The Indian Border Security Force was raised to protect our borders from unfriendly neighbours after the 1965, Indo-Pakistan war. Till then it was the responsibility of the local police to safeguard the interest. The war exposed the vulnerabilities of the local police in times of international incidents and the need was felt to have an independent armed police force for protecting thousands of kilometers of Indo-Pakistan borders including the Nadabet border, Gujarat.
It was good that BSF was born when it did, as they played a most important role during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, which was instrumental in giving birth to Bangladesh, which till then was called East Pakistan.
At Nadabet region, BSF not only deterred all enemy transgressions but also managed to capture more than 1000 Sq KM of Pakistan land and held it till the Simla Agreement after which the captured areas were returned.
To relive and recount the stories of courage and Valour of the BSF , Gujarat Government and BSF decided to create a destination commemorating the life and legacy of BSF and their Jawans.
The Story of Nadabet Border battle in 1971
In March 1971, when East Bengal (Bangladesh or East Pakistan) declared independence, it was clear that Pakistan would launch an offensive not only on Bangladesh but also India as India was supporting the cause of Bangladesh.
By October, based on intelligence reports, India had become fully prepared for war and the army was brought in to work with BSF, including Bhuj- Kutch border regions of Gujarat.
By the end of November 1971, a full-scale war was inevitable, but still, India decided not to fire the first salvo. As it happened on 3rd December 1971, Pakistan Airforce (PAF), flew into Indian airspace with a view to destroying 12 forward air bases and radars with limited success.
It was just the trigger required by India to put their plan into action. While IAF and the Indian army were executing counter-offensive, the 3 Battalions of BSF in Palanpur Gujarat, moved towards the Bhuj-Kutch border. This is now called the Nadabet Indo-Pak Border (shown as Narabet in the bottom right corner of the map image).
The second battalion slowly but steadily moved across the Rann of Kutch (salt desert) and in just about a few days captured major cities of Pakistan such as Nagarparka, Dhangaon, Virawah among others. All in all, the BSF Palanpur base had captured over 1000 square kilometers of Pakistan territory!
BSF and Gujarat tourism have created a complete experiential destination, called Guardians at the edge, to let us live the story, one of valour and extraordinary courage.
Nadabet border is about 25 KM from another visitor experience complex near Nadeshwari Mata Temple, Sui village, at what is now called the T-Junction.
The story goes that this temple was built by BSF and the soldiers worship here before embarking across the arduous and treacherous desert often taking help from local Rabari cattle herders. Remember the road is fairly a new addition.
The single-lane road laid on the desert is in itself a marvel. One needs BSF permission to drive on this road. Once the destination is officially inaugurated, then only the official air-conditioned buses will be allowed to ply the visitors. The BSF personnel was most polite while checking the permits and answering our queries.
Hard Points en route to Zero point
Since the 25KM stretch of the road is a single lane, every few hundred metres there are places where the road is a bit wider to allow vehicles, even buses, to cross each other.
There are 8 war exhibits including guns, missiles, and tanks. Everyone, including children, immensely enjoys exploring these equipments. The hard stop which has the T55 Tank is a must-stop as there is a tall observation tower from where one can have an unrestricted 360 degrees view of the Rann of Nadabet. It is also a great place to capture the sunset, as I did. 🙂
The Zero point is the closest one can get to the border because of the layers of barbed wire fence and a road alongside, which runs all along the Indo-Pak border from Bhuj all the way to Kashmir.
When I touched it, I shivered and got goosebumps. It was as if the entire Nadabet Border story passed in front of my mind’s eye. Please go ahead and touch it and let me know how the experience was!!!
The actual border lies 150 Metres from the fence and is accessible only to BSF personnel for patrolling, maintenance, and managing the no-man’s land.
The ceremonial flag hoisting and flag-lowering are done every morning and sundown respectively. There is an amphitheater for the visitors. However, at the time of writing not many visitors were around. I was immediately reminded of the time when we had witnessed The Retreat Ceremony at Wagah Border.
Return home with a rejuvenated spirit and march with your head held high.
