4.8 / 5

Wagah Border

📍 Wagah Border Park, PakistanView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:October to March

⏰ Open Hours:4:15 PM to 5:15 PM (Summer), 4:45 PM to 5:45 PM (Winter)

🧳 Things To Do:Witness the Beating Retreat Ceremony, Capture photos, Visit nearby attractions like Golden Temple

💰 Budget:Free entry

👥 Traveller Types:Family, Solo, Couples, History and Culture enthusiasts

🔖 Known For:Beating Retreat Ceremony, Indo-Pak Border Gate, Patriotic fervor

📍 Distances:28km from Amritsar Railway Station, 32km from Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, 232km from Chandigarh

📌 Tips:Arrive early to secure good viewing spot, Carry ID proof, Avoid carrying large bags

♿ Accessibility:Partially wheelchair accessible

🚗 Parking:Available, charges may apply

🚻 Restrooms:Available on site

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Wagah Border: A Guide to the World’s Most Spectacular Border Ceremony

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see two rival nations put on a show of strength and unity at the same time? If yes, then you should definitely visit the Wagah Border, the only road border crossing between India and Pakistan. Here, you can witness the Beating Retreat ceremony, a daily spectacle of military and patriotic display that attracts thousands of visitors from both sides of the border.

The Wagah Border is located about 30 km from Amritsar, the holy city of Sikhism and a cultural hub of Punjab. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Amritsar, along with the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, and Khalsa College. In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about the Wagah Border and its ceremony, including its history, timings, entry fee, tips, and nearby attractions.

History of the Wagah Border

The Wagah Border was established in 1947, after the partition of India and Pakistan. It was the only road link between the two countries until 1999, when another border crossing was opened at Munabao in Rajasthan. The Wagah Border has witnessed several conflicts and tensions between the two nations, such as the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1965 and 1971, the Kargil War of 1999, and the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Photo of Wagah Border 1/2 by

The Beating Retreat ceremony at the Wagah Border started in 1959 as a gesture of goodwill and cooperation between the two armies. It involves a coordinated lowering of flags and closing of gates by both sides at sunset. The ceremony is marked by elaborate drills, loud chants, high kicks, and aggressive postures by the soldiers. The ceremony also includes a handshake between the commanders of both sides, followed by a blast of bugles that signals the end of the day.

The ceremony is a symbol of both rivalry and friendship between India and Pakistan. It showcases the pride and patriotism of both countries, as well as their respect and recognition for each other. The ceremony is also a source of entertainment and excitement for the spectators, who cheer and clap for their respective sides.

How to Experience the Wagah Border Ceremony

The Wagah Border ceremony is held every day throughout the year, except on days of national holidays or emergencies. The ceremony starts at around 4:15 pm in winter and 5:15 pm in summer, but it is advisable to arrive at least two hours before to secure a good seat. The ceremony lasts for about 45 minutes and ends before dark.

The entry to the Wagah Border is free of cost, but you need to carry a valid ID proof such as Aadhaar card, passport, or voter ID card. You also need to go through a security check before entering the premises. You can choose to sit on either side of the border, depending on your nationality or preference. There are separate seating arrangements for men and women on both sides.

Some tips and advice for watching the ceremony are:

1. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as you may have to walk a long distance from the parking area to the seating area.

2. Carry water bottles and snacks, as there are no food stalls or vendors inside the premises.

3. Avoid carrying any bags or valuables, as there are no lockers or storage facilities available.

4. Follow the instructions of the security personnel and do not cross or touch the border line.

5. Respect the sentiments of both sides and do not indulge in any provocative or offensive gestures or slogans.

6. Enjoy the ceremony and capture some memorable photos and videos.

Things to Do Near Wagah Border in Amritsar

After watching the Wagah Border ceremony, you can also explore some of the nearby attractions in Amritsar that are worth visiting. Some of them are:

The Golden Temple:

The Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib, is the most sacred and iconic landmark of Sikhism and India. It is a stunning structure of gold and marble that stands in the middle of a serene pool of water. It is open 24 hours a day and welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds. You can admire its beauty, listen to the soothing hymns, and partake in the langar, a free community meal served by volunteers.

