DISCOVER Travel Guide

Memorable Trip to Wagah Border

Wagah Border

Amritsar is a blissful and blessed city. With the Golden Temple as the pride of the town and state, Amritsar has seen her fair share of joyous and tragic incidents. Home of the brave and humane Sikhs, the city is an epitome of peace and has a cultural diversity even being the main home for the resilient Sikhs. Being in any corner of Punjab, you cannot escape the famous hospitality and cuisine of Punjab, so if you are a diet freak it is best you leave your diet at home! If you have seen the movie Veer Zaara you will feel that Amritsar is not just about mustard fields and picturesque village, it is also about development and progress. But the main attraction of Amritsar is the Wagah Border which is of historical and geographical importance.

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Reaching Wagah

Wagah Border 3

A visit to Wagah not only strengthens a sense of nationality but it also brings in a sense of victory as we see how far we have progressed.  The Wagah Border is the historical border that divides India from Pakistan. It is about 28 km from Amritsar and about 22 km from Lahore. While the place is mainly the point of crossing over between the two countries, the place is much more than a route between the two places. It is also a landmark of celebration and solidarity.

Wagah Border Ceremony

Every day on sunset, the Wagah border retreat ceremony takes place. Though it is a military activity, every day thousands of people – both local and tourists – gather around to witness this event. A serious parade that is carried out by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers is a sight to behold as both the side carries out the parade in perfect synchronization and coordination. With the sun setting down, the flags of both the countries are brought down while the Iron Gate is opened. With this opening of the gate, the folding of the flag is synchronized. The ceremony ends with a handshake between the two infantrymen from both the sides who comes and stands in attention while the gate is being opened.

This 30-minute ceremony is witnessed by the crowd and cheers can be heard from both the side of the border. Keeping up with the tradition which gave rise to the ceremony, the citizens from both the sides cheer their forces and shows solemn respect for the other side and not a single demeaning word is passed. The ceremony is meant to be a sign of camaraderie amidst rivalry and everyone treats it that way. Even though you will feel charged up with patriotism, you cannot but appreciate the magnitude of the event. When you climb the Swarn Jayanti Dwar to get a better and fuller view of the ceremony, you realize that people are the same. You can feel the lessening of the sense of borders and the growing sense of unity and perseverance. Listening to the mingling of the national anthems and the collective feeling of compatriotism, you are bound to be proud of being an Indian and of being a human being.

Amritsar – the Land of Patriotism

Golden Temple - Amritsar

Golden Temple – Amritsar

The gateway to Punjab, the lake of ambrosia, home to the Golden Temple, no matter what you call it, Amritsar is bound to captivate you with its sound, smell and sight. Be it the early morning prayer of the Golden Temple or the mouthwatering delicacies like Amritsari fish, chicken tandoor, Amritsari kulcha, hot and sweet gulab jamun, chole bhature or the Patiala peg lassi, Amritsar is surely a foodie’s paradise and with the trekking and traveling you will be doing while exploring the city it is safe to tuck in a plate or two of paneer makhani and parantha and wash it down with the famous lassi. The colorful handicrafts of Punjab too are put on display and you cannot help but a pair or two for your home.

Amritsar Food

After all the pet puja you can start your day by visiting the Jalianwalah Bagh – the site of the infamous massacre. To understand the history of India and her freedom struggle, a visit to this place is a must. After this sobering experience, your next stop should be the museum built for Maharaja Ranjit Singh which was his summer house. It is a beautiful example of royal architecture and has on display some heritage and priceless items like coins of the bygone era, ornaments and even arms. The Akal Takht is a sight to behold in the evening as it lights up and displays its architectural glory. For the shopper in you, a visit to the Hall Bazar is a must! Not only dies it has an array of goods at cheaper rates, the place itself is a marvel. The Mughal style gate and the palace like feel with the lighting and the river flowing beside is a precious purchase in itself.

A Place of Immense Pride

Wagah Border - 2

The story of India is nothing short of a fairytale with multiple invasions – some beneficial, some toxic – but all of them shaping up the country to what it is now. From being the diversity hub to being partitioned, Indian history is a fantastical subject and a keen reader will be able to understand the difference between India and the rest of the world in terms of diversity. While there are many tales of war and bloodshed, none can compare to the pain that the 1947 partition brought along with the feel of freedom. 15th August 1947 brought with it a bittersweet feeling of freedom and loss. Millions of lives lost, people torn by hatred and years passed but the embers are still stoked. But, humans have proven to be perseverant and beyond the hatred carried by their ancestors and the Wagah Border ceremony is an example of such resilience. More than patriotic, a visit to Wagah Border will make you realize the beauty of the country you live in and have faith in faith once more.

gauri.babele@oyorooms.com'

About Gauri Babele

Hey! I'm Gauri. Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice. An engineer turned writer. Loves animals tolerate humans. I'm not smart but I wear glasses. Has a thing for pizza and old books. Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.

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