Sunday, September 17, 2017

Weekend Visit To Golden Temple And Wagah Border in Amritsar

Namaskar Dosto,

I am again back with yet another travel story, this time in Amritsar, Punjab (historically known as Rāmdāspur). I have been there in July 2017 with my office colleagues and this travel story is long pending in my drafts. So, it all started with Mcleodganj then we thought of Rishikesh and then finally all agreed to Amritsar.

We had three consecutive holidays in the first week of July 2017 (Saturday/Sunday as weekly off and Monday (Telangana Day). We had finally started our journey at 5 AM on Saturday in Amritsar. We are 5 office colleagues ( Rohan, Lavish, Jatin, Gaurav and me). We are in Lavish’s Car (Vitara Brezza), really comfortable car for long journeys. Our entire journey to Amritsar would be around 450 Kms via NH-44 ( via Ambala, Chandigarh & Jalandhar). Traveling from Delhi to Amritsar by road is also a very good option since both the cities are connected with a decent highway network

Read Also: Manali, Shimla, Manikaran & Solang Valley Family Trip

We have booked our stay in MK Hotel, Amritsar located in the District Shopping Complex, Ranjit Avenue is 7 km away from Airport, 3 km from Railway Station and 4 km from Downtown Area. The Hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center.

Entrance of MK Hotel

MK Hotel

View of My Room

Bar in MK Hotel 

We have reached Amritsar at around 2.30 PM and checked in at the MK Hotel. Soon after taking lunch we had taken some rest for two hours after really long day and a hectic journey. At around 6 PM, we hit the gym and pool. Soon we explored the hotel as well. After that, we explored the local market nearby Golden Temple and tried the local food (Amritsari kulcha) in Amritsar. Came back to the hotel and had our sleep.

Visit To Attari Railway Station

We checked out our hotel at 11 AM, and then on our way to Attari, Railway station in Punjab, which lies on the rail route connecting Lahore to Delhi.

We reached the Attari station at 12 PM. This is the last station on Indian soil connecting to Pakistan. We roam around the station for nearly half an hour and left around 12:30 PM for Wagah Border.

Attari Railway Station

Attari Railway Station

My Friend Rohan near Attari 

Seats on the Pak side

On the Way to Wagah

View of Pakistan

On the way to Wagah Border

Wagah Border

Reach Wagah Border before 1:00PM 1-hour drive from our hotel in Amritsar to experience the Beating the Retreat ceremony in the evening. The flag ceremony is a daily military practice between the two nations. Wagah Border is the only open crossing border of India and Pakistan. It was started way back in 1959 and it was agreed by the government of both the nations. It is a symbol of the rivalry between the two nations, as well as the cooperation and brotherhood of both the nations.

Scenes outside Wagah Border at 3 PM

Wagah Border at 4 PM

About Wagah Border

Wagah Border is the border line running along the GT Road between Amritsar in Punjab, India, and Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. The flag ceremony is conducted by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers since 1959. Folks from all across the nation visit this place to witness the Beating Retreat Ceremony that is held every day before sunset.

The Beating Retreat Ceremony starts at 6:00 PM in summers and people starts making queues at around 2 PM when the main gate opens. The forces there don’t have adequate arrangements for large masses. People gather there in large numbers around 30K-50K on a daily basis. I think our security forces at Wagah Border, should make a good arrangement as in summers with temperature as high as 45-50’ C. It is really hard for women and children to stand for 2 hours in long queues.

Things To Know About Wagah Border

1. There are jammers in the areas surrounding the Wagah Border, and thus no mobile phone services are available (No BSNL/MTNL).

2. There is a nutty rush at the entrance gate but once you get through you are taken to the appropriate stands.

3. Proper seating arrangements are made for the visitors. Selected seats are reserved for VIP’s or special guest or friends/colleagues of Defence personnel, while general seating is allowed for the men. Few areas are under construction right now.

4. Reach there by 5.15 PM, and if you are lucky you can get a seat on the main parade ground.

5. Cameras are permitted but no pen drives or any kind of storage devices. No hand bags allowed, whether large or small.

6. Food stalls are also located close to the entrance which serves bottled water, fruit chaats and some snacks.

7. Take hand towels, sunglasses, snacks and lots of water bottles as you may need them to survive inside.

8. Start leaving the premises 5 mins before the end, As you may get stuck inside and there is a lot of rush near parking. So on a safer side leave early.

Golden Temple

At around 10 PM, we reached Golden Temple, Amritsar the spiritual and cultural center for the Sikh religion in India and home to the Harmandir Sahib. The city is also known for its rich culture, cuisine and the Akal Takht.

Golden Temple

Golden Temple, Amritsar

Harmandir Sahib

Team Selfie 

Visited the Golden Temple, the holiest Gurudwara of Sikh religion. It took around two hours for darshan and then we had dinner at Guru Ka Langar in one of India’s Mega Kitchen at Golden Temple Amritsar at 11.30 PM. After that, we have left for Delhi at midnight and reached our home at 8 AM in the morning. I really enjoyed driving through Punjab and it was one of the memorable trip to Amritsar enjoyed a lot and learned a lot as well.

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