How to get an Inner Line Permit for Spiti Valley in 2020

by Vargis.Khan

Permits are one of the foremost questions when visiting a place like Ladakh or Spiti valley. Though these areas are open for tourism for both Indian and foreign nationals; considering the close proximity to the Indo-China border; to keep a check on tourism and people movement in the area becomes important. However if you are an Indian citizen; you do not need to obtain an Inner line permit for Spiti valley. The permit requirement is applicable to only foreign nationals. In this article, I will provide details on how and where can you obtain an Inner Line Permit for Spiti Valley.

Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Spiti Valley – A Complete Travel Guide

Is there any Permit Required for Spiti Valley?

There is no permit needed for Spiti Valley for Indian Citizens but foreign nationals are required to get a permit. This permit is only limited to the stretch between Kaza and Reckong Peo. What it means is that even foreigners do not need the permit for traveling between Shimla to Reckong Peo, or Kaza to Manali. But if you were also planning to traverse between Peo and Kaza, then yes, you will need to get a permit for Spiti Valley.

Inner Line Permit Spiti Valley

The fact actually is that the term ILP is only applicable to permit that an Indian need to get. For foreigners, the term used is protected area permit. The purpose is the same for both; to authorize a civilian entry in to inner line areas however the format and the procedures are different. Since Indian nationals have no need to obtain an ILP for Spiti, I will only cover how a foreign tourist can get a protected area permit for them.

 

inner line permit for spiti

Permit for Spiti Valley for Indian Nationals

As an Indian Citizen, the only document you need to carry is a government issued Identity card and that will suffice. Aadhar Card will be the best for this purpose. There are check posts on the way where you will have to register yourself and produce an identity card before you will be allowed to go any further.

The only permit you will have to procure is the one issued for Rohtang Pass in case you are traveling from Manali. If going from Shimla, then this permit too is not required.

Also Read: How to get a Permit for Rohtang Pass

Protected Area Permit for Spiti Valley for Foreign Nationals

Starting from Shimla, there is no need to get a permit for traveling up to Reckong Peo. Anywhere beyond that and you will need to obtain a permit for places like Pooh, Nako, Tabo, Dhankar and Kaza. There is a check post after Reckong Peo where all tourists have to register themselves before proceeding any further. Indians can just produce a government issued Identity card like Aadhar card, voter’s ID, Driving incense and it will suffice.

Foreigners however will have to submit a photocopy of their permits. This permit can be obtained from DM office in Shimla and Reckong Peo. If coming from Manali; you can get the permits from DC office at Keylong. Apart from these places, permits are also issued from ADM office in Rampur and Udaipur.  Offices are upon from 10 AM until 5 however in order to get a permit, make sure you reach there before 3 PM. The process of getting the permit can take up to 2-3 hours so you should plan your travel accordingly.

Also Read: What Clothes to Pack for Spiti

Manali to Spiti Valley Permit

Coming from Manali, you can reach Kaza without a permit via Batal and Losar. If however you want to pass Kaza towards Dhankar or Tabo, you will then need a permit that you can obtain in Kaza itself.

Please note that for a trip from Manali, you will also need to get the Rohtang Pass Permit first from Manali.

Validity & Procedure

Validity of the permit is 2 weeks from the issue date. If your trip extends beyond two weeks, you will again have to apply and get another permit after the current one expires. Once you have the permit, please ensure that you are carrying multiple copies of it as you will have to submit one at each check post.

Tricky part around getting this permit is the involvement of a travel agency. You will be required to get a letter from a registered travel agent stating that they are sponsoring you and a permit can be issued. Apart from this letter, you will also be required to produce a copy of your passport, visa, three passport sized photographs and a detailed itinerary of your travel plan.

You will also have to fill out the permit application form which you can get at the SDM office itself.  A better and easier way to get this done to contact a travel agency and rather than asking them to give you a letter, pay a little extra and ask them to get the permit itself for you. The ILP application form however must be completed in person and all persons traveling must be present in front of the ADM when he signs the permit.

Best place to get the permit would be at Reckong Peo because there are not many people there. At Shimla or Manali, it may take you an entire day to get the permits issued. In the end, it is a government process after-all and you may end up talking to several people.

Charges for Spiti Valley Permit

Officially, there is no charge for these permits. Some time ago, a “Sugam Center” was set up in Shimla in order to make the process of obtaining these permits faster and easier. A charge for Rs. 200 was also added to be paid at the Sugam center as a “convenience fee”. However, quite the contrary happened. Process still remained slow and time consuming but now at a cost of Rs. 200. If either of the ADM office staff asks you to go to Sugam Center, do not do so. In the end, you will still have to submit the same form at the ADM office.

