Getting a Sikkim inner line Permit from a consulate in the U.S.

#1 Feb 19th, 2005, 08:24
Join Date:
Feb 2005
Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.
  • debrahc is offline
I'm having trouble figuring out how to get the sikkim inner line permit. I went on-line to the Indian Consulate in New York's web-site. NOthing at all re inner-line permits. So, I call. The woman I speak to tells me to just write a letter with the visa application requesting an inner-line permit. I ask whether there's an additional charge. NO. This all seemed really dodgy to me. I'm going soon, and I live about 100 miles away from NYC.

Anyone advice?

#2 Feb 21st, 2005, 16:18
Join Date:
May 2003
  • mountaingirl is offline
I usually advise people to get a tourist visa - not mention destinations that require these sort of permits. Saves a lot of headache and hassles as sometimes, the consulates refuse to issue a visa. I think there was a case in IM long time back.

Get the innerline permit in Delhi or Darjeeling or at the border. Remember you need a separate trekking permit to trek - but then you also need to be FOUR persons to avail that.
#3 Feb 22nd, 2005, 15:05
Join Date:
Jan 2005
Pune, india
  • gobbledegeek is offline
try googling on "inner line permit" india ... ?
#4 Feb 22nd, 2005, 15:54
Join Date:
Sep 2004
Northern California
  • dzibead is offline
You can get the Inner Line Permit to enter Sikkim when you apply for your visa just as the woman at the Indian Consulate in NY said. I got one last fall from the Consulate in San Francisco, no problem. You can also get it once you are in India, and can even get it at the border as you go into Sikkim.

To go into North Sikkim, however, you need an additional restricted area permit and I think you have to get that once you are in Sikkim. You also have to arrange it through a recognized tour agency. Even though you can't get the restricted area permit until you are there, you can contact a tour agency ahead of time about working with them, which you probably need to do anyway to work out your travel arrangements if you are going into an area where the additional permit is required because you won't be allowed to travel on your own in such areas. Make sure you take extra passport-type photos, which are needed for the permit, and also make some photocopies of your passport.

It used to be that you had to be part of a group of four to get the restricted area permit but now they give it for as few as two people traveling together. If you are traveling alone I think the tour agency may be able to construct a "group" of others in the same situation assuming your schedules work together. My arrangements were made through Blue Sky Tours and Travel, which has an office in Gangtok. The arrangments were actually handled by local relatives of a friend of mine who knew someone at that agency, so I really can't give you any feedback about that tour operator because I didn't deal with them directly, but they seemed OK. I think the State of Sikkim has its own webpage with a lot of this information.
Last edited by dzibead; Feb 23rd, 2005 at 00:49..

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