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Decorating elephants for the Sonepur Mela

Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A caretaker looks on as 7 year old elephant Laxmi rubs plays with her daughter 13 month old Rani during the Sonepur Mela on Nov. 15, 2011 in Sonepur near Patna, India. 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. It is one of Asia's largest cattle fairs and lasts for a fortnight.

Kevin Frayer / AP

An Indian women combs the hair of another after taking a holy dip in the Ganges River at the site of the Sonepur Fair, in Sonepur, India, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. The fair, which is held annually, was originally a cattle and animal market where traders bought and sold livestock on the holy river Ganges.

If you are looking to trade an elephant or purchase cattle and other livestock, it seems the Sonepur Mela is the place to be. Continuing a longstanding tradition, elephants are beautifully decorated to attract potential customers coming from all over Asia to attend the fair.

Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

An elephant is painted in decorative colors during the Sonepur Mela on Nov. 15, 2011 in Sonepur near Patna, India.

Previously on PhotoBlog: Thousands of animals are traded at the Pushkar camel fair