Wagah Border Ceremony: Where Emotions Run High
Since 1959, security forces of India and Pakistan have jointly followed the practice of coordinated ‘lowering of the flags’ at Wagah Border, Amritsar, Punjab. The enthusiastic parade is characterized as elaborate and blustering ceremony, where a cheerful crowd is a common sight!
The ceremony takes places every evening. As the sun sets, huge border gates are unbolted and flags of both the nations are lowered, simultaneously. The code of conduct states that the flags should be taken down before sunset and hosted after sunrise only. Â The flags are then, folded and the ceremony ends with a hasty retreat after a crisp handshake between soldiers from either side. Troops of each country, select the longest member from their sides for ‘one-foot-high’ competition, a must see view from the entire ceremony! The spectacle is such, that it attracts many visitors from both sides of the border as well as general tourist who enjoy seeing famous display of strength, integrity and virtue.
Apart from entertaining, patriotic and emotional- are two words that sum up the entire ceremony as the aura around often brings in tears in the eyes of the by-watcher. The brotherhood these two nations are sharing, is beyond words, depicted through how crowd on both sides is egged on to cheer the forces to perform their best! The emotion in the air, as you sit down and watch the preceding, is impeccable. At first sight, it may appear aggressive, but in fact, it makes every citizen, irrespective of nationality, proud and contented. The fan shaped turban on the heads of forces fills every heart with warmth and glory!
Located at 30 km from Amritsar, you need to be present at least 90 minutes before ceremony to get in comfortably. The timings are 4:30 during summer and 5:30 in winters.