We might have heard many stories about the famous “Wagah border”, which is located near Amritsar. Wagah border is the border crossing depicting the boundary between India and Pakistan. It has acted as a road link since 1947, when India gained independence. The Wagah-Attari Border Ceremony is one ceremony which you must witness when you visit Amritsar.
So, if your next destination is Amritsar, then book a car rental in Amritsar to reach the Wagah border.
History of Wagah Border
Wagah is a village located about 32 km from Amritsar. It is situated on the Grand Trunk Road that connects Lahore and Amritsar. The boundary line, also popular as the Radcliffe line, was drawn here, dividing India on one side and Pakistan on the other. Thus, the border is referred to as the Wagah border and is used by numerous migrants travelling from India to Pakistan.
As a daily ritual, both countries have conducted flag-lowering ceremonies since 1959. India established a flagpole of 110 metres in Attari in 2017 on the Indian side of the Wagah border. Responding to this, Pakistan put a 122 flagpole on their side. The flagpole on the Indian side is the tallest one in India, while Pakistan’s flagpole is the highest one in south Asia.
The Wagah Border Ceremony
The lowering of flags ceremony is marked as the Wagah-Attari Border Ceremony, which takes place every day at the border gate between India and Pakistan. This military practice takes place 2 hours before sunset. You will be mesmerised by this ceremony conducted by the Indian Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers.
The ceremony continues for 30 minutes, where both nations lower their national flags to formally close the border till sunrise. The ceremony begins with an extended parade conducted by the soldiers of both nations.
Also popularly known as the Beating Retreat Ceremony, the Wagah-Attari Border Ceremony is a symbol of brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations.
Things to know while visiting the Wagah Border
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Wagah border if you are in Amritsar. Every evening, a large number of tourists gather at the border to witness the ceremony. The ceremony timings during summer are from 5:15 pm to 6:00 pm, while in the winter, it is from 4:15 pm to 5:00 pm. There is no entry fee, and the seats are allocated based on a first come-first serve. A camera is permitted during this ceremony. However, you are not allowed to carry bags to the ceremony site. Jammers are present on the Wagah border; thus, you will have difficulty accessing mobile networks.
Lesser-known facts about Wagah Border
- Both India and Pakistan recruit and train soldiers specifically for the Wagah border ceremony.
- Soldiers taking part in the ceremony must maintain a beard and moustache for which they are provided additional remuneration.
- Soldiers lift their legs as high as possible during the march on both sides, which is referred to as Goose Marching.
- The border guards on both sides exchange sweets on special occasions like Diwali and Eid as well as Independence Day and Republic Day functions.
Tens of thousands of people, including foreigners, gather to witness this iconic ceremony. Taxi service in Amritsar is abundant, and you can easily book a cab and reach the Wagah border.