In order to visit certain parts of Ladakh, tourists need Inner Line Permit from the DC Office in Leh (Protected Area Permit in case of foreigners). This is due to the fact that these areas are located along the cease fire line with Pakistan and China and have heavy military presence.
Getting a Protected Area Permit (PAP) for foreigners is quite a straight forward affair, since Indian Government requires them to go through a travel agent to apply for permit in a group of two or more. This essentially means that you need to pay a travel agent or your guest house the required permit fee along with their commissions and a photocopy of your passport and they will take care of all the paper work and get you the permit at the end of the day. Even if you are traveling alone, you need not worry, they will group you together with others in order to get the permit. Once you have the permit, you can travel on your own, just make sure you carry 3-4 photo copies of the permit per sector, as you need to submit them en route.
Visitors from Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and Burma need to apply for Protected Area Permit at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi. While those on a diplomatic or official visa, need to apply for the same via the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi.
For those applying directly, you need to fill two inner line permit application forms, which are available at the photo copy shop behind the DC Office and also at most guest houses. You will need to write the name of all the individuals applying for permit, their father/guardian names, address, dates for which you require the permit and places you intend to visit eg. Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Marsimik La, Merak, Chushul, Tsaga, Loma, Nyoma, Mahe and Hanle etc. and along with the permit application form, you need to attach photo copy of a government issued ID card eg. driving license for all the individuals applying for permit.
Permit fee for Indians is Rs. 400 per person as environment tax + Rs. 20 per person per day as wild life protection fee + Rs. 100 Red Cross Donation.
Places in Ladakh which require Inner Line or Protected area Permit:
Nubra Valley, up to Panamik on the North-East and Turtuk, Pachathang and Tyakshi Villages on the North-West side
Pangong Tso Lake, up to Merak Village
Tso Moriri Lake, up to Mahe Bridge and Korzok Village. One can alternatively get permit till Loma Bend in Nyoma District, if you are planning to visit there.
Dah and Hanu Villages.
Permit for the following routes are issued by the Leh and Kargil DC Office:
Kargil – Khangral – Shaker – Chiktan – Leh
Dah – Garkone – Darchik – Batalik- Slimo – Kargil
If you are visiting off beat routes/places eg. Chushul, Hanle etc., then please leave a comment below with the places you intend to visit and I will reply with the list of places you will need to mention on your application form. Also in case you have any other queries, feel free to leave a comment below.