The Wagah Border is the only passing between Pakistan and India, two countries that sort of want to blow each other up. Everyone said go to the border, it’s “interesting”. They put on a show everyday and open the gates for two seconds.
So we went to the “border crossing show”. We knew nothing, so I decided it would be fun to show you a video of what we saw and let you feel as shocked and confused as I did! Then after the video I’ll explain a little more about it. FYI, this was before I had a blog and quality is well, horrible but still worth a watch!
We didn’t know whether to laugh, dance, cheer, or stand there with our heads to the side like a confused dog.
First of all, when we arrived they took us to a different line and without a word checked our passports (you MUST take yours) and send us to the “foreigners” section which was quite small, but still larger than I thought it would be.
It was set up like a sports match. The Indian side was PACKED, while the Pakistani side was very small and males and females were separated.
While the guards practiced high-kicks in the background, Indian girls danced in the center to fun Indian music while the men ran up and down the isles with Indian flags. Everyone was so happy. It reminded me of a Saturday outing to a baseball game… sort of.
The guards then did their show. With similar outfits to the Pakistan soldiers, and similar high-kicks, it made me wonder if they practice together. The show was fun-loving while they held serious, mean faces. It was all fun, no tension.
After the gates on each side opened for just a couple seconds, they were closed again and it was all over. The crowds disappeared and we all got bags of popcorn on the way out, asking each other, “what the hell just happened?”
It was fun and I would go again. I did expect it to be more dangerous and exciting, rather than fun and suitable for four year olds, but the surprise of the show kind of turned me into a child again!
It was as strange as seeing snipers standing on a Gandhi sign…
The border crossing is 30 km from Amritsar’s Golden Temple. I came here on a day trip from McLeod Ganj because we had a day off massage class. We saw the temple first as it’s 24/7 but you should be at the border by 4 pm or earlier. Although we hired a driver, there are buses and trains you can take with ease.
If you want to cross the border, it must be pre-arranged.
There is VIP, foreign, women, and general seating. In case of busy days like holidays they may get full, but you can watch from the fence.
NO PURSES/NO BAGS. You must put your camera and or phone, money, and passport in your pocket. We left our purses with our driver (eek, finger’s crossed… we owed him about 5,000 rupees so assumed it was okay.) If you have nowhere, they will lock it up for you.
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Rachel is an American who left a career in nursing to live on the beaches on Goa, India two years ago where she is now a Thai masseuse, candle-maker, and travel writer. Rachel gives advice on the other 24 countries she's been to but focuses on all the secret trendy places in India. If you’re headed to India you can find everything you need to know on her site which has become the go-to site on India travel: Hippie in Heels.