Wagah (or Wagha) is a border town straddling the line between Pakistan and India, 29 km from the town of Lahore on the Pakistani side and 27 km from Amritsar on the Indian side. This is the only crossing point between Pakistan and India that is regularly open to foreigners.Wagah is a village situated in Lahore District, Punjab, Pakistan and serves as a goods transit terminal and a railway station between Pakistan and India, and lies on the old Grand Trunk Road between Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan and Amritsar, India. The border is located 24 kilometres (15 mi) from Lahore and 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Amritsar.
|Founded:||Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers|
|UTM:||43R 459501 3496703|
|Time zone Summer (DST):||PST (UTC+5) +6 (UTC)|
|Tehsil :||Wagah Town|
|Wagah border ceremony:||It is particularly known for the elaborate Wagah border ceremony that happens at the border gate, two hours before sunset each day.The flag ceremony is conducted by the Pakistan Rangers and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) similar to the retreat ceremony at Hussainiwala/Ganda Singh Wala border in Firozpur and Mahavir/Sadqi border in Fazilka district.|
|Wagah Border:||The border is located 24 kilometres (15 mi) from Lahore and 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Amritsar. It is also 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the bordering village of Attari.|
The ceremony was started in 1959 and was agreed by the government of both the countries. Since then, the ceremony has been conducted with much pomp and splendor. The ceremony started decades ago as a gesture of good will among the two countries. However, the ceremony took an aggressive turn after a few years.
The border place comprises of a huge arch and has gates of both the countries. Seating arrangements are enabled for spectators to watch the ceremony. Exclusive seats are reserved for women. General seating is allowed only for men. There is also a VIP seating close to the gate and requires a special pass.
It is located on NH – 1 in Punjab. The border is situated in Lahore in Pakistan around 25 km from the city.
Pakistan Day patriotism takes over Wagah border
LAHORE: The Wagah border was a sight for sore eyes as a charged-up crowd kept on chanting slogans of Allah-hu-Akbar (God is great) and Pakistan Zindabad.
The Pakistan Day parade had already enriched masses with patriotism and the spirit of nationalism. Hence, during the lowering of the flags ceremony, the crowd could be heard chanting loud and clear ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.
A sea of national flags could be seen as almost every man, woman and child was carrying it. Earlier, the Pakistan Army, air force and navy had put up a spectacular show during the Pakistan Day parade.
Wagah Border Ceremony
It is particularly known for the elaborate Wagah border ceremony that happens at the border gate, two hours before sunset each day. The flag ceremony is conducted by the Pakistan Rangers and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) .The border separates the two countries, bisecting a culture and its people – governed by two sworn enemies yet also ancient relatives. A sliver of land exists between each county’s gate, and in this stateless purgatory, each nation ironically flies their flag. Every day at dawn, the gates are flung open to raise each flag, and then again at dusk to lower them for the night. These glimpsing moments of trust are approached with both extreme ceremony and caution, worthy of the international spectacle it has become.Arriving for the first time just before dusk on the Pakistani side, other attendees look like they have come to a sporting match, dressed in the green and white of the Pakistani flag. As the stadium seating starts filling, the men separate from the women on opposite sides of the trans-national highway, and it becomes clear that the border fence is not the only divide in the crowd. Giant concert-sized speakers begin blasting Pakistani pop music, and men with enormous Pakistani flags run along the road between the stands to the crowd’s cheers.Between the ping-ponging of pop music across the border, the gender segregated stands, and the militarisation of the ceremony for civilians, another division emerges. It is the Pakistani elite, ushered into VIP private seating in the front row, men and women sitting together. Men in kurtas with enormous pot bellies, and women with designer sunglasses but without hijabs, brandishing smartphones, and cute little Pakistani flags painted on their faces.
- A History of Pakistani-Indian Relations
Pakistan and india share a long, contentious, and violent history. An understanding of this shared history is needed in order for the significance of the Wagah Border Crossing to be fully appreciated.
- The Ceremony
This section will examine these specific details of the Wagah Border Ceremony.
- The Crossing Today
This section addresses how the current status of the Wagah Border Crossing is representative of broader, ongoing relations between Pakistan and india.
How to reach Wagah Border
When driving from Islamabad, it should take at minimum 4.5 hours.From Lahore Station, take a bus, or taxi. Minibus No.4 leaves from outside Lahore Railway Station every 15 minutes (~US$0.20), while a taxi should cost 1000PKR. The trip takes around half an hour.
You can buy some snacks/drinks at the entry gate and also along the roadside as you are walking the 500 or so metres to the seating area.
Lot of local boys sell DVDs of the ceremony, selling for about Rs. 20 ( US $0.3). Be careful of pickpockets.