Belying the fear that the Sonepur fair was gradually losing its charm, more and more foreign tourists seem to be flocking Sonepur, particularly those from the United Kingdom. So far, 19 foreign tourists have arrived at the fair and most of them are from UK.
In 2005, 16 foreign tourists had visited the fair, but this year, 19 have already come after just seven days and more then a dozen are expected by November 28.
"The Sonepur fair was started by our ancestors and we have come to see how it is faring,” said George Albert of UK. On being asked what attracted him to the fair in the first instance, another tourist George Tommy said, "The Sonepur fair is like an oasis. The assembly of animals is also attractive."
In London, pictures of animals, birds and different styles of living were much in demand, said Edward. His wife had another story to tell about the fair.
Last year, she had come here, but dared not stay fearing trouble. “But, this year, we are freely roaming the fair venue till late in the night,” she said.
Speaking to the HT tourist cottage in-charge Md Faiz Ahmad said visitors from UK had come around November 6. The booking this year for cottages has gone beyond our expectations, he added.