Wagah is a village located in Lahore District, Punjab Province, in Pakistan that is known for an exhilarating ceremony between the soldiers of India and Pakistan at the Wagah border. The town is also known for a railway station between India and Pakistan. This border is known as Wagah-Attari border and it lies between Amritsar in India and Lahore in Pakistan.
Best Time to Visit Wagah
Because the ceremony is held every day, one can plan a visit as per one’s convenience. The only thing that you have to consider are timings because the ceremony begins at 4:15 pm in winter and 5:15 pm in summer. If you are concerned about the weather then visiting Wagah in months between November to March is great.
History of Wagah
Wagah Border is located approximately 28 km from Amritsar and 20 km from Lahore and it runs along the Grand Trunk Road that is Asia’s oldest and longest roads. This old road linked Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent and was known as a popular trade route back then. The Beating Retreat Ceremony is held every day at the border before the sunset. The most amazing thing about it is that although the ceremony has been going on in the same manner for years now yet the premises stays packed by patriotic countrymen on both sides of the border every day.
The first beating retreat ceremony was held in 1959. The ceremony marks the formal and official closure of the border for the night and lowering of the national flags of the two countries. Primarily a formal interaction, this ceremony turns into an exciting affair by the enthusiastic crowd that motivates the soldiers with patriotic songs and loud cheers. The soldiers showcase showmanship and military camaraderie.
Major Attractions in and Around Wagah
1. Wagah-Attari Border Ceremony
The Wagah Border is fundamentally a road border between India and Pakistan. This place can be considered as a very famous tourist spot owing to its beating retreat ceremony which is held every day for 2 hours just before the sunset. The ceremony is participated by soldiers of Border Security Forces (BSF) from India and Pakistan Rangers from Pakistan. A flag ceremony and a marching ceremony which is often referred to as the Silly Walk Ceremony are held every day. The ceremony is concluded by the folding of national flags and the closing of gates.
Also known as the Swarna Mandir. this is a must-visit place for any spiritual devotee, no matter of what religion. This shrine was designed by Guru Arjan Singh. On an annual basis, this temple is visited by a great number of people from around the world. What is really interesting to know about the temple is the fact that the foundation of this shrine was laid by a Muslim saint by the name of Hazrat Mian Mir Ji.
3. Gobindgarh Fort
This 18th century built fort echoes the grand stories of valour and courage of the rulers and the great history of Punjab. And more or less it is also widely known as a symbol of the bygone era. Today, the fort has a coin museum, haat museum, darbar hall, and a chlorosome house that was majorly used for the treatment of water by chlorination.
4. Goindwal Baoli
Fundamentally a step-well, the Goindwal Baoli was constructed in the 16th century by Guru Amar Das. It is located on the banks of the River Beas and is also a very important Sikh centre. What is really interesting about this place is the fact that it is one of the first Sikh pilgrimage sites.
5. Harike Wetland And Bird Sanctuary
The Harike Wetland & Bird Sanctuary is also the largest wetland which is situated in North India. What is interesting to know is the fact that this man-made wetland spreads into the Tarn Taran Sahib, Ferozepur, and Kapurthala in Punjab. This place is undoubtedly one of the most famous destinations for bird watchers as well as nature enthusiasts.
6. Khalsa College Campus
Khalsa College is an ancient college that was founded in 1892. This 300-acre campus owing to its amazing track record has acquired the status of the highest institute for education showcasing an enriching environment in Punjab.
How to Reach Wagah
Wagah is the perfect place to feel a sense of patriotism and nationalism running through your veins. It is situated at an approximate distance of 400, 1,403, 2,093, and 1,691 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata respectively. Here are the routes you can take to travel to Wagah.
Amritsar International Airport, also known as Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is the nearest airport to reach Wagah border. From there, one would have to get a taxi or some other means of transportation to reach the border which is approximately 25km away.
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Wagah
The connectivity via train is also quite good. If you want to reach Wagah via train then you can opt to deboard the train at any of these three railway stations: the Attari, Khasi or the Amritsar Junction. From the station, one can take a taxi or a bus to reach the border.
The overall road connectivity to the Wagah border is fairly good. To reach Wagah by road you may either travel by cab, private or an inter-state bus or if it is convenient for you then, take your own vehicle.