Marking the boundaries between the two nations, India and Pakistan are the Wagah Border. The border is situated at about 22 km from Lahore and 24 km from Amritsar. This place attracts tourists from all over the world to witness the epic Beating Retreat Ceremony held every day before sunset.
No trip to Amritsar is complete without undertaking the Wagah Border tour and the ceremony witnessed here by the civilians has no less than a spell-binding effect. This geographical border runs along the Grand Trunk Road between Amritsar in Punjab (India) and Punjab in Lahore (Pakistan).
Retreat Ceremony at Wagah Border
The Wagah Border Ceremony is something that fills the hearts of the civilians with both pride and enthusiasm. It rejuvenates the love they have for their nation and is held every day before the sunset. It starts with the closing of the international gates and lowering the flags of both the countries, India and Pakistan. This flag ceremony has been conducted by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers since 1959.
Basically, the poised and disciplined soldiers of both sides can be seen performing here in their uniforms and exalted headgear. This surely is an experience that can touch almost every visitor while witnessing this ceremony. The crowd on both sides cheer for their soldiers performing which is all so beautifully choreographed. All this takes place amidst a lot of cheerful cries and patriotic songs. Thus, a detailed choreography is carried out with genuine passion on both sides during the Wagah Border Parade. The soldiers on both sides do identical movements and marches and thus it is a fascinating moment to be witnessed which re-sparks the love for the nation with a great display of national pride.
The Wagah Border ceremony is concluded with a retreat that includes an abrupt handshake between the army men of both the nations 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 that is listed as "Swarn Jayanti Dwar". Visiting the Wagah Border and experiencing the Beating Retreat ceremony is utterly gripping, one which leaves you full of pride and patriotism!
History of the Retreat Ceremony at Wagah Border
The heart-warming ceremony or the Wagah Border Ceremony was started in 1959 as an agreement between both the countries. Thus it can be perceived as a symbol of cooperation and brotherhood between both the nations. Even the women guards of BSF have been a part of this ritual since July 2011.
Seating Arrangement and Overall Aura at Wagah Border
During the weekends, there is a huge crowd that arrives here to applaud. On both sides of the Wagah border, there is a huge gate which is inscribed as “Swarn Jayanti Dwar.” A beautiful view of the landscape can be witnessed by climbing on top of this gate.
How to Reach Wagah Border
You have to undergo customs which is located some hundred meters away from the entrance. A private bus or taxi from Amritsar can be hired to reach here. Even shared taxis are available at the southeast gate of the Golden Temple which is very affordable and cost you on a per-person basis. Even buses are available running to Atari from Amritsar. Once you have reached the bus stand, you have to travel by auto from there to the custom post. The nearest major railway station from the Wagah Border is the Amritsar railway station which is located at a distance of 27 km. The nearest airport is the Raja Sansi Airport which is located at a distance of 35 km and one can hire a taxi or cab to reach here.
Best time to Visit
The ideal time to reach there is a little before 3 pm to secure an ideal seat at the amphitheater. The best season to visit is during the winter season when the temperature hovers around 7 degrees Celsius to 22 degrees Celsius and the weather remains comfortable for the outdoor activities.
Timings for the Retreat Ceremony:
Summer: Starts from 5:15 P.M
Winter: Starts from 4:15 P.M
The ceremony lasts for 45 minutes and the entrance to the venue is open from 10:00 A.M to 4:00 P.M
Wagah Border Ceremony Tickets: Nil