Restricted Area Permits for visits by foreigners to Arunachal Pradesh

#1 Oct 7th, 2008, 21:12
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
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  • theyyamdancer is offline
#1
I hope this is posted in the right forum. I apologize if it is not.

The query is : how is the best way to obtain a Restricted Area Permit for Arunachal Pradesh? The trip will be in March or April of 2009, for three people, two of whom are non-Indian nationals, i.e myself, my husband (I am English, he is Greek, we need to go to Athens for our Indian visa - valid usually for three months as is normal here; and an Indian friend from Bangalore); then possibly joining in a group of other Indian nationals from Kolkata.

The tricky part is this: Indian nationals only need to obtain the Inner Line Permit for Arunachal Pradesh. But foreigners need the Restricted Area Permit. How to co-ordinate the planning with Indian friends?

Matters are further complicated by the fact that it takes a week for my Indian visa to be issued in Athens (i.e. 2 trips from Crete to Athens to organize it), because they have to send a fax to London and back.

I am of the opinion that it would be easier to get our R.A.P.s in Kolkata at the Arunachal Pradesh office in Salt Lake. But since we are trying even now to coordinate dates, it needs careful planning. HELP!

Thanks in advance to anyone who has the answers.
#2 Oct 7th, 2008, 22:11
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  • machadinha is offline
#2
No direct advice, just bringing up a further possible complication, sorry: If you need to be in a group of X people, it has been reported here that the number of members can't consist of nationals and foreigners. So 2 Indians and 2 foreigners don't make up a group of 4 (or again, that's just what I've read here, and it's presumably and if so obviously to do with their different permits, indeed, although a little leniency in the field might have been welcome you'd think). Tricky, isn't it.

Conversely and now for the good news, it's been reported here travel restrictions there have been greatly relaxed: http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...urists-t55758/ (there's mention there of mandatory nr. of tour group participants having been reduced to two).

More at http://www.arunachaltourism.com/entry.htm , and sorry if you already know all this, just trying to think along.

My line of thinking would be like yours yes, arrange it from Kolkata, I'm sure you could stipulate it should coincide with the others' ILP? Allow for some reasonable processing time I guess, how long that should be I don't know. But I'd think (but certainly can't be sure) if you can apply in Kolkata, then keep yourself occupied there or in the surroundings (which shouldn't be hard) for a day or 5-7, it should be alright really. (Or: Apply for the permit along with your visa, giving the required dates. If that falls through for some reason, you can still try in India. That State Tourism site claims permits for foreigners, in groups of a minimum of two indeed, should now be valid for 30 days, so depending on your precise plans and intended length of stay, this should be arrangable.

Finally, you could try contacting any of the nrs. provided there, but reliability of what you'll be told is always a question of course...)
#3 Oct 7th, 2008, 22:25
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Macha, I really appreciate you taking the trouble to reply to this one. It helps to discuss it through. I agree that we would await the RAPs/ILPs in Kolkata, which we want to visit again anyway. I think it would take between 2-5 days. I read on the updated AP site that TWO is the new magic number needed as a minimum for a group. So even if they classify us separately from our Indian national friend we are still OK. (By the way, Mike-in-Cairns did his recent AP trip solo and obtained his RAP in Australia.) But, I still need to find out whether, accepting that we can coordinate/juggle our papers, the areas covered would be identical in the RAP as those permitted in the ILP. As this is a very grey area it needs more study. The requirements seem to be changing from month to month. As little as 6 months ago the "four person rule" was in place. This trip is a little challenging for many reasons, which makes it all the more exciting!
#4 Oct 7th, 2008, 22:56
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Oh, no trouble at all, and y'r most welcome (but thanks for the thanks, always, of course. It does actually mean something to me.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post It helps to discuss it through.
Certainly, and I can surely relate.

On my first trip to India I'd meant to visit Assam and possibly beyond, when that state itself had been highly restricted until just recently before. All along the way, from my Indian tourist office to the embassy to info on the ground, information seemed to differ, and reassurances that it would be "no problem at all, sir!" (or quite the contrary) somehow never sounded very reassuring, nor that any permit would mean anything on the ground for that matter. In the end, I ran out of time and never made it there, so no idea how easy I would've gotten in and around.

I have since spoken to many people who reported getting around just fine, no local dangers (in terms of political upheaval and so on) to speak of either (well, another member here a year or two ago reported on Guwahati being fine, "apart from the machine gun nests around"),* possibly traveling alone where technically they shouldn't have indeed, etc. So who's to say; my general impression is if you just go for it, chances are it will somehow fall into place.

I would however try and go there with this general attitude of in India anything can happen and you never really know until you actually try, which comes in so handy doing anything there anyway.

Good luck with it! That whole area is still much on my wish-list. (And so checking on it from time to time for myself and others, I am never of the impression info and stipulations are any more conclusive than they were back then, no. Hey, let's be happy there's -- apparent -- adventure to be had still in some parts of the world at least! )

* (nb In terms of political trouble and as I assume you'll know, AP is supposed to be one of the NE states least affected by this I think. I believe restrictions there have more to do with an earnest wish to protect the local cultures, together with local frictions perhaps. Just to not cause you undue concern.)
Last edited by machadinha; Oct 8th, 2008 at 01:00..
#5 Oct 8th, 2008, 00:06
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is it not possible for your friends in kolkata to get the required information out of the Arunachal agency? how long will it take if applied in CCU and so on and so forth.

sometimes - just sometimes, websites mayn't be updated - which is why i'm suggesting them folks in CCU getting the required info directly from the AP Sate agency.


:brishti
AP's on my wishlist too mach !
#6 Oct 8th, 2008, 00:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brishti View Post AP's on my wishlist too mach !
Hey, after dressing me up in Mumbai, who knows if we can't head out there together? ... Who knows, who knows, indeedy.

(No immediate plans, yet, btw, although I'm sort of tossing my options around of late. Besides, I wonder how 2 months might cover for all the meetups I see forthcoming anyway, let alone any other planned itineraries. I mean something like Delhi-Mumbai-Kochi-Bangalore-Hyderabad-Chennai-Kolkata just for the former, give or take... [Jaisalmer, of course! Vizag!] Oh boy. Make that another 6 months, rather.)

nb If you can have your friends make enquiries on the ground, that would make sense of course, Theyyam. I have a feeling though they're not close to anywhere where they can either? Oh, you say some of them are from Kolkata. Yes, set them to work
#7 Oct 8th, 2008, 00:58
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Thanks, Brishti and Macha. Yes, obviously, I will ask those in Kolkata to do the brain work! One of our gang is based in Bangalore, but we'll travel up to Kolkata with him. Then meet up with the rest, hopefully.

Oh, now, that would be fun - you should both join us!
#8 Oct 8th, 2008, 01:06
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Heheh, now that you mention... Spring 09, eh?

(Nah, sorry, can't promise anything at this point. Fun idea though, most certainly For some reason I think we'd all get along. Plus, I could think of some other firmly established members who might be there and want to hook up at the time. Hmm...

Have you looked into weather conditions there btw? I've so far never managed to become really clear on best visiting times, between the wet and the cold. Well, the latter obviously shouldn't be a real issue in your period, or at least I don't think so. It might well still be higher up I guess.)

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