An Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued and stamped by the Indian authorities. This document is compulsory to visit Restricted Areas. Permits are delivered by the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Leh, they are valid for a maximum period of 15 days for foreigners and for a maximum period of 3 weeks for Indian citizens (you can specify the dates when the validity period starts and ends). There is no limit on the number of times you enter a Restricted Area. The Inner Line Permit is called Protected Area Permit when delivered to foreigners (but it is the same).
What are the Restricted Areas?
The Restricted Areas are located near the Line of Control (border with Pakistan) and the Line of Actual Control (border with China). There are several check posts on the roads leading to these areas.
You need an Inner Line Permit to visit the following places:
Khardung La Pass, Nubra Valley and Shayok
Chang La Pass, Tangtse and Pangong Lake
Chumathang, Tsaga La and Tso Moriri Lake
Dha-Hanu Valley and Batalik
You do not need an Inner Line Permit to travel along the Leh-Manali Road and the Leh-Srinagar Road.
How to obtain an Inner Line Permit?
It is very easy to obtain an Inner Line Permit when you are in Leh:
Any travel agent or hotel in Leh can arrange a permit for you.
Allow one working day to process your application.
The permit office is open Monday to Saturday. It is also open on Sundays in summer.
Indian citizens need to provide a valid identity proof (driving license, passport, election card, aadhar card, pan card).
Foreigners need to provide a valid passport with visa or OCI card.
You can obtain a permit even if you are travelling solo (travel agent will arrange).
How much does it cost?
The cost breakdown of an Inner Line Permit is as follows:
Environment fee: ₹ 400
Red Cross donation: ₹ 100
Wildlife protection fee: ₹ 20/day
For example, a permit valid for 3 days will cost ₹ 560 (400+100+3x20). In addition, the travel agent or hotel will take a small processing fee of ₹ 200 or ₹ 300.
Visitors from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will not be able to obtain a permit from the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Leh. They will have to apply for an Inner Line Permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi.
Foreigners holding a diplomatic passport and members of the United Nations will have to apply for an Inner Line Permit from the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.