In what can only be described as a regressive move, LAHDC (Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council) has once again decided to reintroduce Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Indian Nationals for all inner line areas.
In 2014, LAHDC had abolished ILP requirement for the tourist circuit of Ladakh (see link). A move which had been welcomed by not only by the Indian travelers, but also various tourism unions of Ladakh. Since it reduced the unnecessary paperwork and an extra loop travelers had to go through.
However, with the new eco-tourism policy introduced earlier this year. LAHDC had to levy an environmental fee of Rs. 400 on tourists visiting Ladakh and hence, ILPs were reintroduced for Indian Nationals.
For which areas do I need the permit?
If you’re planning to visit anyone of these areas listed below (which pretty much all tourists do), you will need inner line permit.
- Dah and Hanu (Khaltse – Domkhar – Skurbuchan – Hanudo – Biama – Dha route.)
- Pangong Tso (from Leh to Merak Village.)
- Tso Moriri (Leh – Chumathang – Mahe – Korzok.)
- Nubra Valley (Khardung La, Diskit, Hunder, Turtuk, Pachathang, Tyakshi, Sumur, and Panamik.)
- Tangyar (Leh – Sabhoo – Digger La – Khungru Gompa – Tangyar, only for trekking.)
- Chushul (Merak – Chushul or Nyoma – Loma – Tsaga – Chushul)
- Marsimik La
Where can I obtain this permit from?
You will need to visit the DC Office in Leh, located near the stadium to obtain this ILP. DC Office is open from Monday to Saturday (except national holidays) and they accept permit applications from 10 am to 3 pm.
How do I apply for inner line permit?
You need to fill the ILP forms with the following details:
- Your name Name, father/mother/husband name, nationality, address, id proof you’re attaching and ID proof number.
- Name, sex, and age of all the people traveling with you.
- Date of arrival in Leh.
- Details of vehicle you’re traveling in (including driver name if it is a taxi).
- Name and address of your hotel in Leh.
- Name of the places you’re planning to visit eg. Nubra Valley, Turtuk, Warshi, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri etc..
- Dates and period for which you require the permit.
Along with this, you need to attach photo copy of government issued id card eg. PAN, Adahar, Passport, Voter ID, DL etc. of all the people for which the permit is being applied.
Where can I get ILP forms?
You can find ILP forms at DC Office as well as most of the photocopy shops and at hotels in Leh. It is best to obtain the form from outside, fill it, attach photo id copies and then go to the DC Office.
How much do I have to pay for a permit?
You will need to pay 3 fees, these are:
- Environmental fee: Rs. 400 per person
- Red Cross donation: Rs. 100 per person
- Wildlife Protection fee: Rs. 20 per person per day.
This essentially means if you’re traveling in a group of 3 people and will be visiting Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso for 4 days, you will have to pay (Rs. 400 x 3 = Rs. 1,200 + Rs. 100 x 3 = Rs. 300 + Rs. 20 x 4 x 3 = Rs. 240 =) Rs. 1,740.
What do I do with the permit, once I have it?
You will need to get multiple photocopies of the permit made from the photocopy shops (3 per region) and submit them at the various checkposts en route. So make sure to get couple of copies extra, to err… on the side of caution.
Was this really needed?
In my view, no! This environmental fee is mostly going to be used for promoting eco-tourism in Ladakh, rather than reducing the ecological damage and clearing the garbage (you can read more about it here.)
LAHDC could have easily set up environmental fee collection centers at strategic points to ensure travelers could pay the fee, without needing to visit the DC Office and once again indulge in the same bureaucratic red tape, that LAHDC had cut not too long ago.