Singapore, Tashkent, Ashgabat, London etc from the Raja Sansi International Airport,
recently renamed as Guru Ramdas International Airport. The airport is being developed
for increasing demand in future; a new International inbound & outbound terminal is
operational and cargo terminal is also under construction. The city is the administrative
center for the Amritsar District. Amritsar developed from a small village pool to a
business center. However, it did not become the industrial center of Punjab due to its
proximity to the volatile Indo-Pak border.

Partition of undivided India into India and Pakistan had the most profound effect on the
demographics, economics, social structure and culture of Amritsar. The state of Punjab
was divided between India and Pakistan and Amritsar became a border city, often on
the front lines of India-Pakistan wars. Prior to partition, the Muslim league wanted to
incorporate Amritsar into Pakistan because of the Amritsar's proximity to Lahore (a
distance of 30 miles) and a nearly 50% Muslim population, but the city became part of
India. The Indian National Congress had similar aims of incorporating Lahore into India
as Lahore was the cultural, economic, and political capital of undivided Punjab and
Hindus and Sikhs constituted nearly 50% of the population, but Lahore became a part
of Pakistan. Amritsar and Lahore experienced some of the worst communal riots during
the partition of India. Muslim residents of Amritsar left the city en-masse leaving their
homes and property behind due to violent anti-Muslim riots in the city. Similar scenes
of communal carnage against Hindus and Sikhs were witnessed in Lahore and led to
their mass evacuation.

As of 2007, Sikhs form a majority in Amritsar consisting about 74% of the population,
Holi, or Holli, also called the Festival of
Colors, is a spring festival celebrated by
Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and others. The
main day, Holi, also known as Dhuli
Vandana in Sanskrit, also Dhulheti, Dhulandi
or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people
throwing coloured powder and coloured
water at each other. Bonfires are lit the day
before, also known as Holika Dahan
(burning of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). The
bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that
young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika,
sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika
was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god
Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his
unshakable devotion. Holika Dahan is referred to as
Kama Dahanam in South India.
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1.  Beating retreat, or
the ceremonial closing of the Wagah border
between Pakistan and India, near Amsitar.
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Quiz #247 Results
How Collier and Milene Solved the Puzzle
sunset ceremony were held between BSF and Pakistan rangers, and the two later
started "reorienting" their personnel involved in the ceremony, effects of which were
seen by November 2006, when the evening ceremony at the border was considerably
less aggressive than in previous decades on both sides.
Answer to Quiz #247
February 28, 2010
I decided soldiers with different uniforms/
headdresses might mean a border between
countries. So I googled images for "border guard
ceremony" and got pictures of the "Beating the
Retreat" ceremony at the Pakistan/India border
crossing at Wagha/Wagah.

Collier Smith

I wasn’t sure where to start for this one.  I had to
try several search combinations at Google images,
“strange military uniforms”  “military kicking” and
finally “kicking ceremony” which got me a photo
which was similar.  It was easy when I found the
right combination of words.  I then could go from

Milene Rawlinson
The dramatic closing ceremony held
every evening at the Wagah border
crossing between Pakistan and India is
famous around the world.

On the Pakistan side, the tallest,
meanest-looking Pakistan Rangers march
and stomp with their chins jutting out as
crowds of Pakistanis sitting on plastic
seats clap and cheer. On the Indian side,
Wagah (Hindi: वाघा, Urdu: واہگہ) is the
only road border crossing between India
and Pakistan, and lies on the Grand Trunk
Road between the cities of Amritsar, India
and Lahore, Pakistan. Wagah itself is a
village through which the controversial
Radcliffe Line was drawn. The village
was divided by independence in 1947.
Today, the eastern half of the village
remains in India whilst the western half is
in Pakistan.

The Wagah border, often called the "Berlin
Daily Border Closing at Wagah
wall of Asia", is a ceremonial border on the India–Pakistan Border where each evening
there is a retreat ceremony called 'lowering of the flags'. At that time there is a very
energetic and thrilling parade by the Border Security Force (B.S.F) of India and the
Pakistan Rangers soldiers. It may appear slightly aggressive and even hostile to
foreigners. Troops of each country put on quite an entertaining show in their uniforms
with their colorful turbans. Border officials from the two countries sometimes walk
over to the offices on the other side for day to day affairs. The happenings at this
border post have been a barometer of the India-Pakistan relations over the years.

Samjhauta Express, the train service between Lahore and Delhi, plies twice a week
from Attari railway station, 5 km from Wagah. The National Highway 1 of India starts
from Wagah Border, and is the transit point for the Delhi–Lahore Bus service operating
within the Punjab between Amritsar and Lahore, which was started in 2004 as relations
between the two countries improved.
With over 8000 people visiting the border
on an average day just on the Indian side,
governments have started developing
Wagah as a tourist destination, improving
tourist and custom facilities. The Indian
government plans to develop a global
tourist complex at the Wagah-Attari
border, which lies 30 km away from

As the relations between the two nations
improved, the joint talks to tone down the
Location of the Wagah Border on Google Maps and Google Earth
31 deg 36' 17.73" N
74 deg 24' 26.73" E
1.  Where daily event is shown in this picture?
The Independent
Shock of Border Ceremony Takes Its Toll
By Andrew Buncombe
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
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Robert Edward McKenna, QPL

It is easy to get a kick-out-of,
These daily patriotic shows,
The pageant with energetic movements
Topped by head gear and colorful clothes.

