Attari-Wagah Border

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2012

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A trip to Wagah Border is a must for those who visit Amritsar. Wagah is about 33 kms. There are numerous agents outside Jallianwala Bagh/Golden Temple who take bookings for private taxis that go to the border. Rate two way is Rs 100/. Time taken is app 1 hour. Try to leave Amritsar by 3pm latest so u get good seats. This is the entrance to the area where the daily retreating ceremony takes place.

On top of the Swarna Jayanti Dwar that you saw in the previous picture is the national flag and a BSF jawan. The retreat ceremony takes place with the Border Security Force on the Indian side and The Sutlej Rangers on the Pakistani side.

This photo collection is a tribute to the BSF jawans who guard the Indo-Pak border. Their attire and built make them look really smart. The retreat ceremony takes about 45 minutes.

There is a gate at the Swarna Jayanti Dwar ie pic 1. On either side is a gallery for visitors to sit with a road in the centre. The left side gallery that you see is bigger, I was on the right side. There was a group of girl students who had come. One by one they held the national flag and ran to the gate (end of pic right side) and then ran back. There were claps and cheers everytime a student ran in with the flag.

This pic gives u an idea of the viewers gallery on the right side. I was standing in the last row on left side, one foot in the air and another in the gallery. The atmosphere was electric and full of patrioticism.

A BSF jawan amidst the crowds. There is a separate sitting section for foreigners and VIPs. Could see some foreigners wondering what the fus at Wagah is all about!

Patriotic songs from movies like Upkaar (manoj kumar) and Hindustan ki Kasam (raj kumar) played all the time, Rang de Basanti as well. A man in white tracksuit would say Bharat Mata ki Jai, Vande Mataram, Hindustan Zindabad and the crowds would erupt, clap (as u see in picture) as if India had won the Olympic Gold medal in Hockey. I call the white suit person the Master of the Ceremony, seemed to be from BSF.

Group of women dancing on the road. The atmosphere was festive. Senior citizens sat on the side.

Girls, ladies dancing as if there was no tomorrow. It was amazing to see the positive energy that every patriotic statement aroused.

Ladies from Gujarat doing the Garbha. I was reminded of dancing on the streets of Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations back home.

Two BSF jawans on horses. Look very smart and impressive. Had to click them for you.

Note this pic carefully. Right to left you see a young girl in shorts, right front of pic is a old lady grey hair dancing who appears not very rich, just behind the pole are ladies from Gujarat doing garbha, in the centre of pic you see a number of young girls dancing. The spirit of Wagah had broken all barriers of age, clothes and economic status. This is India for you - everyone can do their own thing and co-exist.

Young girls forming a trail and walking around. The energy that Wagah Border generated in these girls was amazing.

Discussions amongst a group of jawans.

This a close of up of the crowds on the Pakistani side. Mostly men in the crowd.

A view of the stand populated by women. Note how vibrant and colorful the crowd is. Now compare it with the Pakistani crowds in the previous picture. I have always believed that the Indian women is unique and our country''s USP. The more we empower her the faster Indian shall grow and prosper.

Blowing the buggle. The Retreat Ceremony is about to begin. Seven jawans standing in a row with two lady jawans in front. Man in white is the Master of Ceremonies.

The women are the first to walk towards the border gate.

Next are the BSF jawans who walk in style taking huge strides. The tapping sound that their boots make is audible from a distance and enjoyable.

Border gate on Indian side. Seeing the spirit of patriotism I realized that subconsciously the crowds see Pakistan as the enemy and want to show how patriotic they are by saying Vande Mataram etc. Frankly I am disgusted by the goose-stepping at Wagah. This silly brand of contrived militarism only bloats the egos of the Pakistanis as somehow being equals meriting parity with India. India is a much bigger and prosperous nation. Our competitor and key adversary is China. Let us think big!

In between this BSF jawan sings a song or says something not very sure but the crowds erupt.

Left of pic u see a jawan with a string that connects to the Indian flag. Jawans on both sides are now seen.

Jawans on both sides. Wish someone can tell us what notes do the jawans exchange. End of ceremony is when flags of the 2 nations are retrieved.

BSF jawans marching back. Wish Punjab Tourism had their own buses that took tourists from Amritsar to Wagah and back. Do not wish to be at the mercy of private taxis. The OMNI van had eight tourists besides the driver - very uncomfortable.

Once the ceremony is over the gates are opened, the entire crowd moves from the stands onto the road as if a cricket match had just got over. Crowds happy and smiling, walk towards their vehicles.

This section is dedicated to the BSF jawans who have done a great job on the Indo Pak border. Wish and hope they do a great job on the Indo Bangladesh border as well, stop illegal infiltration from and smuggling of cattle into Bangladesh. A January 2012 Dailystar report states that 1.5 million cows worth $ 500 million are smuggled into Bangladesh each year.