Jallianwala Bagh:

Jallianwala Bagh is a memorial site for a tragic massacre that took place in 1919, when British troops fired at a peaceful gathering of unarmed Indians, killing hundreds of them. You can see the bullet marks on the walls, the well where many people jumped to escape, and the flame of eternal remembrance. You can also visit the museum that displays the history and photos of the incident.

Khalsa College:

Khalsa College is an architectural marvel that blends Mughal, Sikh, and Gothic styles. It was established in 1892 as an educational institution for promoting Sikh values and culture. You can admire its domes, arches, and windows, and learn about its history and achievements.

You can reach these places from the Wagah Border by taking a taxi, bus, or auto-rickshaw. The distance and time may vary depending on the traffic and road conditions, but generally, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to reach any of these places from the Wagah Border. The opening hours and entry fee may also vary depending on the season and day of the week, but generally, they are open from sunrise to sunset and charge a nominal fee or no fee at all.

You may also like to check out: The Beating Retreat ceremony at Wagah Border - Battle or Balet?

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Wagah Border is during the winter months, preferably in January, February, or March. The weather is pleasant and comfortable during this season, and the ceremony is more enjoyable. The summer months can be too hot and humid to visit the Wagah Border, and the ceremony can be exhausting.

Photo of Wagah Border 2/2 by

If you want to witness the Wagah Border ceremony, you should arrive at least two hours before the parade starts to secure a good seat. The ceremony is very popular and attracts thousands of visitors from both sides of the border.

How To Reach

There are different ways to reach Wagah Border from Amritsar, depending on your preference and budget. Here are some of the options:

By bus:

You can get a bus from Amritsar to Attari, which is about 4 to 5 km from the Wagah Border1. The bus fare is around Rs. 50 per person. From Attari, you can take an auto-rickshaw or a cycle-rickshaw to the entry gate of the Wagah Border. The rickshaw fare is around Rs. 20 to 30 per person.

By taxi/cab:

You can book a taxi or a cab from Amritsar to Wagah Border, which is about 30 km away. The taxi or cab fare is around Rs. 800 to 1000 for a round trip. You can also share the taxi or cab with other passengers to reduce the cost.

By train:

You can take a local train from Amritsar to Attari railway station, which is the nearest railway station from the Wagah Border. The train fare is around Rs. 10 per person. The train timings are 8:10 am, 9:30 am, and 2:30 pm from Amritsar, and 6:30 am, 12:45 pm, and 6:45 pm from Attari. From Attari railway station, you can take an auto-rickshaw or a cycle-rickshaw to the entry gate of the Wagah Border.

By personal conveyance:

You can also drive your own car or bike from Amritsar to Wagah Border, which is about 28 km away. The road is well-maintained and easy to navigate. You can park your vehicle at the designated parking area near the entry gate of the Wagah Border.

Already planning your next roadtrip? Know why Wagah Border has to be on your list of roadtrips from Delhi!

The Wagah Border is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to witness a unique and spectacular border ceremony between India and Pakistan. It is a display of military and patriotic fervour that will leave you spellbound and inspired.

It is also a great opportunity to learn about the history and culture of both countries and their relations. If you are planning to visit Amritsar, make sure you include the Wagah Border in your itinerary. You will not regret it.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments section below. Thank you for reading and happy travelling!