It isn't really a parade as such,
But the cheering crowds come from near and far,
To witness this colorfully unique interchange, as both
India and Pakistan know the display is somewhat bizarre.

Robert Edward McKenna
Quiz Poet Laureate


Why Can't We Be Friends?

The trumpets, the headgear, the snarls, and the struts,
In Wagah they parade to and fro.
The audience comes from quite near and quite far
To witness the day's "closing" show.

Yet the pageant is probably just to look tough
Just a display of pride for their lands,
Because at the end, surprising enough
The two sides pause to shake hands.

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD
Understudy to Quiz Poet Laureate
Robert Edward McKenna
God Krishna
playing Holi
with Radha
Mr Aquil said tenders for re-laying the parade area had already been floated. He added:
"The new surface will come up shortly. This will lessen the shock and be durable and
the tallest, meanest-looking Indian Border Security Force troops march and stomp,
chins similarly jutting out, while crowds of Indians make a similar, flag-waving din.
There is no shortage of testosterone in the air.

But the high-stepping and stomping involved in the so-called "retreat" ceremony appears
to be taking a toll. The Indian military has revealed that some soldiers have suffered
injuries to their feet and backs as a result of all the stamping. To counter this, the
authorities are to lay down a new, springier surface for the parade.

"Our [soldiers'] feet receive tremendous shocks during the retreat ceremony,"
Mohammed Aquil, inspector general of the Border Security Force (BSF) told The
Hindustan Times. "This is not only painful for the feet but creates back problems at
times. We have decided to lay a special surface on the parade area to give them some

Thousands of visitors, both local and from overseas, attend the nightly ceremonies that
turn into enthusiastic displays of patriotism, especially in the middle of August when
both countries celebrate their independence from
British rule. Videos and DVDs of the closing
ceremony do quick trade at the shops on either side
of the border.

In its own way, the border at the village of Wagah is
a barometer of the relationship between the two often
hostile countries. Several years ago, when relations
were warmer, there were plans to boost trade and to
ease crossings.

Yet while both a train and a bus regularly make the
trip, numbers are not high and travellers complain of
the difficulty in obtaining visas. While trucks laden
with cement and tomatoes cross over, as militant
violence has increased in Pakistan, the numbers of
human visitors has fallen.
Audience at the Border Crossing
Amritsar (Punjabi for The Pool Of The
Nectar Of Immortality) is a city in the
northwestern part of India and is the
administrative headquarters of Amritsar
district in the state of Punjab, India. The
2001 Indian census reported the
population of the city to be over
1,500,000, with that of the entire district
numbering just over 3,695,077. Amritsar
is 32 kilometres (20 mi) east of Lahore,
Pakistan and therefore, very close to
India's western border with Pakistan.
Another origin of Amritsar's name is from Amŗit-Sagar, "The Ocean of the Nectar of
Immortality". This is a very important ocean to the Sikh religion, as the name implies.

Amritsar is home to Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, the spiritual
and cultural center of the Sikh religion. This important Sikh shrine attracts more visitors
than the Taj Mahal in Agra and is the number one destination for non-resident-Indians
(NRI) in the whole of India. There is Baba Jivan Singh temple dedicated to the brave

Amritsar is also known for the incidents of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919 under
British Rule and Operation Bluestar in 1984 under the late Prime Minister of India,
Indira Gandhi. The main commercial activities include tourism, carpets and fabrics,
farm produce, handicrafts, service trades and light engineering. The city is popular and
known for its food and culture. Amritsar is also home to Central Khalsa Orphanage,
which was once a home for Shaheed Udham Singh, a prominent figure in the Indian
independence movement.

The city is dominated by the history of Hindus and Sikhs and many of their sacred
shrines are found in and around the city. It was established by Guru Ramdas. The city
has highest temporal seat of Sikhs "The Harimandir Sahib" popularly known as Golden
Temple. The city has central old city called walled city. It has narrow zig zag streets
mostly developed in the 17th and 18th century. The city has a peculiar example of
introvert planning system and has uniques areas called Katras. The Katras are self styled
residential units that provided unique
defence system during attacks on the city.

The city lies on the main Grand Trunk
Road (GT Road) from Delhi to Amritsar
connecting to Lahore in Pakistan. The G.
T. Road, built by Sher Shah Suri, runs
through the whole of the northern half of
the Indian subcontinent, connecting
Peshawar, Pakistan to Sonargaon,
Bangladesh. The city is also connected to
most other major cities such as New
Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta by an extensive
network of rail system. The city also
provides air connectivity to major Indian
cities, as well as international cities such
as Birmingham, Toronto, Dubai,
Map of the Grand Trunk Road
Hindus being the largest minority at 26%.
Males and females constitute 55% and
45% of the population, respectively.
Amritsar has an average literacy rate of
75% (which is higher than the national
average of 59.5%). 15% of the population
is under 6 years of age. The main spoken
language in Amritsar and in the
surrounding villages is the Punjabi dialect
of Maajhi, considered to be Standard
Punjabi. Other languages spoken in the
city are Hindi and English.
The Golden Temple