Entry Permits into North East Bloc States

#1 Dec 5th, 2007, 10:56
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#1
Folks,

Have been going thru this board and I believe everyone requires info on the various permits in force in India. The following states in the NorhEast are governed by entry permits :

1. Arunachal Pradesh - Reason : Chinese claim on territory.
2. Manipur - Reason : Law and Order Situation - Insurgency by some rebel groups who advocate secession from India.
3. Nagaland : Reason : As with Manipur
4. Mizoram : Reason : The Mizo accord (1986) that ended insurgency in the state, enshrines the state as a protected area. This is THE only state in India that has a 100% tribal government and where tribal customary law precedes in ALL areas over Indian law.

Please note that for the other three states in the NE Bloc, viz. Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, there is no requirement for any permit whatsoever.

(The following info is given with the idea that one is proceeding to these areas as a tourist - for work / missionary quotas, things are very different)

1. The RESTRICTED AREA PERMIT

This permit concerns only those who do not hold an Indian Passport. These permits are available from all Indian Embassies. Please ask for your permit in your country of origin. Once in India, it can only be given after authorisation from the Home Ministry - which means that it is going to take VERY long (if at all authorised). Once in India, you will require to contact the nearest FRRO who will guide you on what to do.

The correct format is to travel in a group of minimum 4 people. ONLY CERTAIN TOURIST ROUTES /PLACES are permitted. It is best to approach a travel agency to make this permit for you (because of the high number of refusals)

Individual tourists are not given permits.

A. Arunachal Pradesh : Itanagar, Ziro, Along, Pasighat, Miao, Namdapha and Sujesa (Puki) Bhalukpong. 10 days maximum

B. Manipur : Loktak Lake, Imphal, Moirang INA Memorial, Keibul Deer Sanctuary and Waithe Lake. 6 days maximum allowed. Only approach is Calcutta - Imphal by air.

C. Mizoram: Vairangte, Thingdawl and Aizawl. 10 days maximum allowed. Going south of Aizawl is not allowed.

D. Nagaland: Dimapur - Kohima Town on NH39 and all places in between National Highway No. 39 enroute to Kohima Town, Dzuku Valley, Japfu, some of Mokukchong district and Wokha District. Certain areas like Mon, Tuensang, zunheboto are not allowed.

2. THE INNER LINE PERMIT (ILP)

These are aimed at the Indian tourist. (anyone residing outside these four states above). The Temporary ILP is typically provided for a period of 15 days and can be extended for a period of 1 month. In case you would like to do a longer stay, you will need the "normal" ILP which is given for 6 months and is renewable.
Usually, a temporary ILP is provided on arrival in anyone of the airports in these states :
1. Mizoram : Lengpui Airport
2. Nagaland : Dimpaur Airport
3. Manipur : Imphal Airport

Arunachal does not have an airport -(helicopter services only to Itanagar by Pavan Hans) so a permit is required in advance (assuming that you will access from Guwahati / Tezpur)

It is thus BEST to fly to these states. Also the law and order situation in the NorthEast dictate that its best to take a flight in and another flight out...(trust me, this comes from someone who has lived there for over 20 years!!!)

The people to contact (in case you would like your permit before you get there or if you are going to Arunachal or if you would like to stay for an extended period of time - over one month) you need to contact the various state government representatives (eg: Arunachal House, Manipur House, Mizoram House, Nagaland House) in different states.

Am providing the following links for futher reading :

1. Arunachal Tourism : http://www.arunachaltourism.com
2. Manipur Tourism : Try this website - www.epao.net which is an electronic portal for Manipuri's and has travel sections.
3. Mizoram Tourism : http://mizotourism.nic.in
4. Nagaland Tourism : Try these two sites: www.kuknalim.com and www.akasworld.com which are both websites run by Naga people and have tourism sections.

Cheers! and have a safe holiday.

PS: I shall be visiting Mizoram in Jan 2008 for a few days. Shall definitely put up a travelog here.
Last edited by Dilliwala; Nov 17th, 2008 at 21:47.. Reason: merged multiple threads
#2 Dec 25th, 2007, 06:26
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#2
Editing Note: For the Restricted Area Permit, (concerning foreign passport holders only), information on how to procure them is still unreliable and sketchy. On analysis, the "Official" info seems to be contradictory.

