Beginner’s Guide to Wagah Border Ceremony & India Pakistan Border Crossing

Last Updated on August 6, 2023 by Christine Kaaloa

in pak sunset 1India-Pakistan Border Ceremony

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I’m sharing a Beginner’s Guide to Wagah Border Ceremony and Tips for India Pakistan Border Crossing.

We were at the entrance of the famous Wagah Border Ceremony, standing a stone’s throw from the India – Pakistan border, a historical place of tension and everyone wanted in. The crowd of Indian men pressed in on us from all sides.  Some were annoyed at us, pointing to the “women’s section”.

Sorry bhai. I shrugged my shoulders pretending to be an overly naïve foreigner. I followed the momentum of the masses shoving and now we were accidentally wedged in without a way out.

Being three foreign yoga females, shielding one blond-haired ten-year-old child who looked angelic – which Indian folk, especially villagers were enthralled by-  the men tried to keep a safe and respectful distance. Everyone was chest-to-back at first. But the boob-to-backing became inevitable. In India, the only way to get in, is to push; not with hands, but with bodies.

Read things to know about traveling India as a foreigner

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Thankful to be yellow.

Had I been alone in this situation, my level of alarm would’ve been higher, with my attention working 100% and working at 360 degrees. Being a dark-haired Asian clumped with three light-haired Caucasians, the celebrity spotlight was not on me so I could relax.  There are times being Asian can work for you.

What is the Wagah border ceremony?

After visiting Amritsar’s Golden temple, the Wagah Border Ceremony should be next on your list.

The Wagah-Attari Border is located between the towns of Lahore and Amritsar. It’s located 28km from Amritsar on the India side and 18 km from Lahore airport.

India and Pakistan have had a hard and bitter rivalry for ages. War, disputes on territory ownership… But when you watch the Wagah border ceremony you’ll wonder if they don’t have just a teensie bit of fun with their competition.

Once you’re inside the stadium arena, all focus is on the show.  The bleachers are of stone and you can see parts of the Pakistan stadium and soldiers as their flag stands rival each other.

Want to travel to Pakistan?
Join me on my Northern Pakistan group adventure.

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The lowering of the flag at sunset is a performance, much like a dance battle between two roosters, strutting, shaking and puffing their feathered moves.  The choreographed moves are performed with aggression, as if in battle.  It’s an intense showdown.   It makes me realize two of the many things I love about India… it’s bravado and pageantry.

India’s pride has got a sense of humor, whether they know it or not.

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Shrill and long-drawn rooster calls signaling territory followed by high kicks and puffing of chests, cocking of headdresses, etc… The crowd goes wild on both sides. A giant gate and wall between us.

Sitting in the foreigner section,  you can’t see Pakistan’s comeback to India’s rooster dance, but you could imagine similar moves to match on enemy side. It’s a good show.

wagah border ceremony, india pakistan border ceremony
India’s rooster call & high kicks IMG 3877

Here’s a video short of the performance at the border:

A Beginner Guide to Wagah Border Ceremony

  • Be prepared for the crowd queue. For the most part folks are good but there is pushing and squishing. Females have their own line, so look for it. It is for your comfort and ease.
  • Bags, backpacks, purses or camera cases are not allowed into the ceremony area. There are security guards which will look for them and the crowds will be thick. Do not risk trying to sneak it in.  Leave them either, at your hotel or in the car.
  • The ceremony runs from 4:00pm-5:00pm. You should leave Amritsar at the latest, 3:00PM as it will be a 45 minute ride.
  • Bring your passport or a copy of it. You’ll need to check in at passport control. Your taxi will know where to stop.

Wagah Border Ceremony guide from Amritsar

Getting to the Wagah Border Ceremony from the Amritsar side is easy.

  • Taxis leave from Amritsar behind the Golden Temple.  Your guest house or hotel can also help you find one. A taxi can run you around 1200 rupees .
  • An alternate option is to take a shared taxi. You might find local pilgrims or travel friends.
  • You can also see if Olacabs and Uber work
  • You can take the public bus
  • Parking fees (around 100 ruppees) may be charged on top of that as your driver will need to park and wait for you. As this border a bit aways from Amritsar, taxis are not easy to come by and you may find yourself hitchhiking or taking the bus back.

Tip: Take a guided tour of the Wagah Border Ceremony to get the most out of your visit and to see nearby sights.

Can travelers cross the India-Pakistan border ?

Wagah-Attari Border Crossing information

  • Operation hours: 10am to 4pm. Keep in mind the Wagah Border Ceremony is at 4pm, so traffic on both sides will begin around 3pm. There will also definitely be taxis in theses areas around this time.
  • Be ready for thorough security checks at the border. Your driver will take you to the passport control area. Be ready with your passports.
  • Avoid carrying any prohibited items, weapons, or substances.
  • Buy your water, food, snacks before arriving. You will have very limited options and your wait in the border crossing queue or for a pickup taxi may be long.
  • When crossing either side, either have currency in advance, cash for currency exchange. The border will not have ATMs. You may need to request your driver to stop at the nearest ATM to withdraw money. Or to avoid stress, you can buy some foreign currency from your bank before you leave home. Read my ATM travel tips so you don’t lose money!
  • Hailing a taxi. Be sure you negotiate your price before getting into the taxi.
  • Try ride share apps:  For the most part, the drive can be far for most drivers. Ideally you want to hail a taxi there but you might be able to schedule a taxi pickup!
    • Pakistan: Uber, Careem (acquired by Uber), InDrive
    • India: Ola, Uber, Meru 

Can you cross overland into Pakistan via India Pakistan border crossing?

Yes you can. Coming from Pakistan, you can cross the border into India. You need :

Want to travel to Pakistan?
Join me on my Northern Pakistan group adventure.

Can you cross overland into India via Pakistan-India border crossing?

Yes you can. You can cross the border into Pakistan overland via the Indian side of the Wagah Border.

Coming from India and entering into Pakistan, you are required to have:

  • Pakistan tourist visa

Where to Stay in Amritsar

Need more hotel options? See some of my picks and if you need more inspiration, check out Hotels near the Golden Temple


Amritsar’s Golden Temple (see blog info)

Backpacker’s Nest is a super affordable and welcoming hostel where you can meet fellow travelers. It’s perfectly located 700 meter walk from Golden Temple and the city’s main market.


Hotel Hong Kong Inn is a boutique hotel that’ll make you feel like you’re in the heart of India! It’s just a stone’s throw away from the Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh.

Luxury Hotels in Amritsar

Taj Swarna Amritsar The Taj has had a reputation over the years as a top-notch Indian hotel brand. Taj Swarna Amritsar is a luxurious retreat in the heart of Amritsar and yet a bit further in walking distance than the other hotels on this list. Golden Temple is 5.5km away. But it’s still got a great location and it’s the Taj!


What would you add to this Wagah Border Ceremony guide & Crossing the India Pakistan Border post?

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