|There is a
description of Sonepur fair by M. Wilson in his Memoirs of Bihar, written a century ago.
In 1852, Wilson was an Assistant Manager of Karhaul factory. He has mentioned that one
could buy from the canvas-made shops the commodities of Manchester, Buckingham, Delhi,
Kanpur, Afghanistan, Kashmir, etc. Cutlery, saddlery, crockery and furniture shops from
Calcutta, Lucknow and Kanpur used to be set up at Sonepur. There used to be riding
contests, elephant, horse and bullock cart races. He had seen a panch kalyan horse being
offered for sale for a lakh of rupees. Several Viceroys, including Lord Northbrook, had
visited the Sonepur fair and gone round the temple.
The investiture ceremony or Khillant
of Rana Jang Bahadur of Nepal conferred by Lord Mayo, amidst the galaxy of big men, for
his service and loyalty to the Govern- ment during the Mutiny (1857), was a great event in
the history of the Sonepur fair. Rana Jang Bahadur visited and did puja at the Hariharnath
temple. It may be mentioned here that there is a Nepali temple, a wooden structure, in
Hajipur, which is also visited by many of the pilgrims going to Hariharnath temple.