While we all love the excitement and joy of travelling, border crossings can be a bit of a pain at the best of times. Spare a thought then for anyone who travelled through the Indian enclave (a piece of territory which is owned by a country and is surrounded by another country), before 6th May 2015.

Field in Bangladesh

This area, in the district of Cooch Behar, in the state of West Bengal, was the world’s only example of a counter-counter enclave. The enclave was completely surrounded by the Bangladeshi village of Upanchowki Bhajni, which was in turn surrounded by the Indian village of Balapara Khagrabari, which, (guess what) was contained within the Debiganj region of Bangladesh.

Confused yet? I certainly am, and I wrote it!

Map of Dahala Khagrabari

Credit: Open Street Map and nittyG

Luckily, no one lived in the small parcel of land, as it was used for farming, though the farmer who owned the land had to cross the border whenever he wanted to check on his crops. Travellers hoping to pass through Dahala Khagrabari would need to cross from India to Bangladesh, then Bangladesh to India, before finally passing from India, back into Bangladesh.

The Indian and Bangladeshi governments decided that this was all too much fuss and swapped ownership of hundreds of enclaves in May 2015, saving everyone a lot of bother and confusion. Still, it certainly puts waiting in line before you hop on the Eurostar into perspective.

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