Great Achievements !
Great Explorers !
Great Team !
Great Pics !
Great Explorers !
Great Team !
Great Pics !
New Destination, Noted the Route, Added to the Wishlist Bucket. Your are an Excellent Navigator and Narrator too.So let's go, today, first we will visit Vigakot International Border, the distance is 171 kilometers, one needs special permit for visiting points beyond India Bridge. We quickly crossed Bhuj Town before city wakes up, again the roads were super fast all the way, has to be, since it's the main road connecting International Border. we touched Khavda, the last town before India Bridge, had quick breakfast and were on the way towards India Bridge. You will be stopped at the beginning of India Bridge and a message will be conveyed by officer that "stopping on bridge and photography is not allowed hereafter". Once you cross India Bridge, BSF Guys will check your permits and vehicle, they will also give you bag to deposit your phones and cameras. They will also ask you whether you have enough fuel and water for the day. It just takes 5 minutes for the entire process and you are good to go, beyond these point I don't have any images, however be sure I will narrate things in equally good manner.
The next point after India Bridge is small BSF Colony. Adjacent to it is BSF War Memorial, this place is called Dharamshala, the entire area is for just few kilometers bang in the middle of desert. You will be asked to sign and enter your details here. The next point is Chidiyamore, the road is double lane till this point, Chidiyamore is the last point where you will see human beings, the name Chidiyamore came into existence because the entire area looks like crow. So from here you are supposed to take left turn to reach Vigakot and Right turn will take you to Bediabet Hanuman Temple. So we took left, now the road was good single lane, however it has inclines and declines at regular interval, if you are too fast, than you are bound to fly at decline. We didn't come across single soul from Chidiyamore to Vigakot, the drive was fantastic and everyone was exited. After one point we started getting goosebumps as well. so finally around 10.30 AM we made it Vigakot International Border. Jawans welcomed us, offered us water, etc.
The guy at BSF Colony, Dharamshala asked us to carry 2 bottles of buttermilk for the officer posted at Vigakot International Border. So we inquired about the officer and gave it to him. Thereafter he ordered one of his jawan to take us to the viewpoint. We followed the jawan and there we were standing 100 meters away from fence. The officer explained us about the history of this location, Sardar post, life in this area, villages on the other side, Pakistan ranger's checkpost. As we were getting down from the view point, the officer asked us about our experience of this place, surprisingly he asked us, "are you interested in watching the flag meeting", I said "why not". So he told us to wait for sometime.
So how does this flag meeting works, A white flag is raised by the Border outpost who wants to communicate, thereafter opposite border outpost responds with white flag and thereafter meeting is fixed, the meetings are generally held in respect of matters related to construction work around the border pillar, repairing of border pillar, sometimes for exchange of sweets on occasion of festival, etc. Meeting hardly lasts for 5 minutes.
The strange thing about this border is that, for 90 kilometers running up-to the border, there is no civilian population on the Indian side, however the first Pakistan village Rahim Ki Bazar is 2 kilometers away from International Border and Pakistan Rangers's Checkpost is beyond that village, while Indian Chekpost is bang on International Border.
We were anxiously waiting for the meeting, after half and hour we saw movement in our camp area, a vehicle got ready with officer occupying the front seat and remaining jawan were on the back side of ISUZU, one of the jawan at the camp asked us to come to the view point. The jawan gave us binoculars and asked us to see in the particular direction and we could see a white Pakistan Rangers's Jeep approaching the fence, once they were near, our vehicle left from the camp and in 2 minutes reached the gate, thereafter gate was opened, letters were exchanged followed by handshake and the gate was closed, the meeting lasted for 3 minutes, we could see Pakistan Rangers's jeep going back to it's post for next five minutes. I think we were not just happy but super happy. Finally we were ready to leave from the Camp, when the Camp Second in Command Officer met us, he asked us about our border experience, job, qualification, travel, etc. I narrated him my previous experiences of visiting the International Border, he was surprised and joked away saying, "aap log pagal ho, itna lamba, dur is registan me bhala kaun ghumne aata he" meaning "you guys are mad, who comes to travel in this arid deserts". With this he invited us inside his office for a cup of tea, looking at his position, we couldn't say no and we went along with him to his office. A tea was ordered for us, thereafter he tested my knowledge, he looked at a map in front of him and asked me to locate where are we sitting, I was like, "yeh toh mere baye hath ka khel he" meaning "that's easy for me". I not only identified our current location, but I also gave him the location of other posts and most importantly the location of Border Pillar 1175, thereafter I also told him about my Kashmir Travel and this group called "BCMTouring" he was impressed, than he asked his jawan to bring different kind of weapons, his jawan bought 3 weapons, one had long range, one had medium range and one had short range, he personally explained the pros and cons of each weapon and gave us to handle it in our hand (PS: It wasn't loaded) after half an hour, he asked us to have a lunch?, we politely declined saying we have another border waiting for us. He asked me what more can I do for you?, I was taken a back and surprised. Without hesitating I told him, I want to visit the fence, he was like "that's it", he immediately ordered his jawan to accompany us and came all the way till gate to drop us off.
In that half hour we discussed about relations with Pakistan, Location of all sensitive places available on maps, satellite systems, jobs, travel across India, why there are no civilians for 90 kilometers on the Indian Side of the Border. He advised me to visit International Borders in the state of Punjab, since they are more interesting.