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Sonepur Mela 2011: The Largest Livestock Fair in Asia
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

November heralds the begining of India's livestock fairs, some of the largest in the world.

At the Sonepur Mela, in the Indian state of Bihar, farm animals like dogs, birds, buffaloes, donkeys, horses, camels, and elephants are available for purchase. The Sonepur Fair is the only one in the world where such a large number of elephants are traded. Getty photographer Daniel Berehulak visited the fair to capture this stunning event. The ancient Sonepur Mela can last between 15 days and one month. 

November also marks the begining of the Pushkar fair, one of the world's largest camel markets, and the Vautha fair, one of the world's largest donkey trading events.

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An elephant is painted in decorative colours during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 15, 2011. The cattle fair, held in the Indian state of Bihar, has its origins during ancient times, when people traded elephants and horses across the auspicious river Ganges. The mela used to attract traders from places as distant as Central Asia.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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A caretaker looks on as 7 year old elephant Laxmi rubs trunks with her daughter 13 month old Rani during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 15, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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A girl waves to small puppies taken out of a cage as they are displayed to potential customers during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 16, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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A man brushes down a horse during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 15, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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People walk past cages with birds for sale at a market during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 16, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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Workers erect lights on the top of a theatre where people pay to watch women dance during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 14, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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A boy rides a horse as he demonstrates its prowess to potential buyers during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 16, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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A boy points to elephants being fed as he stands with his family during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 15, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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A man sits on his elephant as it drinks water from the Ganges river during the the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 14, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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A stuntman stands on a motorbike as he performs on the inside of an attraction called the "Well of Death" during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 15, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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Stuntmen steer cars as they drive on the inside of an attraction called the "Well of Death" during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 15, 2011

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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Men watch a theatre performance where they pay to watch girls dance on stage during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 14, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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A woman crosses a bridge over the Ganges river towards the direction of the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 14, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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Donkeys graze at an annual donkey fair at Vautha, 49km (31 miles) south of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. Oct. 31, 2011. The five-day long donkey fair is believed to be Asia's largest, where more than 21,000 donkeys belonging to gypsies are brought for trade.

(Amit Dave - AFP/Getty Images)
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A donkey is pictured during a fair at Vautha village, some 50 kms. from Ahmedabad. Nov. 2, 2011. Vautha is a trading centre for donkeys and camels during the annual three-day long Vautha Fair where thousands of donkeys are brought in from various states of India.

(Sam Panthaky - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Indian herder collects branches to make a fire for cooking during a camel fair in Pushkar. Nov. 4, 2011. The Pushkar fair is an annual five-day event and one of the world's largest camel fairs, with over 50,000 camels brought in from around the region.

(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Indian herder gestures to one of his camels during a camel fair in Pushkar. Nov. 3, 2011.

(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds - AFP/Getty Images)
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Two camels touch noses during a camel fair in Pushkar. Nov. 3, 2011.

(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds - AFP/Getty Images)
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Indian herders rest at the end of the day among their camels during a camel fair in Pushkar. Nov. 4, 2011.

(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Indian camel herder walks past camels during a camel fair in Pushkar. Nov. 4, 2011.

(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Indian herder rests at the end of the day during a camel fair in Pushkar. Nov. 4, 2011.

(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/ - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Indian farmer collects dung to make fire starters during a camel fair in Pushkar. Nov. 3, 2011.

(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds - AFP/Getty Images)
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13 month old elephant Rania stretches her trunk out to touch the nose of her mahut during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. Nov. 15, 2011.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
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