Thus, it may be best to contact a Travel Agency to obtain this permit. The agency would also have the latest information on which tourist routes are open.
#3 Mar 27th, 2008, 14:37
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  • link2hs is offline
#3
Hey,

That was nice info on NE India......I have just been to Nagaland and have few friends from there.....

One of the things that you mentioned about Nagaland was that MON district (and few other districts cannot be visited by foreign nationals) but it's not like that....because my friend hosted people from Australia and Japan in Mon District and they were out there on legal permit.

In March the Australian guy even entered with 2 more people in MON District again (normally 4 foreigners are required to enter together, but if one takes approval from "Ministry of Home Affairs" then even less than 4 can enter)...though that’s different that I had to apply for these guys at the Ministry one month in advance and had to call them every week to check on the status (I have heard travel agents get it done in quicker time)

HS
#4 Apr 18th, 2008, 16:39
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#4

Arunachal Pradesh & Nagaland

Hello! Help!

We are in Chennai - heading to Kolkutta by land - then flying up to Nagaland or the furthest point possible . We want to travel to back by land from Arunchal Pradesh , Nagaland , Assam, Sikkum and have to leave the country (To Nepal) by June 2nd, 2008. We have been traveling for 5 years and are excited about visiting the NE states of India.

We are so confused - HOW DO WE GET A PERMIT FOR NAGALAND AND ARUNCHAL PRADESH? We are a couple, in our 50's, on a 25 year trip..
We understand a couple can get a permit for Nagaland but it takes 4 for Arunchal Pradesh?
Can we get a permit in Chennai - Kolkutta - Assam? We have heard YES to all three places but is this recent info? Does it take only several days to get the permit? We don't have much time.

Is there a reliable agency that will secure the permits for a low fee - not outrageous fees?

We always travel independently - public bus, etc. Is that possible and what are MUST SEE places in these 3 NE states??

PLEASE, PLEASE HELP WITH ANY INFORMATION.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! We will keep checking our email.

Nancy & Joseph - Hawaii
www.worldglobetrotters.com
#5 Jun 8th, 2008, 11:31
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  • flyingstars is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyorchid2 View Post Hello! Help!

We are in Chennai - heading to Kolkutta by land - then flying up to Nagaland or the furthest point possible . We want to travel to back by land from Arunchal Pradesh , Nagaland , Assam, Sikkum and have to leave the country (To Nepal) by June 2nd, 2008. We have been traveling for 5 years and are excited about visiting the NE states of India.

We are so confused - HOW DO WE GET A PERMIT FOR NAGALAND AND ARUNCHAL PRADESH? We are a couple, in our 50's, on a 25 year trip..
We understand a couple can get a permit for Nagaland but it takes 4 for Arunchal Pradesh?
Can we get a permit in Chennai - Kolkutta - Assam? We have heard YES to all three places but is this recent info? Does it take only several days to get the permit? We don't have much time.

Is there a reliable agency that will secure the permits for a low fee - not outrageous fees?

We always travel independently - public bus, etc. Is that possible and what are MUST SEE places in these 3 NE states??

PLEASE, PLEASE HELP WITH ANY INFORMATION.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! We will keep checking our email.

Nancy & Joseph - Hawaii
www.worldglobetrotters.com


You can get the permits in the respective embassies in Kolkata or in Assam itself. It takes only 2-3 days to get the permit. But they issue the permits in person only, so you have to collect it yourself.

Since public transport in NE is not so good you will get public buses in only some of the places.

The must see places in Arunachal are Tawang, Bomdila, Bhalukpong. In Assam you can visit Guwahati, Sibsagar, Kaziranga & in Nagaland, Kohima is a very beautiful place.


Feel free to contact me for any other info.

---------------------------
flyingstars India Travel Blog
every traveler has his day!

Travtasy
#6 Sep 5th, 2008, 18:42
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  • mikeincairns is offline
#6

NE States permits - can it be this easy ?

I am an independant tourist holding an Australian passport. I sent my passport (and a polite letter of request) to the Indian High Commission in Canberra for sikkim and Arunachal pradesh permits.

Blow me down - a few days later I recieved my passport back with a page headed RAP/PAP and authority to visit Sikkim, Itanagar and Tawang for 15 days.

I thought it was meant to be very difficult to obtain this permit and there were many restrictions. Can it be this easy to obtain a permit?

I'm actually a bit worried that the authorisation may not be worth the paper its written on???

