Permit for Ladakh
Permit for Ladakh
Ladakh, the mere mention of the name conjures up images of prayer flags fluttering atop snowy mountains, azure blue skies with white patches of clouds over the horizon, pristine blue rivers gushing through the barren landscape and the heartwarming hospitality of Ladakhi people. The romantic aura and the adventurous feel of being in Ladakh is more than enough to ensure that this cold desert tops any discerning traveler’s bucket list. If you were travelling to Ladakh before the May of 2014, you would have to furnish necessary permits to go to your favourite sightseeing spots: Pangong Tso lake, Tso Moriri lake, Alchi, Lamayuru and Likir monasteries, Shey, Thikshey and Hemis monasteries, Khardung-la pass and Nubra valley, Diskit and Hundur sand dunes, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill, Chang la pass en route to Pangong Tso etc.
Till May 2014, Indian and foreign nationals required an inner line permit and a protected area permit respectively to access a number of these places. However, after a rule change in May 2014, a number of these places have become accessible to tourists as they no longer need special permits. To make your travel to Ladakh hassle free, we’ve compiled a guide that gives you all the details you need on the different kinds of permits and how to get them.
Permit for Ladakh – Requirements for Indian nationals
For most places on the tourist circuit in Ladakh post May 2014, Indian nationals no longer require Inner Line Permits (ILP). An ILP is issued by the Government of India allowing travel to some otherwise restricted areas in the country for a limited duration. Travellers from outside the state have to mandatorily carry this permit if they wish to access these areas. Post May 2014, any valid ID proof like driving license, Aadhar card, Indian passport, PAN card etc will act as your permit for Ladakh. At several check points like South Pullu en route to Khardung-la and Nubra valley, you will be required to furnish a copy of your ID proof and fill up a form before you can carry on to your destination. It is advisable to carry several photocopies of your ID proof as you may be required to submit these with the form. With a proper ID proof, you will be able to access Pangong Tso lake, Dha and Hanu villages, Khardung-la, Merak, Man, Tso Moriri, Turtuk, Nubra valley (up to Panamik), Loma Bend, Nyoma, Tyakshi, Tangyar (only for trekking) and Differ La.
Places that still require an Inner Line Permit
Even though a number of areas are now easily accessible, there are still some where Indian nationals need an Inner Line Permit. These are: Batalik sector, Chumur, Hanle, Tsaga, Chushul, beyond Loma Bend and Marsimik La. Refer to the section below for documents required for getting an ILP. Incidentally, an ILP is valid for a period of three weeks from the date of issue and needs to be reapplied for once it expires.
Permit requirements for foreign nationals, OCI, PIO, NRIs
Foreign nationals, Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Non Resident Indians (NRI) required a Protected Area Permit (PAP) issued by the Government of India to get access to restricted areas. This rule, however, has remained unchanged after May 2014. As a result of this, if you happen to be a foreign national, you would still need to apply for a PAP to visit Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Nubra Valley, Dha – Hanu villages. You can apply for a PAP through a registered travel agent in Ladakh. The permit needs to be applied for in a minimum group size of 4 foreign nationals/ OCI/ PIO/ NRIs. For groups smaller than 4, travel agents usually club people together, create a group of four or more and get their PAP.
PAP is valid for a period of seven days from issue and needs to be reapplied for after expiration. So if you are planning a stay beyond seven days, make sure you have informed your travel agent suitably. Once you get hold of the PAP, make photocopies of the same as you will need to submit them at various check points. If however, you happen to be a tourist from Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan or Burma, or a diplomatic visa holder, you will have to approach the Ministry of Home Affairs for issuance of permits.
If you are travelling to Ladakh by road or by air, you will be registered at certain entry points. Travelers coming by road on the Manali Leh highway or Srinagar Leh highway, will need to get registered at Rumtse and Sarchu (Manali Leh highway) and Drass (Srinagar – Leh highway). Travelers who fly directly to Leh will need to get registered at the Leh airport. Registration is simply a process of entering traveler’s details including a name, contact number,address, nationality and other basic details. While permits are required for access, registration is simply done to keep a tab on the number of tourists so that it is easy to track them, especially in the case of a calamity.
How to obtain permits
A PAP can be obtained from the office of the Deputy Commissioner in Leh which is located in the main town. However, the easiest way is to ask your hotel reception to obtain the permit for you. Alternatively, you can enlist the service of a local travel agent in Leh town who will get the permits for you. In either case, you will need to submit a copy of your documents for obtaining the permits. There are certain quirks in the system which might lead to your application getting rejected. You need to specify exactly where you’re planning to go if you don’t want unnecessary hassle. For example, specifying Nubra valley automatically covers Diskit, Hunder, Sumer and Panamik. However, if you’re planning to visit Turtuk, you need to specify Turtuk or you will be stopped at the check post and won’t be allowed to proceed further. Due to these quirks, it is advisable to take help from a local travel agent or your hotel staff.
For obtaining permits, do ensure that you submit your papers at least one day before your planned date of travel. There could be delays in getting these permits and you really don’t want a last minute change of plans. Forms for getting permits can be downloaded from the internet and are also available at local photocopy shops near the DC office. If you’re using a travel agent or your hotel, they will provide the forms for the required permits.
Documents required for Indian nationals to get ILP for restricted areas
- Photo ID copy issued by central government: Voter ID, Passport, Driving license, or Pan-card
2. Fee of INR 20/- per person as red cross fee, INR 200/- per person as environmental fee and INR 100/- to 200/- per person is charged by the travel agent
Documents required for foreign nationals to get PAP
- Passport photocopy – front page
2. Copy of Indian visa
3. Processing fee of INR 20/- (Red cross fee), INR 300/- per person as environmental fee. Travel agents fee is usually between INR 100 – 200/- per person for getting permits done As of now, these are the rules for getting the requisite permits for your travel to Ladakh. Wish you a wonderful trip to Ladakh and hope that this information comes in handy!
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Permit for Ladakh
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