Wagha Attari Border Ceremony timings, Best time to visit Wagha Border, How to obtain VIP passes,How to reach Wagha Border
Wagha village is famous for the Wagha Attari Border Ceremony(Beating Retreat) and it connects Lahore and Amritsar through the grand trunk road. The border is located around 24 km from Lahore and 32 km from Amritsar. The Wagha Attari Border Ceremony is also known Beating Retreat Ceremony was started from 1959 in which the international gates are closed and flags are lowered by both countries. It is done by Border Security Force (BSF) of India and Pakistan Rangers.
The ceremony is the symbol of brotherhood and cooperation of India and Pakistan for maintaining peace and stable relations between the countries.
How to reach Wagha Border?
Wagha Border to Amritsar is around 32km. Regular taxis and autos are available. Round trip taxis should be booked as while returning from Wagha Border taxis are scarce.
Best time to visit Wagha Border
The best time to visit Wagha Border is in winters as in summers it gets very hot.
Wagha Border Parade timings
The Wagha Border Attari Ceremony also known as Beating Retreat starts at around 4.15pm in winters and 5.15 in summers. One should reach early to get good seats in the gallery to enjoy the parade properly.
VIP passes for Wagha Border
To get VIP passes one has to go to the BSF camp in Khasa and show their ID proof and get a pass. For people having VIP passes, there is a separate line at the entry to go through the security checking and they also get good front row seats. The office is open from 9 am to 1 pm. Khasa is around 15km from Amritsar and it falls in the same route as Wagha Border. Travel agents and hotel staff can also arrange passes for you.
About the ceremony
Before the beginning of the ceremony, there is a nice dramatic touch given by inviting all the women in the gallery to the parade ground where they can dance to patriotic songs like Rang de Basanti, Vande Mataram. This dancing ceremony goes for around 15mins or so. Then the actual ceremony starts with the parade of soldiers of both sides.
The tall soldiers with long mustaches dressed in their uniforms and very colorful turbans come to the border and exchange fierce, angry looks. The soldiers lift their feet so high that it can reach up to their forehead which is called Goose marching.
The women soldiers also march and stand nearest to the border. An infantryman also stands in attention position on each side of the gate. Finally, at sunset, the ceremony is ended with both countries lowering their flags.
Pointers for your trip
- There is going to be a huge queue at the entrance for security checks so make sure to reach at around 3 pm itself to get good seats in the gallery as they are available in first come first basis.
- Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as you have to walk a lot.
- Carry sufficient water with you as nothing is available inside.
- No handbags or purses are allowed inside, so keep them in the locker present just outside the entrance. It will cost you around Rs 20.
- Buy the tricolor caps sold at the entrance it will come handy in summers.
- There are separate stands for foreigners just make sure to carry your passports.
- Be aware of pickpocketing.
Some good to be known facts
- One can also witness such ceremonies at Ganda Singh Wala border crossing and Mahavir Sadqi International Parade ground border crossing.
- Some of the tallest men of BSF do the parade at the ceremony.
- The marching is done by the soldiers is called Goose marching in which they lift there leg up high.
- You can also visit Partition Museum Amritsar and get insights about the partition of India and Pakistan.
I hope this article answers all your queries and guides you to have a hassle-free trip to witness the patriotic ceremony. It will cost you from Rs 500- Rs 1000 to reach Wagha from Amritsar. The Golden Temple of Amritsar is one of a kind is nearby and should not be missed. To read my experience at Wagha Attari Border Ceremony follow this link.