After a pious and blissful Golden Temple visit, we moved to Wagah Border – our last stop for the day. It’s around 28 km from Golden Temple.
We had our lunch in a Dhaba on our way to Wagah Border. Due to the long arduous bus journey from Srinagar to Jammu, both my feet were swollen from sitting so long and I had to walk very slowly. I snugged down into the last seat and began listening to music using my headphone. Looking out the window, an hour of picturesque road trip along the Grand Trunk Road flew away in leisure.
Wagah-Attari Border is the geographical boundary of India and Pakistan, situated in Amritsar and it is the only road crossing from India into Pakistan. And, the flag-lowering ceremony takes place every evening performed by the soldiers of India and Pakistan. It has been in practice since 1959.
We reached around 4:30 PM and we were late as the retreat ceremony starts at 5:15 PM. From the car park, we will have to walk a few metres to join the crowd.
We had to wait among the crowd before we move for security checks. I looked around, located my friend and moved towards her through the crowd. A moment later, I could feel a pinch of sudden sharp throbbing pain radiating from my middle toe. A young lady stamped my foot with her 2-inch pointed heel shoes and stood smiling at me without a sense of apology.
I could neither smile nor bare her acupuncture therapy on my swollen feet. The irrepressible crowd pushing me from behind made me to walk-away, fearing of anymore acupuncture therapy. I politely, stood aside on the median to let them enter… When the gates were opened, everybody literally ran as if they’re ready to strike at the security-check point. 🙂 I could barely walk a mile. The moment, I slowly reached the gate, it was closed and all my friends got seats at the amphitheatre.
I don’t understand what turns the rabble to run like a Marathon runner. Is it the curiosity to take a glimpse of Pakistan from next door or the eagerness to watch, ‘the Retreat Ceremony’ or the sudden spike in patriotic vibe or the rush to find a seat at the amphitheatre?
I watched from the gate and could hear the loud music’s piercing through the amplifier and the cheers of the crowd from far away. Screams of “Bharat Mata Ki… Jai” will make you electrified and overcharge you with patriotic vibes…As both the flags were lowered and National Anthem sung, the show ends and we dispersed.
At dusk, we reached our hotel and had our dinner. We bid adieu to Amritsar and moved to catch our train.
Make sure to plan your trip in accordance with ceremony timing. Early bird will get a seat on first-cum-first-serve basis!