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Label : Must Visit

Tags : Shows & Theatres

Entry Timings : 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Entry & Seating : First Come First Served Basis

Ceremony Timings : 4:15 PM (Winters)/5:15 PM (Summers)

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Wagah Border, Amritsar Overview

Located at a distance of 22 km from Lahore, Pakistan and 28 km from Amritsar in India, the Wagah Border marks the boundaries between Indian and Pakistani borders, running along the Grand Trunk Road. The Wagah Border Ceremony or the Beating Retreat Ceremony, held every day, is the prime attraction. Every evening, just before sunset, the soldiers from the Indian and Pakistan military meet at this border post to engage in a 30-minute display of military camaraderie and showmanship.

This ceremony includes the closing of the international gates and lowering the flags of both countries. The flag ceremony has been conducted by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers since 1959. 

People also partake in entertainment as a display of national pride for the thousands of people who come here every day. During the build-up to the ceremony, the crowd engages in chanting the Indian national anthem, rounds of applause and Bollywood-style dancing on Hindi songs.

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History of the Wagah Border Ceremony

The Wagah Border Ceremony, more popularly known as Beating Retreat Ceremony, was started in 1959 and it was agreed by the government of both the countries. It is a symbol of the rivalry between the two nations, as well as the cooperation and brotherhood of both the nations. The aggression and anger between both the countries have been toned down a lot over the years. Since July 2011, women guards of BSF have also been a part of this ceremony.

Wagah Border Ceremony

The Wagah Border Ceremony is a  military practice carried out by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers. The soldiers treat it with absolute seriousness. It begins with a parade by the soldiers from both the sides, ending with a coordinated lowering of the flags of both the nation. As the sun sets, the iron gate is opened, with an infantryman standing in attention at both sides of the gate. The flags of India and Pakistan are lowered simultaneously and then folded. The ceremony ends with a retreat that involves a brusque handshake between soldiers of both the sides followed by the closing of the gate. 

People from both sides visit the Wagah border. The crowd is more on the weekend with people sitting in the stands and applauding the soldiers performing the ceremony. Seating arrangements are enabled for the spectators so that they can watch the ceremony. On both sides of the border, there is a massive gate which is inscribed as "Swarn Jayanti Dwar". A panoramic landscape of Wagah can be witnessed by climbing on top of this gate. Visiting the Wagah Border and experiencing the Beating Retreat ceremony is utterly gripping, one which leaves you full of pride and patriotism!

Wagah Border Parade Timings

The Beating Retreat Ceremony starts at 4:15 PM in winter and 5:15 PM in summer. It lasts for about 45 minutes. Not everyone can get in, so you need to arrive at least an hour before the ceremony. The border gate remains open from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, but you don't need to arrive before 3:00 PM to witness the ceremony.

Tips For Visiting Wagah Border

1. There are jammers in the areas surrounding the Wagah Border, and thus no mobile phone services are available.

2. There is a significant rush at the entrance gate but once you get through you are taken to the appropriate stands. At the entrance gate, women must queue on the right and men on the left. 

3. Proper seating arrangements are made for the visitors. Select seats are reserved for women, while general seating is allowed for the men. The entire place is constructed like a stadium. So, you get a similar view irrespective of where you happen to get a seat. 

4. There are separate stands for foreign tourists. It is the second-best seat, just behind the VIPs. If you are a foreign national, don't forget to carry your passport to claim this seat. 

5. Cameras are permitted. You are not allowed to carry bags, whether large or small. Lockers are available to keep your belongings at the cost of INR 50. They are available beside the entrance gate. 

6. Food stalls are also located close to the entrance which serves bottled water and some snacks.

How To Reach Wagah Border

The custom post is located a few hundred meters away from the entrance gate to the Wagah Border. You can take taxis or private buses from Amritsar that drop you off at the customs post. You can also arrange for a taxi with the hotel you are staying in, or you can opt for the shared taxis that are available at the southeast gate of the Golden Temple which costs around INR 120 per person.

The cheapest option to reach Wagah Border is the buses that run to Attari from Amritsar and cost INR 30 per hour. However, you will need to travel by an auto from the bus stand to the custom post. Some local buses run to Amritsar from the custom post directly after the ceremony gets over.

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Wagah Border Reviews

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Pankaj Shaw

on Wagah Border 1 year ago
Proud moment for our india. Salute to all aur Army who protect our india.

Shreya Shah

on Wagah Border 5 years ago
Parade is pretty cool. Too much crowd. You get to see Pakistani citizen watching their parade too.
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