Tension between India and Pakistan has always been high. Each nation wants to impose their superiority over the other and the people suffer in the bargain. However, visiting the Wagah border between India and Pakistan is safe and is definitely a place everyone must visit once in their life. Wagah is a town between Lahore, Pakistan and Amritsar, India through which the Line Of Control (LOC) runs. Armies from both sides host a flag raising and lowering ceremony. The security is very tight so crossing the border unnoticed is not a possibility.
Safety is of utmost importance and priority at the Wagah border. Both the armies have a force of personnel that make it impossible for any suspicious person or object to get past without thorough checking. No incident of firing or killing has ever been reported at the Wagah border. The Indian side has even deployed 30-member SWAT team trained by Israeli forces. This team is the last line of defense behind the Border Security Force. These officers are trained in tactical training, unarmed combat and are equipped with the latest weapons.
Security at the border is the highest as can be expected from any international border. When the ceremony is not on, everyone has to pass a series of security checks before being allowed to cross the border. Once final checks have been done on one side, the person has to go through a series of checks on the other side as well before being allowed to move any further. If anyone tries to force their way through, there is the thermal image scanner that can track anyone for miles. Spike barriers at the gate would stop any vehicle trying to force their way through as well.
The daily flag raising and lowering ceremony is definitely a must-see for all citizens from both sides. The ceremony is conducted with great enthusiasm and is choreographed to perfection. This is a daily routine for the Indian and Pakistan forces; however, the enthusiasm does not drop even for a single day. People from both sides gather on either side and enjoy the closing gate ceremony. The event gives a patriotic feeling amongst the crowd and the cheers from either side are guaranteed to give you goose bumps. This ceremony is called the Beating Retreat Ceremony.
The show starts daily by around 4:15 pm, however in order to catch the best seats in the house, one should reach by 3:30pm. The seating area is divided into VIP seating which is closest to the gates and requires a special pass from the BSF office, Foreign tourist seating which can be availed upon producing your passport, Ladies Exclusive that reserves seats for women and children, and General seating that is the most crowded area. The only things allowed in the area is cellphones, mens wallets, and cameras. No covered bags are allowed. Food and water may be carried in clear plastic bags.
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