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Wagah Border

Discussion in 'North India' started by SuzieWinglet, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. SuzieWinglet

    SuzieWinglet New Member

    Good morning members, I am Suzie and from the USA and will be going to India in June this year. My husband and I have both planned the golden triangle trip but along with this, we want to add in Amritsar as an additional destination.
    The main reason we would like to go Amritsar is to visit the Golden Temple and most importantly Wagah Border, which we have heard a lot about. It has been heard that the Wagah Border evening ceremony is something not to be missed whenever in Amritsar.

    Unfortunately, this is all the information we have about Wagah Border, but we would like to know much more. I would be grateful to get some additional information such as:

    • The Wagah Border ceremony timings.
    • Costs involved seeing the ceremony.
    • The distance between the Golden Temple and Wagah Border.
    • A list of events which happen at Wagah Border.

  2. Deven

    Deven Member

    The ceremony starts around 4.30 pm but does change depending on whether it is summer or winter. It would be good to reach Wagah Border by 3.30 pm so that you miss the rush and find a good seat. Weekends are much busier than weekdays.

    There is no cost involved to see the Wagah Border ceremony. It is free.

    The distance between Golden Temple and Wagah Border is 31km so that it would take you an hour. It would be ideal to leave Golden Temple by 3 pm.

    There is a parade of soldiers from both sides of the country (India and Pakistan). Followed by this is the lowering of the flag ceremony which is called the beating retreat border ceremony. The iron gates from both sides of the countries are opened, and flags are lowered simultaneously.
    You will also see some bhangra Folk dance being performed by professionals, until the ceremony starts.

  3. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Yes, you should be able to see the ceremony for free. Be careful of anyone selling tickets or charging for closer areas to see the ceremony, as they are scammers. Essentially, it is just the area along a road, which is free to the public. Do not pay anything, and stand where you like. If you want to get wagah border ceremony tickets which are only available for BSF personal you should contact them and see what they can do for you.
  4. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    There are different timings for the Wagah Border Ceremony everyday:
    • During the winter time (October to March), the sun sets a little bit earlier at around 4:30 pm. So it's best if you're in the area around an hour before the ceremony to be able to pick a good location to view the ceremony.
    • During the summer time (April to September), the sun sets a little bit later at around 5:30 pm. Again, it's best to reach the area at around an hour earlier to choose a good location for viewing the ceremony.
    So it's a good idea to watch some news program that day and know what time the sun sets during that particular day. Or you can just search online. But generally, it's between 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

    There are no costs involved in watching the ceremony as entrance is free of charge. Even a visit to the Wagah Border is free. However, you do have to ride a taxi to reach the Wagah Border from Amritsar. Amritsar is about 31 kms away from the border so it can cost you about Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000 for a hired taxi. It's also best to let the taxi wait for you so you have a ride going back to the hotel. You can also ride a tuk-tuk to reach the border, the cost would be half of the taxi but it's going to be one long, bumpy ride.

    The distance between the Golden Temple and the Wagah Border is about 31 kms. It can take you about 30 minutes to an hour to reach the Wagah Border via car or taxi.

    Here are the list of events that happen at the Wagah Border:
    • The Wagah Border Ceremony is also known as the Beating Retreat Ceremony. It is a daily practice that both the Indian Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers have jointly followed since the year 1959. The ceremony starts with the parade of both soldiers from both sides. This involves an energetic and loud march from the soldiers. Then, the soldiers would reach the gate and it is opened. They then start lowering the flag from each country. After which, these flags are carefully folded, handshakes between the soldiers are done, the gate is closed and a trumpet is heard marking the end of the ceremony. The entire ceremony lasts for 35 to 45 minutes each time.
    • There's also a Cultural Program before the Wagah Border Ceremony begins. This program is shown on the Indian side of the border. It mainly features traditional folk dances like the Bhangra or the folk dance of Punjab. The program also plays some patriotic songs to commemorate the freedom fighters who have lost their lives during the war between the two countries.
    Here are some more tips that I can give you with regards to the Wagah Border Ceremony:
    • It's better to visit the border during the cooler months of October to March. Also, schedule your visit during weekdays to avoid the crowds of people along the border. Avoid holidays and weekends as much as possible.
    • If you have any gadgets like cellphones and cameras, it's best to keep them in your vehicle, if you have one, or in your hotel's safety deposit locker. Foods and drinks are not allowed within the area although there are small eateries a few metres away from the venue. Also, mobile phone signals are intentionally jammed within the border so getting a signal isn't possible as well. Bags are also not allowed within the area so leave them at your hotel.
    • Some vendors sell DVDs of the entire procession and ceremony. However, these copies might be pirated so buy at your own risk.
    • Be aware of pickpockets as the area is flooded with many people, about 2,000 estimated during the weekends. Be aware of your surroundings all the time and report any theft at the border police station.
    One last tip, since you're from the USA, you can sit in the separate area for foreign tourists. There are several seating areas in the venue:
    • Foreign Tourists Area - You'd have to produce your passport and show it to the authorities. Foreigners of both genders are settled into one place so you and your husband would still be together.
    • VIP Seating - The elusive seating area that requires a BSF Pass before you can get in.
    • Ladies Exclusive - This is about 80 metres from the gate and only women and small children are allowed here.
    • General Seating - This area can get crowded and rowdy especially during weekends and holidays.
    There you go. I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip to the Wagah Border!:)
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