Permits for restricted areas of Leh Dist are now online

#1 Jun 1st, 2017, 22:22
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#1
New rules starting 1 June 2017

Details of the rules are in this pdf from the Leh Dist govt. I think it was new in late May 2017.

Both foreigners and Indians apply for permits from this site. Foreigners still have to submit payment and documents in person through a travel agent in Leh, and careful choosing your travel agent. Once you've chosen one, you're stuck with them for the coming year for any future permits in Leh district, even if the agent has closed for the winter.

These categories can not get their permits in Leh but have to apply at the Home Ministry in Delhi at least 8 weeks ahead: Citizens of China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan; foreigners with Pakistani ancestry (though I don't know how they determine that as the application form doesn't ask). Also people on a diplomatic passport or people with a journalism visa have to get permission from the Ministry of External Affairs or something. See the document for details.

I believe that the reason that permits for Indians were reintroduced was that after permits were removed, some Indian tourists would fly in and convince or trick a taxi driver into driving them up to Khardong-La or Chang-La passes the same day. So there was a sharp increase in deaths due to altitude, so the permits are back, forcing Indian tourists to take a day after arrival in Leh before they can head over a pass much higher. (Yep, you think it sounds inconvenient, but it's for your own good, guys!)

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