Another official rules states that the permits can only be issued to a group of minimum 4 tourists through a recognized travel agency. This rule however is only applied strictly at Shimla. If you are a solo traveler or a group of less than 4, then do not try to get the permit in Shimla as you will be denied. Rather, continue to Reckong Peo and apply there. This rule somehow is not applicable in Peo and you will easily get the permit even if you are a solo traveler.

Also Read: Mobile Network in Spiti Valley and Data Connectivity

Where to get Inner Line Permit for Spiti Valley in Reckong Peo?

In Reckong Peo, the permits are issued at the ADM office at Khwangi Road. The process is somewhat easier here. There won’t be too many people around applying for the permit so time consumed will be less; you would not have to worry about minimum 4 people; and also do not need to carry passport size photograph. They have a webcam installed using which picture of you will be clicked and pasted directly on the permit. If you do not want to go through the hassle, then there are a few travel agents in both Reckong Peo and Kalpa who can help get the permit on your behalf for about Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 per person.

In Keylong, the process is pretty much the same as Reckong Peo. There will not be many people around and the 4 people rule too is not strictly followed. You can get the permits from DC office Keylong but will have to bring in your 2 passport sized photographs.

Also Read: How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness in Spiti Valley

Online permit for Spiti Valley

There are no provisions to obtain Spiti Valley Permit online. It must and can only be obtained in person.

Conclusion

I hope this information on Inner line permit for Spiti was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum and I will be glad to answer.

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71 comments

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Aashiesh October 22, 2019 - 10:38 am

Does Nepalese citizen also need Inner Line Permit?

If it is needed then , Can Nepalese Citizenship work instead of passport? Because I don’t a passport right now.

Thanks!

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Vargis.Khan October 23, 2019 - 1:25 pm

Yes you will need to get a permit and no, it will not work with a passport.

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Matthieu August 27, 2019 - 3:57 pm

Hello Vargis, I read your post and I’m wonder if I can go from Narkanda to Chitkul without permit, and do the permit after, when I go to Reckong Peo? In there do you think it’s feasable in 1 hour more or less? So it will be ok to do it by myself after requested a lettre from a travel agency.
Thank you.
Matt

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Supratim Bhowmick August 6, 2019 - 7:45 am

Your posts have become my bible for Lahul Spiti and Ladakh. This September I will be doing the Spiti Valley trip along with my wife and three foreigner friends. We will enter from Shimla and exit from Manali. We will take a self drive car from Chandigah.

I need some information. I am sure you have the answers.

1) Considering road condition approximate driving tome from Narkanda to Kalpa
2) Journey time from Kalpa to Chitkul or the other way round
3) Approximate daytime and minimum temperature in this route the second half of September
4) Contact number of any agent in Kalpa who can help getting the RAP for foreigners
5) One of the foreigner friend wants to start Ladakh trip from Manali. Has anything changed in Ladakh tourism after the recent development in J&K?

Sorry, too many question.

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Vargis.Khan August 8, 2019 - 1:56 am

Thanks Supratim.

1. 6
2. 4 hrs
3. pleasantly warm days, 5-10 at night
4. Dont have any, sorry
5. No change in Ladakh

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Spiti Valley Itinerary - India's Wild North - Organized Adventurer June 21, 2019 - 3:00 pm

[…] In order to visit Tabo, you will need an Inner-Line Permit. Because Spiti Valley is ethnically and culturally Tibetan, you are essentially visiting Tibet, but without crossing the official border. The permit can be arranged in Kaza. The process is a little complicated and inconsistent, but you can ask the folks at your accommodation for help if needed. In the meantime, I recommend checking out this helpful (but unofficial) guide on obtaining the permit. […]

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Farhan June 12, 2019 - 8:27 am

we are a group of 10 people and are citiizens of India too Do we need ILP if we r trekking for Kugti paas through kugti village and will descend from lahaul side (between jungles and moutains) and then to udaipur to pathankot via sach pass…

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Vargis.Khan June 12, 2019 - 12:30 pm

No you don’t

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Farhan June 12, 2019 - 6:38 pm

i do want to contact you want to discuss about the details of our trek and about sach paas…i had call u many times but u wont respond pls.provide me any any alternate nmbr

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Val June 11, 2019 - 1:10 pm

My husband, my kids, and I were wondering if you had a recommendation for a tour company in Rampur to help with the processing of the ILP from the ADM office?We are Americans and just realized we had scheduled to be in Reckong Peo next Monday, which is a government holiday when the office there closed! Any help would be appreciated!!!

