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Innerline Permit in Ladakh

2 years back, a circular was published by District Magistrate in Leh, which stated that Indian national / tourists do not require any inner line permits for Leh-Ladakh region. The rule came into effect from 1st May 2014. Therefore, the former restricted regions like Hanu Villages, Dah, Merak Man, Pangong Tso, Nyoma, Tso Moriri, Khardung La, Loma Bend, Digger La, Tyakshi Tangyar (for trekking) and Nubra Valley (till Panamik) will now be accessible by the tourists. Indian tourists/nationals just need to show their valid Photo ID as a nationality proof at the Army/ITBP check-posts. Identity proofs like Aadhar Card, Driving License, PAN Card and Indian Passport would work for you.

Nevertheless, the rules for the foreign tourists have not been changed. All foreign tourists are required to apply for Protect Area Permits (PAP) in a group of at least two or more with the assistance of a registered travel agent in Leh. After getting PAP only, foreigners are allowed to visit the restricted areas in Ladakh including Dah and Hanu villages, Pangong Tso, Tsi Moriri and Nubra Valley.

Essential Points to Remember Before Leaving for Ladakh

  • There are certain such areas in Ladakh where even the Indian nationals need to apply for Inner Line Permits. Such regions are Chumur, Hanle, Batalick sectors, Tsaga, after Loma bend, Chusul, and Marsimil La.
  • The procedure to apply for an Innerline Permit is the same.
  • Acclimatization is not only necessary, but it is required too.
  • Tourists are recommended that tourists should not visit Tso Moriri on the way, from Manali to Leh. Although an inner line permit is not necessary but acclimatizing and sleeping before visiting this lake is extremely important as the Lake is at an altitude of 4500 m and the air is very thin.

If you are travelling to Ladakh, please take note that obtaining innerline permits for a certain areas is obligatory.  The reason behind is that Ladakh shares its border with Tibet and so the areas are sensitive. Both Indian and foreigner tourists need to apply for a permit for places like Rumtse, Drass and Sarchu, if they are commuting by road. If you are traveling by air, you can register yourself at the airport. Permit for Protected Areas is obtainable at the office of Deputy Commissioner at Leh.

In order to obtain and get your permit approved, you need to fill an application form that is available at Photostat shops which are location near DC’s office. The office of DC of Leh is open between 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM. The application submission is done after 03:00 PM. The application form can also be downloaded from the internet.

Each person is required to Pay INR 20, per day along with INR 10 for Red Cross Society. The catch is that you can also avail a discount from the clerk present there if the fee collection office is not present. For a student, a full time permit is available at INR 230 only. You are just required to attach a photocopy of your ID along with the permit. As and when you get the permit, you are now free to explore this lovely place. No permits are needed on Srinagar-Leh highway, Manali-Leh highway and to visit the local attractions near Leh.

You must carry attested copies of valid nationality proofs such as Voter ID, Passport, Driving License, PAN card and Adhar card. Getting permits for the group becomes easy when you fill all the required details in the application form and attach the attested photocopies of the ID proofs belonging to all members of the groups.

Most of the hotels in Leh offer the option of getting inner line permit to their guests. Just furnish attested photocopies of your ID roofs through mail. In about 3 hours, you will get the approval. The process of approval takes places first in the morning and then in the evening. Nevertheless, try to submit your proofs early so that you get approval in the first half when the touristy rush is less.

Details to be filled in the Application Form

The following details are needed to be given in the application, be it for an individual or for a group:

  • Name (every person in the group)
  • Name of Parent/Guardian (every person in the group)
  • Complete Permanent Address
  • Name of the places you are visiting
  • Specific dates for which you need the permit

Mentioning the name and address of the hotel you are staying in is optional.

This application form requires the list of all the main attractions / towns / villages that you will be visiting during your Ladakh trip. For instance, if you mention Nubra Valley, places like Sumer, Panamik, Diskit and Hunder get mentioned automatically. But, if you are also visiting Turtuk, it need to be mentioned seperatly. Please take not that forgetting or not mentioning any of the destination or attraction may lead to rejection of your application.

Along with an application form to obtain permit, a tourist is also required to fill an application letter directing it towards the Deputy Commissioner of Leh in order to get the permit approved. In this letter, mention the dates of your tour and the places that you wish to travel to. Remember that the dates and the places that you mention in the application form and the letter must be same.

Make sure that you make two or three copes of the complete set including the Request letter, the application form and the photo IDs of all the group members. After preparing all the sets separately, submit them at the DC’s office along with the original documents. INR 10 per person also needs to be given as deposit fee for the required permits.

After you deposit the fee, the clerk will ask you get the document signed by the ADC. Nevertheless, he himself keeps the documents in the room of ADC. This takes from 1 to 3 hours. As your documents gets approval stamp, visit the nearest Photostat shop for making a few copes of the approved papers, which later will be submitted at all the check post that you will be crossing.

In case of foreign tourists, Inner line permits are effective for 1 week and in the case of Indian tourists, the validation is for 3 weeks. However, during the stipulated duration, you can visit a particular duration as many times as you want. Do carry several passport size photographs as the need of it can come up at any point of time. Only Indian national can get a permit to visit the Changthang region as foreigners are not allowed there. This is the complete process:

For Domestic Tourists

It is recommended that you provide all the below mentioned documents, at least a day before the day of your tour so that the procedure of the permit takes place:

  • A copy of your valid Identity Proof
  • Nominal fee is charged in respect to the Travelling Area

For International Tourists

  • It is recommended that you provide all the below mentioned documents, at least a day before the day of your tour so that the procedure of the permit takes place:
  • A copy of your valid Passport and Visa
  • Nominal fee is charged in respect to the Travelling Area