Is it Wagah or is it Whaga? Sadly, you are right both ways. The fault with this tiny nondescript village was that it was too inconsequential for Mr. Cyril Radcliffe to notice on the maps which lay on his table when he worked on the tragic and misconceived Radcliffe Award. The Radcliffe Line which was later drawn in blood and continues asking for more. This village like hundreds of other villages got split between India and Pakistan on paper, but the challenge was that this village falls on the historic road between Kabul to Chittagong, Sher Shah Suri Marg or the Grand Trunk Road.
This border post between India and Pakistan on South Asia’s oldest and longest road is the most important road border in Asia and is now amongst the busiest on the business front too. To differentiate, the independent Governments of India and Pakistan decided to spell the village name differently. Now the village name is spelled as Wagah by India and Whaga by Pakistan, but in practice many Pakistani government agencies have started accepting Wagah as standard spelling.
Till this date, Wagah Border Post is the “ceremonial point of crossing” between India and Pakistan and is made famous by its grand “evening flag lowering ceremony.” The flag lowering ritual has shouting and foot-stomping as integral parts and they almost out-shadow excellent march past done by soldiers from both the sides of the border. A large crowd gathers every evening to watch the border gates closing ceremony.
About this photograph: This photograph is part of Mapsofindia.com’s commissioned projects on India. The photograph captures both sides of the border, people and structures, emphasis has been to capture as much of the “clutter” as possible.
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