The sleepy dusty town of Bateshwar is about 70 kilometers from Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Despite its reputation, it isn’t as sleepy as it appears when it comes to religious and cattle fairs. The place is a complex of 108 temples on the bank of Yamuna River.
Every year between October- November the nine-day Bateshwar fair is being organized on the bank of Yamuna River. The time is also known as ‘Kartik’ month in the Hindu calender. Traditionally, the fair is held with the sole aim of trading cattle. Thousands of cattle mainly elephants, camels, cows, bullocks, buffaloes and goats are brought here from different part of India and assembled at this fair only to be adorned with beautiful rags and colors.
The fair attracts large number of buyers, sellers as well as tourists. “This year, the fair is going to witness the presences of 25,000 horses, 15,000 camels, and apart from them mules and cattle will also be present,” informed Kunwar Ram Pratap Singh, Director of The Chambal Safari Lodge. Buyers from states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan usually come to buy cattle at the fair.
“Bateshwar fair is the second largest fair after Sonpur. This year the fair will be held from 20 to 27 October. We are expecting a gathering of around 3-4 thousand international tourists,” he added.
Apart from trading animals, traders also sell traditional cooking utensils, furniture, handicrafts and cosmetic items at the fair.