Anyone out there with experience?
Last edited by Dilliwala; Nov 17th, 2008 at 21:48.. Reason: merged thread
#7 Sep 5th, 2008, 18:46
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  • theyyamdancer is offline
#7
Enjoy it! But 15 days to see all those places is far too short a time, so you might need to renew it. How long do you have?
#8 Sep 5th, 2008, 18:53
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  • mikeincairns is offline
#8

Easy going

I have one month and no real itinery, so it'e a pity that the permit is only for 15 days. I was thinking to use this permit for AP and get a new permit for Sikkim (maybe another 15 days).

I'm a bit unsure of the process once you get to the state borders.
#9 Sep 5th, 2008, 18:57
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  • machadinha is offline
#9
I think Sikkim is no big deal really, save for some outlying areas.

I wouldn't worry too much and just go with what you have. But, yes -- I've once meant to go to Assam, when that was still more restricted. Couldn't get any clear answer anywhere, and I wasn't convinced any stamp would have meant anything on the ground.

But, well, blah, Sikkim should be alright really. Maybe you can save those stamps for the rest of the region. I'm sure you'll get in and then hopefully can figure out the rest on the ground.

Let us know how you fared I'm not even sure if you'll get checked on any borders btw, you'll just want to be there with the right permits, as you might get checked elsewhere and then run into trouble.
#10 Sep 5th, 2008, 19:00
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#10
<crossposted with Mach>


Yes, that sounds about right, because it is very simple to get the permit for Sikkim (unlike the Arunachal Pradesh one). We plan to go to Arunachal Pradesh next year so your post gives me hope. They have apparently relaxed the "group of four" rule to a "group of two" rule, in order to encourage tourism to that part of the North-East. It is the right time to go there I think. Check the threads in the Sikkim forum about the permit, but you have a choice of (1) the border (2) Darjeeling (3) Kolkata. So depends on your itinerary. ( But you must respect the dates on the permit.) We went to Sikkim last spring and had a most wonderful trip (I've written about it in a trip report.) If you want to go to the North of Sikkim you need also a RAP (restricted area permit) which you will get immediately through a travel agent in Gangtok.
#11 Sep 5th, 2008, 19:02
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#11
<cross-posted with Theyyam>

nb Thinking some more: Off the top of my head and so I may be talking nonsense, it's quite possible the standard permit for Sikkim is/used to be something like 15 days; this could then easily be extended (for a not terribly long period, but perhaps the equivalent again) in-state I think.
#12 Sep 5th, 2008, 19:04
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#12
That is correct. The Sikkim permit can be extended for another 15 days from Gangtok, but you must respect the dates. (i.e. you need to be in Gangtok 2 days before it expires)

The pedant in me wants to add - extension is possible up to three times, so 60 days maximum allowed in Sikkim. According to my Lonely Planet North East India : "Once you leave Sikkim you must wait three months before you can reapply for another permit."
#13 Sep 5th, 2008, 19:07
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#13
Thanks for your thoughts guys. As always in India - I'll just go with the flow and see what happens. Will post back my experiences to let everyone know.
#14 Oct 25th, 2008, 13:21
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#14

The most recent information about RAPs and ILPs for ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Here, for the guidance of all future travellers to Arunachal Pradesh, is the most recent information on Restricted Area Permits (Protected Area Permits) for foreigners and Inner Line Permits for Indian nationals:







http://www.arunachaltourism.com/entry.htm



With apologies to the Captain who has surely posted this info somewhere before.
Last edited by Dilliwala; Nov 17th, 2008 at 21:46.. Reason: merged thread
#15 Nov 4th, 2008, 15:10
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#15
The long and short of it is that permits are now a bit easier. You can now travel in a group of 2 or more (previous minimum was 4 unless it was a married couple), and the permit though still $50 is now for 30 days (previously just 10). The permit however is still tricky to obtain and many of the places that supposedly offer it, such as overseas embassies know nothing about it. Other places are notoriously difficult to get in contact with, and mails often bounce back, phones go unanswered, etc. I'm not sure what is the best way to obtain the permits if you are travelling independently but I would advise anyone doing this to make sure they prepare well in advance.

NOTE: You need your Indian Visa before you can get your permit for Arunachal Pradesh.

If you are looking to take an organised trip, Travel The Unknown (http://www.traveltheunknown.com) offer standard 15 and 20 day itineraries in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and also do tailored itineraries. Private tours can also be arranged as can festival tours. Permits are included in all packages.

Hope this helps,
Dave
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