My experience of Wagha Border’s flag lowering ceremony
It would be a shame to go to Lahore and not make the effort of going to the Wagha Border, which is the line of partition between India and Pakistan and about 45 minutes drive from Lahore town centre.
I visited last July with my cousins. I was in Pakistan on a tight work schedule comprising of many meetings, however despite the heat, we felt it was important to take some time out to visit Wagha Border.
The Wagha Border is open between 10 and 4pm and the ceremony takes place at 4.15pm in the winters and 5.15pm in the summers. The ceremony comprises of the lowering and raising of the Indian and Pakistani flag, however, the true attraction is the build-up and all the grandeur and entertainment that surrounds it. We arrived at 4pm and the queues had already started to build up, as each of the cars are checked at a security check point before you are permitted to enter the area.
Once we parked up and started to walk up, we saw both the Indian and Pakistan flag hanging high up in all their glory and might. The sense of patriotism and love of your country started to build up within us and as we got closer we could hear the national anthem blaring from the loudspeakers and the cheering of the crowds that had start to build up.
As we walked through security the sense of excitement was accelerating and we were keen to get to our seats to ensure we’d get a good view of all he parade and entertainment that takes place. When we were seated, we were surrounded by people from all walks of life. At the center, there was a young boy that was marching, combined with some dance moves to a patriotic song, praising the armed forces that protect us. After the track finished, another man came and energised the crowd, encouraging them to say Pakistan Zindabad. This was all happening on the Pakistan side, simultaneously on the Indian side, the Indian soldiers were also energising their crowds to cheer for India. The atmosphere was good humoured and electric, both sides were filled with patriotism whilst also appreciating the patriotism that their neighbours felt for their home country.
Whilst there I noticed that there was no sense of India Pakistan divide, no hostility between the crowds only a sense of enjoyment and pride. For both communities it was a day out to see the the theatre around the raising and lowering of the flag, much like one goes to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace in the UK.
It does require half a day, as its a bit of a drive from the centre of Lahore but if you want to feel the true spirit of being Pakistani and experience an afternoon of good humoured energy between Indian and Pakistan, it’s worth taking the time out. This is a free non-ticketed event and a must see, if you are visiting Lahore.
Don’t just see it, experience it with Xperience Pakistan.