Standing amidst the beautiful land that distinctly separates two countries –India and Pakistan, is an experience in itself. With the roaring crowds and the dutiful marching and parade, the Wagah border ceremony is an unforgettable experience. The Wagah Border Parade is such a ceremony that every single person from around the globe needs to experience.
Witnessing the Indian and the Pakistani soldiers in their own uniform and their majestic headgear is an amazing view to behold. The kind of poise and control that every single one of the soldier’s showcase itself is mesmerizing. The ceremony is held on the highway between Lahore and Amritsar.
I was fortunate enough to witness this ceremony and the entire experience is something that is hard to express in words. However, it is one of the events of my life that I need to share with you all. Here, I am not only sharing the experiences but every minute detail that would matter if you are visiting Attari Border/Wagah Border.
How to Get To Amritsar?
No matter from which place you are travelling to the Wagah Border, you will have to reach Amritsar first. There are 3 major modes of transportation through which you can reach Amritsar.
✈️How to Reach Amritsar By Air:
It is extremely easy to book flights from any major city from India as well as any other country having its own airport and reach Amritsar airport, Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International airport.
🚉Reaching Amritsar By Train:
Amritsar Junction railway in Amritsar is well-connected with all major and minor railway stations. One can easily board a train and reach there.
🚌Reaching Amritsar By Bus:
If you are travelling from any nearby city like Delhi, Chandigarh, etc then you can travel by bus and reach Amritsar.
How To Reach Wagah Border From Amritsar?
If you’re in Amritsar, you can reach the Wagah border from Golden Temple, After the Darshan, You’ll get many shared cabs from outside at 100-120rs per person that will drop you to Wagah Border.
The total distance from the Golden Temple to the Wagah Border is around 35-36 kms which is pretty much a long distance.
There are Ho-Ho buses that you can take to the border, or if you are on a budget, there are shared rickshaws that can help you reach till the destination.
🚗How did I reach?
In my case, we boarded a cab to reach Wagah Border as we were travelling from the Golden Temple.
We left for the Wagah Border at 2:30 P.M and reached around 3:45 P.M. So, based on this time frame, plan your journey accordingly.
We opted for Ola rental services that have a Wagah package. Our journey turned out to be an amazing one as our driver was a nice human being. He even told us a few more interesting tips about the Wagah Border. You must check out in our video to know them.
Wagah Border Parade Timings ⌚
Keep it in mind that the Wagah Border parade ceremony starts around 5:15 during summers and 4:15 pm during the winters.
That being said, if you want to experience the parade and the retreat from the comfort of the first row, it is necessary that you reach beforehand and not be late. It is best to reach a few hours early by 3 pm.
We, however, were a bit late and by the time we reached, almost all the seats were taken.
If you are a foreigner, you get a free pass and can join the VIP line. The line pretty much a lot chill and short than the normal queue you will experience in the spot. If you are here wondering what amount you will have to pay for the tickets of the ceremony, they are free and won’t cost you anything. The Wagah border ceremony tickets are free and open to every spectator.
Queueing up for the Wagah Border Parade
Now, the drop off point of the cars or any kind of vehicle is nowhere near to the front entrance of the border. You need to walk around 1 km from there to reach your destination and while the same might feel like a daunting experience, especially under the scorching rays of sunshine. Being in the company of other people simply accentuates the motivation and enthusiasm even further.
Yet another factor is that the premises don’t allow the entry of bags – be it small or big which is why you need to keep them out in the locker rooms that they have outside of the gate and simply just carry your essentials. However, Small Ladies handbags/Sling Bags are allowed.
Getting in the venue
Once you are done with the security check and have gotten your essentials and snacks and everything, the next thing you need to do is get inside and find yourself a seat with a good view of the entire surroundings. This is important. With the kind of acts and amazing galore that goes around, you don’t want to miss out on anything happening there.
People around the place are all decked up in colourful attires, from sarees to other forms of traditional dresses. The sight was to behold although the soldiers who are dressed in their prideful uniforms with badges pinned to them. The headgear spread around peacock feathers is yet another one of the things that will attract you.
It is the soldiers from the Border Security Force who partake in the event. Their presence and the kind of aura they give off is more than enough to make your entire day content and successful.
Wagah Border Ceremony Begins :
Now, if you have reached the Wagah border early, there are chances that you will get the best seats in the lot. But for that, you will have to wait for quite sometime before the ceremony actually starts.
The action begins right at 4:30 PM as mentioned. Women simply frolick and enjoy to the beats of the music and radiate the country’s pride. The joy on the stage during retreat ceremony is not something you come across daily. If you want to experience something similar, just join the group of other ladies on the floor and bust some moves out.
