Everyone has read about how this is a must visit at least once. I agree. Even though the whole routine is highly dramatized, the place is charged with enthusiasm and outside of a cricket ground, this is the only other place where patriotism is seen in its full glory. I want to focus on the practical/logistics of this visit.
The place is outside of Amritsar, and if you are going there in the summers, taking an AC car is worth every penny. It was 45 degrees when we went, and while we considered taking an auto (because it was half the price of the cab), we are glad we went in the car. It took a good 45 mins in car to navigate the traffic and really bad roads; and would have taken much longer and would have been a really bumpy ride had we taken an auto.
The car drops you off at the parking after which there is a 1.5 kms watch to the place where the ceremony is held. you can take a cycle rickshaws to cover a short portion of this distance for Rs. 20 per person. for physically challenged or elder people, there are golf carts which will take you to the security check-point. the golf cart service is also sometimes given to foreigners (there seemed to be no rule around it). you are not allowed to carry any bags, but you can carry a camera, small wallet and a water bottle in your hand. i did not see any lockers around, so make sure any large pieces of luggage/bags you have are kept in the car.
there are multiple seating areas - one is a free area on first come first served basis. get here really early if you want to get a good seat. then there is one area for indians with VIP passes (which can be booked online for a fee) and a VVIP area which is very close to the actual border. Not sure if the VVIP area can be booked or is only for dignitaries. There is a foreigner section between the VIP & VVIP areas. if you are an indian visiting with a foreigner, you will need a VIP pass in order to sit with your friend, else you will be directed to the general section.
The ceremony started almost an hour late. it is very important to take a scarf/hat if you are visiting in the summer.
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