Wagah Border Reviews

The term ‘border’ in my mind is extremely negative. It stops people – from meeting each other, from moving freely across lands, and from letting people reach their fullest potential. But from a geo-political vantage point it is a much needed decision for each country. Especially when the countries involved are India and Pakistan. So here we were, watching the beautiful Golden Temple in Amritsar getting washed in rain, when our cab driver suggested we check out the Wagah Border before it gets crowded. As an Indian, obviously we have all fantasized about Wagah – to see our men in uniform standing in full glory. And secretly enough, to see if we really are better than the other side. Without much ado we started on the two hour long journey, picking up a friend who could guide us through. Through the journey our friend explained to us about one tiny miscalculation – we weren’t heading to Wagah at all! Wagah, where the border actually gets its name from, is a town in Pakistan – on their side of the border. However, the village on our side is called Attari. Ironically, in Pakistan probably they call the border Attari border – both countries taking the names of the land we cannot touch. A kilometer before the border one needs to park his vehicle, for security reasons of course. Thankfully, for once the security does not seem a farce as each and every soldier scans you with his eyes. You find place to sit in the big gallery if you are lucky, and if you are especially blessed, then you get a seat in the VIP section towards the border. Once everyone was seated, patriotic songs came blasting through the microphones and the audience suddenly became the participant. Old men in dhoti, women with kids in their lap, young boys and girls, school students on a day out – everyone took turns to hoist the flag of our country on their shoulders and ran from one end to the other. Probably it gave them a good photo op or a probable conversation starter (Imagine sitting at a bar and saying, “Oh yesterday you were at the movies? I was at Wagah border, making the country proud”). Or maybe people actually became more patriotic once they saw the armed men, standing by and knowing full well that they are responsible for the whole lot in the ground and within the country as well. The music and some dancing follows for an hour or so till the proper ceremony is announced and silence falls among the crowd. While an announcer asked us to call out ‘Jai Hind’, we could hear the other side cheering for Pakistan. We shouted louder, stronger. They followed suit. We boo-ed, they clapped. We screamed, they shouted. Both sides by then had packed quite an audience – though the Indian side had people waiting outside as well and the Pakistani galleries were half vacant (this may be due to the fact that it is a paid visit in Pakistan but free in India). It was also surprising that men and women sat separately, resulting in only a handful of Burqa-clad women being present for the celebration while more than triple the number sat on the men’s side. The announcer’s job through-out the ceremony was to keep up the cheering – almost like a cheerleader co-ordinator. Soldiers – at least a good six and half feet in height – came marching down, kicking their feet high up and raising their fists in an ‘act’ of aggression and warning. The Pakistani side also choreographed it such that it seemed like we were certainly making sure that neither came in from the other side. What was also pleasing was the fact that female soldiers did their bit in the march as well, breaking myths that women in India sit in their house and stay away from showing any strength and aggression. The ceremony culminates with the flag-lowering performance (in accordance with the rule that flags must be taken down after sunset every-day). And once that is done, the gates are closed once again, the countries and their futures sealed within the limits of each of their lands. The Wagah or Attari Border was divided in 1947. It has a capacity of around 2,000 people on the Indian side which is watched over by the BSF – or Border Security Force, while Pakistan is guarded by the black-pathani suit clad Sutlej Rangers. During summers the ceremony starts by 5.30 PM while in winters the same happens an hour earlier. It is advisable to reach well in advance to get a nice seat – the closer to the gate you are, the better the view.
Now that I was satiated and refreshed, I decided to visit the Attaristation, Kanjiri Pull and the Wahga Border. Attari station is about 30 minutes from the old city and only about 3.5 kms from the Wahga Border. TheSamjhauta Expressor the Attari Express leaves the Old Delhi railway station, and then travels to Attari, where the Attari Express changes formally into the Samjhauta Express. After the customs and immigration clearances at Attari, the passengers start their journey to Lahore in Pakistanthrough the Wagah border. This quaint station is a must visit, being the oldest train link between Indiaand Pakistan since partition in 1947. From the Attari Station, before visiting the Wagah border, I visitedPul Kanjiri,a historical site that hasn’t been given it’s due share of publicity that it deserves. This fascinating and charming site is based on one of the numerous legends from Mahraja Ranjit Singh’s time. The legend states that a young Muslim dancer (Punjabi word Kanjiri for concubine) Moran, hailing from Lahore, once was on her way to dance at the Maharaja’sBaradari, her sandal fell into the water channel on the way. The piqued dancer refused to dance until apul(bridge) was built, hence the place became popular as Paul Kanjri. In fact, what is interesting about this site is that the Pakistan border is less than 2 acres away, with absolutely no hoards of people swarming the area, unlike the Wagah Border, which is where I went next. Wagah