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Permit Requirements for Restricted Areas

by Madhav Srinivasan 1922 days ago

Travel permits to enter any country play a major role during your travel. As per the rule in the destination country applying for the travel permit and having them always with you makes your travel easier and happier.

Travel Permits in India

India is a country of diversified culture where you can find many religions, communities and languages. With varied culture throughout the country, although there is freedom of movement, there are some places to which the Government of India restricts the entry. 


Entry is basically restricted to the Union Territories and to some places in the North-East region of India. Preservation of culture from the external influences of today’s modern culture being one of the main reasons these areas are categorized as protected areas and restricted areas.


Places that come under these protected and restricted areas are parts of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Sikkim.


Requirement of Travel Permit

All foreigners entering any of the above mentioned areas need a travel permit issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs or any regulatory body authorized by the Ministry of Home Affairs. There are places to which the entry of Indian citizens is also restricted; in such case, they need to obtain an Inner Line Permit.


Everyone who is entering these areas with a valid Inner Line Permit, Protected Area Permit (PAP) or Restricted Area Permit (RAP) should adhere to the following guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

  • Permit is valid for group tourists with more than two persons.
  • Tourists are to travel through the specific routes and use the specific entry and exit points
  • Copy of permit must be deposited at each entry and exit points
  •  The permit holder shall not stay back in the protected or restricted area
  • Foreigners are allowed to travel to the above places by air only
  •  While traveling, the permit holders are allowed to travel only on the National Highways unless permitted to use other roads


The Ministry also states that citizens of Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, foreign nationals of Pakistani origin and Myanmar will not be issued permits without the approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs.


Rules Pertaining to Specific Areas

Andaman & Nicobar Islands – Coming under the restricted area, tourists arriving by air will be issued a permit to stay for 30 days. If tourists are arriving by sea, permit has to be obtained in advance to purchase the ticket. Individual tourists are permitted.


Arunachal Pradesh – Protected Area

Individual tourists are not permitted and 10-day permit is issued to tourist groups who plan to stick to the specified route. To request permit to enter the additional trekking route, tourists should apply for it 4 weeks in advance.


 Himachal Pradesh – Partially Protected Areas

Individual tourists are not allowed and permit is for trekking only.


Kashmir – Restricted Area

Individual tourists are not entertained, with 7-day permit, the travel groups can travel only on the identified circuit.


Lakshadweep Islands – Protected Area

Both Indian nationals and foreigners need to obtain permit to visit Agatti island.


Manipur – Protected Area

Individual tourists not allowed and with 6-day permit, travelers have to travel by air from Calcutta to Imphal.


Mizoram – Protected Area

Individual tourists not permitted. With 6-day permit, tourists have to stay on the identified route. Application for permit must be made 4 weeks in advance.


Nagaland - Protected Area

Tourists are allowed with an entry permit for the Ministry of Home Affairs or any regulatory body authorized by the Ministry.


Rajasthan – Protected Area

A valid entry permit issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs or the authorized organization is required to enter the protected areas.


Sikkim – Partially Protected Area

Individual tourists with valid travel permits allowed for 15 days, whereas to west Sikkim, individual tourists are not allowed. Here, permit is only for trekking.


Uttaranchal – Partially Protected Area

Individual tourists are not permitted.


In any of the above mentioned areas, tourists are expected to adhere to the rules and regulations specified by the Ministry of Home Affairs ‑ wavering from these rules and guidelines will be considered as crime.


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