Fateh Diwas in Amritsar (2014)

Fateh Diwas in Amritsar, Punjab, India (2014)

Fateh Diwas is celebrated each year the next day after Diwali (also known as ‘Bandi Chhor Diwas‘) festival at a ground behind Shaheed Ganj Gurudwara nearby Amritsar Railway Station. We visited via Cycle Rickshaw during the afternoon hours.

Golden Temple to Shaheed Ganj Gurudwara (Islamabad road) we paid Rs. 30 Cycle Rickshaw fare.

Nihang organizations from all over Punjab visit in large numbers horses, elephants, and vehicles to participate in the celebration. We met Malkeet Singh – a Nihang from Kapurthala (Punjab). Even women are Nihangs known as Singhani.

Upon query about the event, Malkeet Singh shared the knowledge as follows:

We all know the Indian Army and its grand parade during Republic Day. Just like that, the ‘Khalsa Fauj‘ parade is held the next day after the Diwali festival to celebrate the return of Guru Hargobind ji from Gwalior fort to Amritsar. Fateh Diwas was started after 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj. It is also known as ‘Akal Purakh ki Fauj.’ Akal means Parmatma i.e., God.

Nihangs were provided with five kakaars.
1. Kada 2. Kachhera 3. Kesh 4. Lakkad da Kanga 5. Kirpan

Nihang is having various meanings, but a few are:
– The one who is not proud
– The Warrior

The celebration was about to start. Malkeet’s wish was to leave to join. Thank you very much – said I. Knowledge enhanced.

The celebration started at 2 pm and continued till late evening hours. Nihangs with their traditional weapons and horses display martial art as well as horse-riding skills. A few Nihangs I saw standing straight over one or two running horses. Amazing skills. All I can say is it was my first experience of such a traditional celebration. One should visit once to watch.

Golden Temple on Diwali Night – View from Hotel Sapphire

Golden Temple (Amritsar, India) on Diwali Night View from Hotel Sapphire

Daal Roti Ghar Di, Diwali Amritsar Di‘ – This famous saying is so true. Though I/We all have celebrated Diwali since childhood, visiting the Golden Temple on Diwali night is so special. The lighting, langar, shabad kirtan, and a large number of devotees from many parts of the World – a very special day. The fireworks started at 7:00 pm and finished at 7:30 pm.

This day is also known as ‘Bandi Chhor Diwas‘.

One of the best views is from the terrace of Hotel Sapphire. Upon request, they allowed us.

One should visit at least once Golden Temple, especially on Diwali night.

Attari-Wagah Border – Flag Lowering Ceremony

Wagah Border Flag Lowering Ceremony, Punjab, India

We booked a prepaid sharing taxi one day in advance via the prepaid booth nearby Golden Temple for Rs. 100 per person. The next day was Diwali festival day we started our journey nearby Golden Temple at 2:30 pm and reached Attari-Wagah Border at 3:45 pm.

Golden Temple to Attari-Wagah Border is 32 Km approx. journey.

Total journey/travel time from Golden Temple to Attari-Wagah Border – 1 hour 15 minutes.

At 3:50 pm we were in the queue at Wagah Border BSF check-post. By 4:15 pm we were near the stands.

Please note: Gutkha, Bidi, Cigarette, Lighters, or any type of bag are not allowed after the BSF check-post. Only a camera is allowed in hand. We were carrying a camera case. A local person approached us and requested us to deposit camera case at a makeshift locker under a tree. He provided his mobile number and locker number on a piece of paper. Charges – Rs. 30/-. After the ceremony, we collected the bag.

Attari-Wagah Border Flag Lowering Ceremony started at 4:30 pm first with visitor’s participation and later by BSF. By 5:30 pm the ceremony ends. By 6:30 pm we reached nearby Golden temple via the same shared taxi.

In words, it is difficult at least for me to write the experience. It is a patriotic feeling which can be felt only if you are visiting Attari-Wagah Border. One should visit at least once.

Amritsar to Attari/Wagah Border Prepaid Taxi Fare, Distance and Travel Time

Prepaid Taxi Booth nearby Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India

It was afternoon hours we were at Golden Temple Road. On the left-hand side, we saw a prepaid taxi booth and thought why not inquire about taxi fares for Attari/Wagah Border though the wish was to visit the next day i.e., Diwali festival day?

Rs. 100 per person – prepaid booth counter person said. If you book today, it is Rs. 100 per person to and fro journey and if you book tomorrow it will be Rs. 120/-. We book two seats in advance. Rs. 200/- paid. We were told to visit the next day at 2:00 pm.

The next day at 2:00 pm we reached the same location and showed the pre-paid receipt. After a few minutes, there were a few more guys. They were also joining for the Attari/Wagah Border visit via the same taxi. In total there were 10 tourists if I am correct and the taxi driver. We had a little walk to reach a taxi stand and then within the taxi – a jeep. The journey started at 2:30 pm and reached Wagah Border at 3:45 pm approx. 600 meters before Attari/Wagah Border. The taxi was parked by the driver and we walk towards Attari/Wagah Border. It was a nice 32 km journey as per the display board but the driver said – a 35 km journey. Very useful prepaid taxi service. After Attari/Wagah Border Ceremony we re-started the journey and by 6:30 pm we were back nearby Golden Temple, Amritsar.

The prepaid booth is open for 24 hours – said the counter person.

Then one day I thought to inquire: Is there any bus for Wagah Border from Amritsar Bus Stand?

Yes, said the conductor standing at Shaheed Madan Lal Dhingra Interstate Bus Terminal nearby Sangam cinema. Fare – Rs. 30/-per person one-way journey.

But I am still not that sure about the bus because I haven’t seen any bus nearby Attari/Wagah Border but still will try a bus journey one day.