The only Railway Station in India where you need foreign Visa

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Anupama Nair

You read correctly! There is a railway station in India where you need to obtain a Pakistani Visa. Read on for more…. Yes you need a visa from Pakistan to visit Attari in Punjab.

The Indian Railways is called the lifeline of our country. Railways transport passengers from one end of the country to their destination. Rail travel in the country is also extremely economical. Just book a ticket and go on your journey. The railway as we know was first designed by George Stevenson. India's first passenger train was operated by the Great Indian Peninsular Railway and was hauled by three steam locomotives (Sahib, Sindh and Sultan), ran for 34 kilometers with four hundred people on board in fourteen carriages between Bori Bunder (Bombay) and Thane on 16 April 1853. From then on the Indian Railways have been carrying passengers from Peshawar to Chittagong and from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari i.e., the entire Sub-Continent.

India’s oldest train has been running for more than a hundred years carrying passengers from Bombay to Peshawar, and the name of the train was Punjab Limited during the pre-Independence days and now Punjab Mail. The train ran non-stop till the national lock-down in the country last year. After Independence, till now, the train runs between Firozpur Cantonment Station in Punjab and Victoria Terminus in Bombay.

After Independence, the Samjhauta Express is the only train link between India and Pakistan and always became the first casualty whenever tension escalates between the two neighbors, who were one from time immemorial. In India, the train is also called as Attari Special Express. The train service between India and Pakistan is named Samjhauta which in Hindi and Urdu means ‘agreement’. The train operates twice a week between Lahore and Delhi.


In reality, it is one route operated by the two trains — from Pakistan, the Samjhota Express operates from Lahore to Attari (a small station in Amritsar), located just around three kilometres away from Wagah border. In India, the train operates from the capital New Delhi to Attari. We can see a glimpse of the train in the super-hit movie Veer Zara. The train was suspended for few days after the Pulwama Attack, but the services resumed as it is the only means of transport for commoners in both countries. For those people, who are lovers of history like me, I realized I need a Pakistani Visa to see Attari.


In fact, Attari is the only railway station in the country, where we need a visa. Pakistani visa has been made compulsory for citizens here. As the city is located near the Indo-Pakistan border, the Attari railway station is always under guard. If a person is caught here without a visa, a case is registered against him under the Foreign Act 14. You need to understand, bail is also obtained with very great difficulty. Punjab Police guards the railway station and photography is prohibited here.

So, if you are planning to see the Wagah border, don’t forget to get a Pakistani Visa to travel to Attari. 


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