There is nothing planned in life but sometimes a little planning avoids big troubles. When I was in Amritsar, I decided that I would visit Golden Temple in the day and in the evening; I would go to see Wagah Attari Border ceremony. But unfortunately, sometimes, something happens and you just have to sit and wait. That happened in my case too. Though I was pretty excited for this but my whole excitement got wasted when and I was left nothing but to sit and wait. This was not because I didn’t plan for it. But this was because I had only one plan and I had nothing more than that.
So, I was staying at Radisson Blu Amritsar and I planned that I would cover Golden Temple and then Wagah Attari Border the next day. As planned, I woke up and got ready. I had breakfast in the hotel. I was staying at Radisson Blu. But I got sad to see outside from the window of my room. It was raining heavily. And I sat on the chair next to the window, watching outside at the road. I was waiting for the rain to get stopped but it didn’t for long. And I thought the day was going to be a bad day. Rain is a challenge which you can’t avoid while you are travelling to a place.
After an hour or something, the rain got slowed down. I did check out and booked a cab direct to Golden Temple Amritsar from the hotel itself. It was still raining and it was already cold considering January month, the peak of winter season in India. In an hour, I was at Golden Temple. I couldn’t get to visit properly there; neither had I got to spend much time there due to the rain. Thus I thought, I would come back again to roam freely for some time. I did breakfast the hotel itself and then it was the time for lunch. So, I had langar at the gurudwara. I came out and booked myself a shared cab which costed me 150 INR. I don’t get to travel much often and I was in no mood to let this moment pass by like this.
Wagah Attari Border Ceremony – Border Parade Timings
Regular cab services from Golden Temple (pick up and drop)
Distance – Around 30KM from Amritsar
Shared cab – 150 INR
Private cab – 1100 INR
Timing of Wagah Attari Border Ceremony – Winters – 4:30PM, Summers – 5:30PM (lasts for around an hour)
Bags are not allowed inside the compound (put them in the lockers, 50 INR)
Beating Retreat Ceremony at Wagah Attari Indo Pak Border
This was the first time I was going to see beating retreat at Wagah Attari border so I was too much excited. When we reached the destination, we first went through a security check where BSF soldiers checked. The main compound looks like a small stadium from inside where there are seats in stair form where people sit and in the middle is the main area where the soldiers do their activities. This place was crowded when I reached there.
Both the sides, the crowd comes to witness and cheer up their country’s soldiers. The compound on both sides gets bombarded with the sound of crowd shouting the slogans and patriotic songs being played on high volume in the loudspeakers. There is always competition between the crowd on the both the sides to shout louder. This is not only thrilling but makes one feel proud to cheer up for one’s soldiers. This military showmanship charges everyone.
The first line of defence, BSF and Pakistan Rangers on the other side show their army activities at the beating retreat of Wagah Attari border. This includes showing physical strength using gestures, rising kicks and arms, stomping and lot more. Soldiers with oiled mustaches march towards the border gate, stomping and showing their arms to each other. The parade and marching thrills everyone sitting there. It infuses the vibes of patriotism in everyone sitting there. People not only shout but dance on the tunes of patriotic songs. Wagah Attari border ceremony takes place every day before sunset. It has been in process since 1959 and since then has been done every day. This time when I was there, it rained heavily which you can see in my YouTube video even then our soldiers carried out every activity of beating retreat without any pause.
The gates on both the sides are opened and the flags of both the countries are lowered down. The flags are then taken off and these two Indian and Pakistani soldiers shake hands with each other brusquely. Now, not only male soldiers but our female soldiers too participate and play a significant role in the entire Beating Retreat at Wagah Attari Border ceremony.
The one complete hour of Beating Retreat at Wagah Attari Border Ceremony brings everyone close to the army. It tells how these people serve up and protect us day and night without thinking about anything else. Leaving behind their family, they have come here so that we can stay safe, sleep safe. Travelling to this place was really awesome. I got to see Pakistan for the first time. I have heard a lot about this country, read about this country but this was the first time to see Lahore this much close, which was just 22KM away from the border.
Grand salute and thanks to the Indian soldiers who keep us safe day and night. Jai Hind!