A visit to Amritsar is not complete without a visit to the Wagah Border. The Flag Ceremony in the evening draws 1000nds of spectators every evening. Amritsar in the end of July is very hot and humid. Our host at the Eco Hostel in Amritsar organized two Tuk Tuk’s and off we went to the border. About 40 km to go – that equals to over 1.5 hours in the Tuk Tuk on bad roads. We where lucky as there was a big strike in the city so almost all the shops were closed and there was very little traffic. Still it was very hot and humid – even in the moving Tuk Tuk.
Finally we did arrive at the Wagah Border. Since we where early due the low traffic we had to wait a while. Time for two Lemon Soda – no salt or sugar for me please. Hoping that the ice was not to dirty it was helping to cool down a bit.
Than they did open the gates. A flood of bodies – the Indians where running and pushing the last few hundred meters before the border. Nice for us foreigners – we had the left road for us while the Indians had to walk on the right road. Divided by a few low trees and some grass it was a few hundred meters in the sun to meet again at the first security control point. Bag control and then on to the next non working metal detector. Than waiting at the VIP and foreigner gate. Another bag control and more walking later we reached the foreigner tribune. And then there was no more escape from the sun. The steps where super hot and we where heated from both sides. I do not remember the last time when i was so wet!
Finally the “Show” did start:
The usual running with the flag – loud music in the bag and thousands of Indians cheering – nice opening!
Compared to last time the “running with the flags” was a lot shorter. After that it is dancing on the road between the tribunes. Than it gets serious – two Woman marched towards the closed border gate.
Than these guys came out and marched half way towards the border.
Angry looks and gestures toward the Pakistan side of the border
Now – who do you think invented the Funny Walk?? I think it was not Monthy Phyton!
Kind of a dance performance
Focusing the enemy at the gate
Than the gate opens and the soldiers march one after the other down towards the now open border and a show of strength starts. This time they had a live drummer to add to the whole thing.
Than the flags go down – very slow!
Folded the Indian flag is carried back into the safety of the guard-house.
Than it is a lot more funny walk.
The old man is smiling – the snipers not really.
He was on top of the tourist section.
People – many – very happy – cheering every action. Proud to be Indian I guess. And since you see quite a lot here I did some enlargement so you can see what is going on in the next pictures.
After the gate is closed they wait a while to let the VIP and foreigner go to the gate and take some pictures from the Pakistani side or from people in front of the gate. Than they open the road for the Indians so they can get a closer look and some pictures as well. Than everyone walked back towards transportation and a dusty, noisy and dirty convoy starts toward the city of Amritsar. I was happy to be back at the hostel and one after the other we did shower.
Pro Tip for the Wagah Border
If you go there – come late – this way you do not have to sit in the hot sun to long and you will be sitting close to the street for better pictures as well. Last time it did work out better for me as well. If you find yourself trapped high up – take a stroll to the toilet – take your time – and come back when the flag running started. That way you have a front row seat!