matches for their sons or daughters, said Ramji Mishra of Sonepur, an annual visitor to the fair for three decades.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 9:33:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sonepur-cattle-fair-turns-matchmaking-venue/article6588354.ece

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