The permits are again checked on the way back. Be careful!. No one wants to spend the night in the salty dest of the Rann of Nadabet in Kutch, Gujarat.
Useful Information about Seema Darshan at Nadabet Border
How to reach Nadabet Border
By Air: Nadabet (also called Nada bet) border is about 260 km from the nearest airport of Ahmedabad.
By Train: Nearest railway stations to Nadabet Border are Bhildi which is 120 km, Deesa at 140 km and Palanpur 170km.
By Road: Ahmedabad to Nadabet T Junction – 245 km; Gandhinagar to Nadabet – 220 km; Mehsana to Nadabet – 160 km;
Nadabet border is another 25km from the T Junction.
It takes about 4 to 5 hours to drive from Ahmedabad.
Where to stay?
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Good insight into our western international border. Looks like a thing to learn about border security force and their job.
Thanks for stopping by. This is a nice place to visit. Happy Diwali!
It was interesting to learn that the border needs to be protected. I am not sure I would want to head out on the stretch of single lane road. Even with the war exhibits along the way. The barbed wire fence would frighten me.
Great history lesson, thanks for sharing. I wish our borders were just as secure.
It is great to know the history and to learn about the border. Thanks for sharing!
I love to visit these places when I am on vacation because they make me understand more of the history of a place.
This isn’t an area of history that I know too well but intereting for me as it was the year I was born (yes, 50 years ago!). Looks a rather bleak place but interesting historically, I’m sure.
What a fascinating way of learning more about this moment in time. I didn’t realise the border needed to be protected.
Such a nice story to read that brings awareness to everyone about our international border. Thank you for sharing this with us. Keep safe everyone!
A very interesting post on Nadabet border bringing back nostalgic memories of Indo-Pak 1971 war. The fencing post at the zero point gave me goose bumps too.Exploring the war exhibits with the desert vistas must have been amazing I can imagine.
I love reading about history and how we’ve evolved to where we are today. Thank you for educating me about this..
The Zero Point sounds like quite an experience. I would like to see this border. I have seen the Wagah border and the border in Jaisalmer.
It was an unforgettable experience to see Zero Point and touch the border. Nadabet carries a lot of emotional value and one must experience those as the way they depict the border area with museum, activity zone, it always is a great experience to rejoice.
Its great to know more about The Story of Nadabet Border. We learn something new every day
Such a historical border. It’s always great to visit historical places like this and see the place yourself.
This is fascinating. Im interested in learning more about the history behind places. Thanks for sharing this valuable piece of information.
I have touched things of great significance and felt that surge. I know just what it is you are talking about.
Aaawwww…it was very regretful, what happened at this border-point, that day. Nobody should ever have to fight over an imaginary border-line! I would love to visit this area!
A very informative post about a conflict many Westerners forgot about – or are too young to remember.
There is a lot of history on this border, I imagine it is a somber experience. I love that so much has been done to allow people to have such an impactful visit to the area.
I can imagine that visiting the Indo Pakistan border in Nadabet was a very emotional experience. I think it is always good, if also hard, to visit such places in order not to forget the history. And also the people who lost their lifes.
Honestly, I don’t know what I’d feel when I visit this place but thank you for sharing this. It’s one post of ponder and realization. I reckon I would have these subdued emotions or maybe a liberating one when visiting this border.
It is always nice to learn more about history and what went on and how this shapes our futures x
It’s so important to experience historical events such as these to try to avoid conflicts in the future. And to remember those who protect us from those conflicts like the Indian Border Security Force. So it’s smart to share these experiences and learnings with the public.
A very intriguing article on the Nada bet border brought up memories of the Indo-Pak War of 1971. I also got goosebumps when I saw the fence post at the zero point. It must have been fantastic to explore the battle exhibits while taking in the desert scenery.
This border has a rich history; I can only assume it is a depressing feeling. I appreciate all that has been done to make sure visitors to the region have such a memorable experience.
Yes, I have took visit of nadabet and it was really very amazing place to know about indo pak boarder and BSF. Their presentation cleanliness, security are fantastic.