The India-Pakistan Wagah Border Ceremony: India Edition

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The pageant and bravado of the daily India-Pakistan Wagah Border Ceremony is a one of the great geopolitical spectacles in the world. My friend arranged VIP seats through a military connection and I lapped up every moment.

Wagah Border Closing 05

Access from India is via Amritsar. The ceremony is daily in summer at 17:30 India/17:00 Pakistan, and earlier in winter. They are many security checks so it is important to arrive early. Assertive foreigners can bluff their way to the front of most lines and generally are given good seats. A legitimate hotel or tour guide can also help in this. Many tourists stop at the nearby Sarhad restaurant, such as a Radisson Blu van of tourists I saw.

Sarhad Food Kitchen 01

Sarhad Food Kitchen 02

Near the old border crossing are lonely outposts and the site of Pul Kanjri.

Pul Kanjri 03

Pul Kanjri 01

Pul Kanjri 02

At the border, in the lead-up, both sides blast patriotic and pop songs. Perhaps in defiance of the segregated gender seating opposite, Indian women fill the street in Bollywood-style dance, while several Indians at a time run up to the border and back waving the Indian flag.

Wagah Border Closing 01

Wagah Border Closing 03

The ceremony itself is pure bravado as each side seeks to out-stomp, kick and flex the other it ritual mirror actions. Near the opening and again at the close a guard from each side exchange broad-smile handshakes and in between the flags are lowered.

Wagah Border Closing 04

Wagah Border Closing 06

After the ceremony, some of the guards head to one of the stretch of border markers for pictures.

Wagah Border Closing 07

With our inside access we also saw the meeting hall where the monthly meetings between the two sides are held in alternate months.

Wagah Border Closing 08

A must-see of a visit to either country.

Wagah Border Closing 10

I noticed that sun sets over the Pakistan side so pictures would be better there, I would just have to verify that…

Wagah Border Closing 02

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[…] Wagah visitors’ gallery to accommodate over 13000 by 2016-end (The Times of India). One of the world’s great geopolitical travel experiences from both sides, see here. […]

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[…] India-Pakistan Border Ceremony at the Wagah Border […]

Mark
Mark
7 years ago

I was wondering if you had any trips for hiring drivers in India… Thanks!

Rapid Travel Chai
7 years ago
Reply to  Mark

@Mark – when arriving by the air the prepaid taxis, especially the government-run are tremendous deals and I have never had a problem. It is a little more difficult elsewhere, subject to negotiation and issues. I generally try a driver for a short ride, if I get a good feel and no issues I will propose for my longer plan. I have not had experience booking in advance though I presume there are travel agencies that will do so.

ucipass
ucipass
7 years ago

Oh, this is way to cool. I like how the videos are short but show you the best party presumably…

Rapid Travel Chai
7 years ago
Reply to  ucipass

@ucipass – thanks, I was furiously switching between photo and video and enjoying the spectacle. It was awesome in person.

Lively
Lively
7 years ago

That is amazing.

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