The India – Pakistan Ganda Singh Wala Border Ceremony

The India – Pakistan Ganda Singh Wala Border Ceremony

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  • Post published:September 14, 2020
  • Post category:Pakistan

What is the Ganda Singh Wala Border?

The Pakistani village of Ganda Singh Wala served as the main border crossing between India and Pakistan in the 1960s & 70s. It was closed to trade & transit in 1986 and the main border crossing was shifted north to Wagah. 

Similar to the much larger Wagah border ceremony, a daily border ceremony still takes place at Ganda Singh Wala today.

Pakistan-India border crossing
Ganda Singh Wala border between Pakistan and India

What is the Ganda Singh Wala Border Ceremony?

Every evening at 4:30pm a nationalistic flag lowering ceremony takes place. Unlike the Wagah border ceremony, this one is much more intimate and compact.

The two sides are only a stone’s throw from each other and the arena can only sit a few hundred, so make sure to arrive early.

Chairs are placed right on the border line and make for spectacular viewing – and photography of the goose-stepping soldiers.

Flag waiving entertainers lead the chorus of national chants while spectators fill the arena. The noise drowns out the loud techno beats on both sides.

Then it begins.

Soldiers face off and march right up to each other in a show of force and pride. Both sides explode towards each other in a show of who can stomp their boots the loudest. The crowd applaud every move before each soldier steps back to attention. 

The 40 minute spectacle ends with a dramatic lowering of the national flags to cheering locals.

The Ganda Singh Wala border crossing
Watching the Ganda Singh Wala border ceremony

Difference between Wagah and Ganda Singh

Although the purpose and ceremonies are similar, the main difference is the size. At Wagah you will be seated quite far back from the action which can make photography quite challenging. Bigger however does mean louder and it is still a very impressive show full of color, choreography and noise.

At Ganda Singh Wala you are up close and personal with the soldiers. Close enough to see the passion in the eyes as they stare across the tiny border at their opposing positions. Here you’re also likely to be the only foreigner visiting, which can make you somewhat of a local celebrity for the afternoon.

At Wagah they merely straddle the border as they march up and down. At Ganda Sing Wala opposing soldiers actually enter enemy territory to lower their respective flags.

It’s an all round more intimate, genuine and local experience at Ganda Singh Wala, very much off the tourist radar, even for Pakistan.

Ganda Singh Wala border guards face off in Pakistan
Ganda Singh Wala border guard

Travel to The Ganda Singh Wala Border

The border is located a 45 minute drive from Lahore along the new Lahore-Kasur highway. Rocky Road Travel can arrange a day tour for you from Lahore with a local guide and driver.

Contact us for more information on travelling to Pakistan. Don’t forget to check out our spectacular Karakoram Highway tour, which starts in the Punjabi capital of Lahore! 

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Rocky road travel founder Shane Horan at the DMZ

Shane Horan

Founder

When Shane is not endlessly writing award winning content for Rocky Road, he's usually kayaking to and from the beer garden along Berlin's River Spree.