Obtaining Leh Protected Area Permit

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Ladakh, or the entire Kashmir and Ladakh for that matter, is a beautiful yet sensitive area because of the constant conflicts between India, Pakistan and China in this region. Sadly, the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which rightfully belongs to India, is divided between 3 different countries. While India only protects its own territory, China and Pakistan never stopped making attempts to acquire more land in this region due to which, tension in these districts is always high. There is heavy army presence in this area and not all parts of Ladakh are accessible to civilians. To visit some areas, all foreign nationals as well as NRIs are required to procure a Protected Area Permit.

 

What is a Protected Area Permit : Protected Area Permit, or PAP, is a government issued document to foreign tourists. It is a permit to be allowed entry to restricted areas for a limited period of time. Places located near LOC (Pakistan) & LAC (China) require civilians to acquire this permit in order to visit. The sole purpose of this permit is to keep a check on movement in these areas.

Some of the places that require PAP :

Khardung La
Nubra Valley
Tso Moriri
Pangong Tso

No permit is required for local sight seeing around Leh, Zanskar Valley, Suru Valley.

Where to Obtain : Protected Area Permit can only be issued through a registered travel agent and a minimum of 2 people are required in order to procure PAP. In case you are traveling solo, then the travel agent will get you the PAP issued by putting your name on the list with a different group. This doesn't mean that you need to be traveling with that group if your PAP is issued with them. Once you have the PAP, you are free to travel solo again.

Validity of PAP : The Protected Area permit can be procured only for a maximum of 7 days. However though it is not a one time entry pass, which means that you can, after procuring ILP, visit that particular region as many times as you wish, as long as the permit is still valid.

Please carry several photo copies of your PAP with you as you will need to submit one at each check post. So in case you run out of photo copies, you wont have an option but to come back to Leh to get more photocopies.


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