Border, the only open border crossing India and Pakistan and which is officially accessible by both the nations hosts a closing ceremony as 'lowering of the flags' ceremony. It is a daily martial custom that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Sutlej Rangers) have mutually followed since 1959. This interesting ceremony takes place every evening before sunset around 5:30 pm. I had a VIP pass and hence access to the gates was much faster where I also got seated in the area closest to the ceremony.If you are not planning to acquire a VIP pass, then you must make sure you reach way ahead of time by at least 3:30 pm to grab a seat and stand in the long, almost never-ending queues. As I sat in the stands, I could hear thousands of people screaming and cheering right before during the beating the retreat ceremony. Crowds screamed ‘Jai Hind’ and Vandematram with an incredible energy and a nationalist fervor. On the other side, there were hoards of Pakistani nationals screaming ‘ Pakistan Zindabad’ with as much energy and zeal. It was here that I realized that these lines are political because there was absolutely no difference between the people on either sides. This 45 minute ceremony ends with an aura of celebrations along with loud shouts of patriotism. During the ceremony, however, one could sense silence as the soldiers marched, so clinically that I could hear their boots tap on the ground with each step they took.
People might be well aware of the potential effects of cycling on the body. But what about the mind? It’s a question that has puzzled psychologists, neurologists and anyone who has wondered how riding a bike can induce what feels close to a state of meditation. For me personally, I get lost into a wonderland while I’m cycling listening to my favourite music. The hour or hour and a half of cycling goes by in a fraction of a second. Even Scientists are confirming what most cyclists instinctively know – that riding a bike has extraordinary effects on our brain chemistry. Hailing from Rajasthan, I've became Rajasthan’s first “Super Randonneur” after his amazing 600km cycle ride. For all those not aware, Randonneuring is long-distance, unsupported, non-competitive cycling within prescribed time limits are organized from France. The events, called brevets, are: 200km (13.5 hour time cut-off), 300km (20 hours), 400km (27 hours) and 600km (40 hours). Grand Randonnées are 1200km and riders must finish in 90 hours or less. My expedition was from India Gate in Delhi to Wagah Border. I was instantly attracted to this event as the route includes some breathtaking landscapes of emerald green fields alongside the serene roads of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. For me, it was more than that. It was a once in a lifetime experience to travel through different states in India, different cultures and meet different people. An experience that I would not want to miss. When I finished his ride in 37.5 hours at the entrance of Amritsar, I had the feeling of sheer joy of fulfilment. For me especially, cycle expeditions and solo road trips are something that does not exhaust me, but something that calms me.
I'm not a very Desh Bhakt (all the die hard patriotic people please excuse me for it :P) but Amritsar made me feel about my roots and culture and wherever we are today being free and able to talk and do what we want was because of the people who sacrificed their lives at this place. One road which connect two countries who used to be together now are separated by two gates which are created by ourselves. The cement and tar are the same, the road is plain and straight helping people move then why do we have to be in tension with them. The Wagha Border made me realize how proud I can be of my nation and the enthusiasm our soldiers create among us at that place is commendable. Just a few steps and you can see a complete different scenario and I'm really intrigued to explore that one day. Pain and anger was I felt develop when I visited one of the biggest piece of our history , the Jallianwala Bagh. It made me weep looking at the bullet holes in the walls and the well where thousands of people jumped to save themselves. It made me feel that what happened so many years back should be commemorated and talked and given importance every year. An year old baby to a 70 old grandmother not a single person was given mercy and that moment I felt angry that the people who did this shouldn't be forgiven even now for the deed. Yes people come to rule and destroy but such a manslaughter is heart piercing.
Make it a point to reach Wagah Border by 2 pm or let’s say as early as possible but be ready to wait for approx. 3-4 hours before the ceremony starts. But it’s still advisable if you want to sit and watch the entire ceremony. The place was excessively crowded plus a big queue for security check. We didn’t carry anything and it was such a relief because nothing (Nothing means nothing- no chips, popcorn, ladies handbag, camera cover, etc. Only water, wallets, sunglasses, cameras are allowed) is allowed inside and then you have to keep your stuff in road side vendor locker for which again you have to stand in queue. We reached in nick of time and occupied seat which gave okay view but we still felt lucky because there was humongous crowd standing and forced to watch the border parade on the big screens installed there instead of live. The retreat ceremony is for 45 minutes which includes the closing of international gates and the lowering of the flag. The atmosphere was simply electric. The crowd modified into a hooting cheerleader. Passion and patriotism was at all-time high. The moment became so live and full of energy. People danced on some of the famous patriotic numbers. Children also get a chance to take the flag and run.
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