SPECIAL PERMITS FOR RESTRICTIONS
As per the policy of the Government of India, many areas in the country are not open to the tourists because of insurgency or other security concerns. Even in these areas, the government has tried constantly to open up some less sensitive areas to the tourists. Many states such as Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura are now out of this list. Special permits have to be secured to visit the areas in the restricted/protected list.
WHOM TO CONTACT
The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India is the apex body responsible for granting permits to the restricted zones. Most of the Indian Missions abroad are also authorized to grant such permits. Apart from these two, Foreigners’ Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta, and Amritsar can also grant these permits. As most of these restricted areas falls into different states and Union Territories, the officials of these governments are also authorized to grant permits.
For obtaining permits, tourists may contact the following addresses:
Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block,
Central Secretariat, New Delhi 110 001
Phones: 3011011, 3010161; Fax: 3015750, 3017763
Foreigners’ Regional Registration Officer,
First floor, Hans Bhavan,
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg,
Near ITO, New Delhi 110 002
Phones: 011-3319489, 3755183, 5652389
FRRO & Deputy Commissioner of Police,
Special Branch-II (CID),
Phones: 022-2621169, 2620721, 8350098
Chief Immigration Officer,
Shastri Bhavan Annexe,
26, Haddow Road,
Phones: 044-8277036, 8277036, 2340589
Superintendent of Police (Immigration and CID),
PCP Atari Rail Mal Mandi,
Phone: 0183-225456, 227605, 382630
Deputy Inspector General of Police (Border),
13 Lord Singh Road
Phones: 033-2470549, 5528830
The following is a statewise list of restricted/protected areas and other information related to obtaining permits in these states.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Municipal Area, Port Blair
South & North Cinque
Entire Island of Middle Andaman, excluding tribal reserve
All islands in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park except Boat, Holiday, Twin Islands, Tarmugli Malay and Pluto
Entire island of South Andaman, excluding tribal reserve
North Passage Island
Little Andaman Islands, excluding tribal reserve
For air travelers, permits are issued on arrival at the airport. Tourists coming by ship are required to have their permits issued from any one of the FRROs in Chennai and Calcutta or Indian embassies abroad. Those arriving from ships should immediately contact Deputy Superintendent of Police in Port Blair situated at Aberdeen Bazaar.
There are certain exceptions to the above-mentioned restrictions. For places in Municipal Area to Middle Andaman, day and night visits are allowed. For places from Mayabunder to Barren Island, only day is visit allowed. Night halt in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is subject to special permission of the Union Territory Administration. Individual tourists are permitted to visit Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Maximum time period allowed is 30 days.
Namdapha & Tipi Sujusa (Puki)
Apart from the regular channels, tourists may contact the Home Commissioner, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar for permits.
A few additional trekking routes have been opened up for foreign tourists. These include Pasighat–Jengging–Yingkiong route, Bhalukpong–Bomdila–Tawang route, Roing–Mayodia–Anini route, and Tezu–Hayuling route.
Tourist groups can travel on identified tour circuits only. Individual tourists are not permitted to visit the state. Tourist cannot stay more than 10 days even after getting permits. A cash fee of US $50 is charged as entry fee from all tourists.
Poo–Khab–Sumdho–Dhankar–Tabo Gompa–Kaza circuit
The District Magistrate and Director General of Police of the state are entitled to grant these permits, apart from the regular channels listed above. Special Commissioner (Tourism) and Resident Commissioner, Government of Himachal Pradesh, Himachal Bhawan, New Delhi also grants such permits. Interline permits for the districts of Lahaul and Spiti can be taken from Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Block No. II, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110 003.
Special permits are required for trekking only. Individual tourists are not permitted to visit these areas.
Moirang INA Memorial
Keibul Deer Sanctuary
Kongjam War Memorial
For further information on permits, tourists may can contact the State Resident Commissioner in Delhi, Manipur Bhavan, 2 Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi (Ph. 011-3013009)
Individual tourists are not permitted in these areas. A maximum of six days are allowed. Foreigners are allowed only in groups of four or more. Maximum time period allowed is 10 days only. Permit is subject to traveling Calcutta to Imphal by air only. Entry by road is allowed on National Highway 39 and 53 for Dimapur–Kohima–Imphal–Jiribam–Silchar.
The Home Commissioner of the Government of Mizoram, Aizawl also grants permit to the restricted zones. The Superintendent of Police in the state performs the role of FRRO.
For further information, one may contact the State Resident Commissioner in Delhi at Mizoram House, Circular Road, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021 (Ph. 011-3016408)
Tourist groups are allowed to travel on the identified tour circuits only. No individual tourists are permitted. A maximum stay period of 10 days is allowed.
Individual tourists are permitted in these circuits. A maximum of 15 days is allowed. State government, if necessary, can grant an extension of 15 days on request in the written form.
Dzongri in West Sikkim
Individual tourists are not permitted to visit this place. Maximum time period allowed is 16 days.
Tsangu (Changu Lake in East Sikkim)
Individual tourists are not permitted. Permit is valid for the day visit only. Tourist groups are expected to travel on identified tour circuits only.
Mangan, Tong, Singhik, Chungthang, Lachung and Yumthang
Individual tourists are not permitted on these circuits. Maximum stay period allowed is five days.
For more information on getting permits inside Sikkim, tourists may contact Commissioner and Resident Deputy Director (Tourism) Sikkim House, 12 Panchsheel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi (Ph. 011-3010747, 3013026).
In Gangtok, one can contact the offices of Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, and Secretary (Tourism) of the Government of Sikkim.
Nanda Devi Sanctuary, Niti Ghati and Kalindi Khal in Chamoli, Uttarkashi districts
Adjoining areas of Milam Glacier
Individual tourists are not permitted to visit the above-mentioned areas.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, and District Magistrates of the respective districts can grant such permits. For further information one can contact State Resident Commissioner in Delhi at 401 Amba Deep Building, 14 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi (Ph. 011-3313338).
Jammu & Kashmir
Khaltse Subdivision (Drokahpa Area) Khaltse–Dunkhar–Skroduchan–Hanudo–Biana–Dha
Leh–Khardung La–Khalsar–Tirit up to Panasik
Leh–Khardung La–Khalsar up to Hunder
Leh–Sabo–Digar La–Digar–Labab–Khungru Gompa–Tangar (only for trekking conducted by approved tour operators and accompanied by state police personnel)
Pangong Lake up to Spankmik
The Ministry of Home Affairs and the District Magistrates of the respective areas grant permits.
Individual tourists are not permitted to visit the above-mentioned areas. One is not allowed to stay for more than seven days even after getting permits to the restricted circuits. Tourist groups are to travel on identified tour circuits only.