The only Border seen from Space !

Tripoto
19th Jun 2019

The Border Board

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

To think about it, a Border that can be seen from space at night, yet its hardly massive in width, is non other than The Radcliffe Line.

Confused ? That's the Indo-Pak Border !

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

You would be wondering as to why is it the only border to be seen from space ?

Reasons below (also interesting facts about the Indian Borders!)

1) Spans from Arabian Sea to the Himalayan Foothills (~ 3300 kms)

2) 150000 fold-lights installed by India across 50 thousand poles.

3) Its a mixture of LoC and LAC. LoC is Line of Control, meaning a boundary separating parts of Kashmir controlled by India and Pakistan. LAC is Line of Actual Control, which is a demarcated border marked by the militaries.

That's a complex border to take care of.

Its an altogether different experience to witness the Indo Pak Border Ceremony at Wagah- Attari, popularly called as the Beating Retreat Ceremony.

The best way to see this is to take the Amritsar all day Bus Tour (₹ 350). The last part of the tour is the Border ceremony.

As you arrive to the Shahi Qila along the Grand Trunk Road, you see the 2 National Flags of India & Pakistan flurrying high on the poles against the swift winds. Its the first sight towards the border and truly enthralling !

This is the Grand Trunk Road that connects India to Pakistan

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

its a good selfie catch ...

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

The point of assembly for seeing the ceremony is the Shahi Qila. This is a mere restaurant and eatery area, and not a Qila.

If you really wish to see the entire thing, from crowd gathering to the last release, be available at Shahi Qila by 3:30 pm, mind the scorching sun !

Separate adjacent stop points for females on left, and males on the right.. Luckily i was first in the line to catch this frame

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

The increasing crowd behind me

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

Its like a race to be released by 2 stop points from Shahi Qila assembly point to the Border.

After crossing the first stop point

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

At the second stop point

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

People already crossed over the barricade pole on the second stop, but waiting for the BSF officer to give a green signal to go

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

A far away border fencing path...

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

And we run to catch the best place...err.... i mean beat the heat

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

Now, you need to pace up to get a good place for a view. Not too near, neither too far take a seat in the middle towards the left behind, this way you avoid view clumping and the sun / heat.

The Pakistan Side

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

The inside of the Stadium, facing the Pakistan side

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

You can witness the Stadium filling up soon, snacks being sold at MRP, security optimization, some announcements, music, etc.

Now you dont see the crowd...

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

And the crowd now ...

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

You can even see the Pakistan's side filling up as well, however is only 1/3rd of the Indian side, with a bit of greenery.

I was lucky enough to see a Delhi Lahore Delhi bound Bus pass by with ease across the Border, wondering how drastically different is the procedure to travel to either countries.

The pre-ceremony starts with an introduction, and honoring the women and children to grace the occasion by running with the Indian flag almost (~30 meters) towards the border gate and back. So if you are a woman / child, no sooner the announcement is done, Run to the ground !!

The women's' run..

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

The Retreat Ceremony starts close to sunset time ~ 5:30/6:00 pm for about half an hour, with either side personnel demonstrating their skill and zeal.

Its a marvel to see the arrangements, lining, accuracy and sturdiness portrayed with background patriotic plunge.

They are ready

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

Geared

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

Series of high air kicks, hard stomping, strict marching, signatory salutes, valor, grace, ease, attention, gestures, emotions and formal handshakes - all power packed in swift minutes !!

The Stomping

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

Lineage

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

Look at that crowd

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

You will not get to hear of anything from the Pakistan side, as Jammers are installed. The same is on the other side.

The ceremony closes by lowering the flags and wrapping them at the point of sunset.

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand
Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

You would have seen or been to many stadiums, however this open stadium stands unique for its view, levels and the event.

Before you leave, you can get up close to around 30-40 meters of the border to click a picture, but this will among the masses of hundreds, so best of luck !

This close to the border

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

Over the Grand Trunk Road, just a few meters away from Pakistan

Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand

When you return back to the Shahi Qila, you'll have buggies (Free of cost) that will take to you to the parking lot where for buses / cars are parked.

This visit to the border will take you approximately half a day with your travel back to Amritsar of 30 minutes,thats one way.

The history of this border is really amazing, where once upon a time, almost before or while Sir Radcliffe was prioritizing to work over the Border, officers on either sides used whatever was available like chalk, powder, drums, etc to have a temporary border. Such was the need of having a border urgently for the settlement of the 2 countries. This history is vividly described in the Partition Museum of Amritsar.

No doubt, the Indo Pak border is one of the most dangerous borders in the world.

It is noteworthy to be aware that there is a similar retreat ceremony at Firozpur (below Amritsar) which has more of a Red stacked background and less crowd. Do witness this if you visit Firozpur.

Borders, although necessary for the security of the nations, however resonate the vivid history and unforgettable tales that have passed from generations to generations, and unfortunately become good grounds for discussions.

We, as humans, hope that one day, Borders exist only for their Unique names, and not as barriers for minds, cultures, traditions and people.

Please share your Border stories or experiences and who knows, borders may actually bring us close !!

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Photo of The only Border seen from Space ! by Girish Hiranand
1 Comment(s)
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Nicely Articulated..quite informative.. :)
Sun 09 29 19, 23:31 · Reply (1) · Report
Thank youuu neelam :)
Mon 09 30 19, 08:00 · Report