Watch the entire experience in my video below
Following that, the women retreat back to their seats and then a few other women are brought out on the stage and platform to carry on the flags of India who run towards the border gate and then come back to their initial starting point. In order to boost the pride of the nation, you can feel the crowd bolstering out in masses, screaming out their words of pride for the Indian flag held so high. If you are in the crowd, the pride and the patriotism of the locals simply emanate off of them. It is so strong that you feel it in your bones too.
After the festivities and the flag march are done with, the soldiers come into action. They parade around the area in passive-aggressive motions displaying their fervour and strength to the crowd in the area. The entirety of the parade was nothing but grand and schematic, much like how you see in the movies. Many people who visit and witness the ceremony claim that every moment of the parade is symbolic. It displays how amazing and loyal and united the Indian soldiers are.
The entire atmosphere of the place gives you chills with both sides of the nation cheering and screaming loudly. One from the side of India and the other from of Pakistan. The stream of patriotic slogans and flag waving by the crowd simply just adds to the whole enigmatic experience.
When it all ends
Now, after an extensive hour of parade and cheering, the entire experience comes to a standstill. You are left there transfixed with the unravelling moments happening in front of you as I was. Following that, the event of the Wagah border Ceremony come to an end with the soldiers from each country, standing off and then shaking their hands, showcasing signs of brotherhood and unity.
Once that’s done with, the show is put to an end and the crowd gradually dissipate and leave the premises slowly and steadily. Despite of the scorching heat and sun, the nationalistic atmosphere of the place actually does make everything worthwhile. It is the perfect rendition of the kind of loyalty, patriotism and discipline that India is known for around the world.
Some FAQs about Wagah Border.
What times does the Wagah border ceremony start?
The Wagah border ceremony normally starts at around 04:15 PM during the winter seasons in India. The timings is at around 05:15 PM during the summer seasons. Because of the rush and the crowd, it is always adviced to visit the place a few hours before the ceremony is about to start to ensure that you can get the best seats and view to enjoy.
Is the Wagah border open?
Apart from the retreat, the border is opened in two-time intervals. It opens around 10:00 AM on the Indian side and at around 09:00 AM from the Pakistan side.
Is it safe to visit Wagah border?
Yes, it is completely safe to visit Wagah border because of the kind of protection and security that resides there. Indian army and the Border Security Force are always on the lookout for any kind of threat and danger in the area. It is under scrutiny 24×7 and is safe for people to visit.
Is photography allowed at Wagah border?
Yes, it is allowed for you to carry your camera and the accessory stuff to click pictures at the border. But, keep in mind that you aren’t allowed to carry any sorts of bags and stuff. It is the best to just leave them off at the locker rooms outside the entrance. Try carrying just the essentials for the pictures.
What is the best time to visit Wagah border?
Majority of the people visit Wagah border to witness the immaculate display of the parade and the ceremony. Because of the fact that it is held under the open sun, it is always best to visit the place during winters when the rays of sunlight won’t dig a hole in your skin.
Why is Wagah Border famous?
In case you failed to read the article above, the Wagah border is the slimming barrier that separates India and Pakistan. The place has become an amazing site of tourist attraction because of the retreat that happens every single day there. The poise, events and the attires make up for the whole experience.
Is Wagah Border open today?
If you are planning on visiting Wagah border for the retreat, it happens every single day throughout the year. So, yes, it is open from Monday to Sunday at specific timings only.
Can we cross the Wagah border?
This is tricky. But Technically, if you’ve a visa, thenYes, you can cross the Wagah- Attari border and visit the other side. The border opens at 10:00 AM on the Indian side and at around 09:00 AM on the Pakistan side. You need to undergo immigration, fill out forms and only then you can go across the border. You need to have a Prior Visa.
Things to remember before visiting the Wagah Border Ceremony.
Some things you need to keep into consideration before visiting the Wagah border include:
- There are network jammers in the area around. This means that you won’t be able to receive signals and your phones are not going to work there.
- The entire area seems to be similar like that of a stadium for a better view for every spectator. Seating arrangements for the visitors are well made. While women have reserved seating areas in the place, the general admission section is for the men.
- The area is filled with pick-pockets all around so whatever you are carrying, keep an eye on your stuff.
- Try to keep yourself calm during the entire ceremony as the actions and cheers are quite aggressive.
- Foreign tourists have a completely separate seating area for their convenience, located just behind of the VIP seating area and provide with an immaculate view of the ground.
- If you are a foreigner, make sure that you carry your passport for identification and security purposes.
- Foreigners may need to present a document for identification. It is advisable to carry proof, like your passport.
- While DSLRs and other cameras are permitted, you are not allowed to carry any kind of bags inside. You need to leave them off at the locker rooms outside the entrance for INR 50.
- You can even purchase CD/DVD of the flag ceremony.
- Try to grab a seat in the middle so that you can view the parade of both the countries.
- Food stalls and snack stations are available in close proximity as well.