On a trip to Amritsar in July this year, I visited the Attari (Wagah) border to witness “The Beating Retreat” ceremony between India & Pakistan at the border outpost. This border outpost on the Grand Trunk road is the only road crossing between the two countries which is used regularly for trade.
I had been here before, and this trip was more for food at Amritsar and this ceremony to be witnessed by my better half. We joined the hordes of people going towards Wagah border. Quick readings online, made it clear that number of visitors had swelled since my last visit.
The administration has divided the seating area into two, separate for Ladies & gentlemen. While it was heartening to see people from across the country, the people looked disinterested in what they were to witness and dampener on the experience.
Having the hotel vehicle parked near one of the parking lots, we joined the crowd going towards the border. The Border Security Force (BSF) has put in barriers after barriers where ladies and gentlemen are separated and separate security is conducted for them before proceeding onward.
The area is full of pickpockets and opportunists who come as tourist and pickpocket. Busses after buses full of people from across the country made way and people just ran from one barricade to another in a race to get to the border. As I finally made way post the security gate, I realized that coming 2 hours before the scheduled ceremony wasn’t enough and we should have been here at least 4 hours or so before because all the stands were already full. I ensured that my better half gets some place on the ladies stand and decided to not be part of the craziness since the ceremony is the same.
As was seen last time, the crowds on the Indian side keep swelling and there hardly is anybody on the other side of the border. Since Indians face westwards, the sun stares at you directly.
As I realized that I am in no position to battle it out with the people around, I decided to make best use of the time I had at hand and roamed around the area clicking some interesting pictures.
This photo essay is to give out some interesting pictures. . .
|Swelling crowds - Will do anything to get a glimpse of the ceremony|
|Swacch Bharat campaign at the border anyone ?|
|Indian border post near Attari|
|Border pillar demarcation|
|Selling India Key Chains in something advertised as Product of America !!|
|Anything & Everything will be done to get a glimpse of the ceremony|
|May be these are queuing up for tomorrow's ceremony|
|No Place? No problem, recorded ceremony being watched. Crowd here too|
|The recorded ceremony being played from a DVD player. I like this player|
|Ways to kill time when you cannot see the ceremony|
|Wahh Kya baat hai|
|Live telecast of the ceremony. No place here too|
|The owner forgot which side his stall is. . arrow points away from the stall|
|Warm up before the actual ceremony. . Iska Darji kaun hai ???|
|Men intruding the ladies stand|
|Apple. . advertising at the border !|
|Achievement unlocked - Standing in India, peeing in Pakistan|
|Indian Customs - Sleeping ? !|
|Terrible conditions for people to stand and watch the ceremony|
|Finally some glimpse of the ceremony|
|Not sure why this one wants to say Bye to Pakistan|
Best time to visit Wagah – Ideally None, but if you have to then winters and a non tourist season
The ceremony takes place every evening 30 mins before sunset and the timings are known in hotels in Amritsar. Hotels and tourist agencies arrange for vehicles to the border.