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Disha May 24, 2019 - 1:02 pm

Hello,
we are travelling to spiti valley in june. My parents are Indian nationals but I am an American citizen. I am also a minor. In this case, will I need a permit from Reckong Peo to Kaza? Also, It’s written in the inner line permit that the permit holder will not be allowed any night halt. Is that enforced? Finally, in Pin Valley National Park I’ve read that foreigners are not allowed. So what can we do to visit it?

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Vargis.Khan May 25, 2019 - 4:31 pm

No such restriction. And since you are a minor and your parents are Indian citizen, I do not think you will be needing a permit anyways.

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Disha May 29, 2019 - 5:39 am

Thanks a lot!

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Vargis.Khan May 29, 2019 - 2:19 pm

You are welcome !!!

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Nayab Chishti May 19, 2019 - 6:54 am

Hello Vargis Khan.
We 2 couples are going to Kaza by own car from Delhi Via Shimla, Reckong Peo at 7-June-2019, so how can we apply permit online if we can so pls share the link so I can apply online otherwise plz suggest where we can apply permit for Kaza and Chandartal and what documents require. Awaiting for ur earlier reply.

Thanks

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mahbub April 17, 2019 - 3:48 pm

if I want to go shimla from kaza via tabo, nako, pooh; then can I get permit from kaza?

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Vargis.Khan April 17, 2019 - 4:19 pm

Yes you can

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Raghavendra April 2, 2019 - 4:58 pm

Hello Vargis,
Couple of my friends said that we have to carry clearance certificate from local police station for Shimla-Manali-Spiti-Shimla as they are asking for that since Dec 2018. Is that true ??

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Vargis.Khan April 2, 2019 - 10:53 pm

There is no such requirement Raghavendra

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Jamey Bryant February 25, 2019 - 11:55 pm

Hello, I am planning a walk from Valley of Flowers in Uttarkhand to Leh-Ladakh. I was hoping to travel by foot the 505/Gramphu-Batal-Kaza Rd. Up and around Pin Valley NP and to avoid traveling the road through Manali. I am hoping to do this so that I can dodge the monsoon rains and get into the desert faster. Have you heard of a foreigner ever doing this or getting a permit to let them travel that road by foot? If so do you recommend any agencies in Reckong Peo that might sponsor me? from the distance to Gramphu from Reckong Peo I am certain I can go that distance in the allotted time for the two week permit. let me know what you think.

Cheers!

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Gabor January 7, 2019 - 2:45 pm

Dear Vargis,
Do foreigners need a permit to visit Kanam from Reckong Peo?
Thank you

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Harry November 14, 2018 - 10:14 am

Soooo, if I understand it correctly if I go to a travel agent in Reckong Peo they can can organise everything and then I don’t need to go to any official office?

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Vargis.Khan November 14, 2018 - 2:05 pm

No they will only take care of the paper work and other formalities. You will still have to be there in person in front of the judge as he sign and stamp your permit.

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Alena August 28, 2018 - 4:25 pm

Hello! We plan to visit Spiti in September. We will come from Russia with online indian visa. Could you please suggest if there can be some difficulties to get inner line permit with online visa. We plan to receive inner line permit in Recong Peo.

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Vargis.Khan August 28, 2018 - 6:19 pm

It should not be a problem but best would be to contact a travel agent in Shimla, Manali or Reckong Peo about permits. You will anyways have to work through a travel agent so best would be to contact in advance and clarify.

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Rajendra August 25, 2018 - 10:53 am

Hello I drove thru Spiti valley in last week of July thru Narkanda Rekong Pio and Chandra Tal returning via Gramphu Manali swarga top. The information and route map provided by Mr. vargis is very helpful

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Hasan August 3, 2018 - 7:29 am

Hello Mr Khan,
This is Hasan From Bangladesh. You have already know that DC office, leh stops issuing PAP for Bangladeshi to visit the ladakh. . so what about Shimla & Reckong Peo office? is everything okay for us or they are also following the DC,leh office ? can i get pap from shimla/Reckong Peo office ADM/DM/Dc office to visit spiti/kaza? and is there any update regarding ladakh permission for Bangladeshi?

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Vargis.Khan August 3, 2018 - 2:48 pm

Mr. Hasan – There is no problem in Spiti as such but I would still recommend that you contact a travel agent first and come to India only after they confirm the permits.

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Soon August 2, 2018 - 12:40 pm

is the ADM office in Reckong Peo open on the 2nd October 2018 as it is Mahatma Ghandhi national holiday

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Vargis.Khan August 2, 2018 - 7:17 pm

No it will be closed. That is a national holiday

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Ashish July 27, 2018 - 6:54 am

Hello sir,
I am planning a trip to spiti with one of my colleague (foreigner) in august.
Time is very limited with 1-2 spare days
We will take via manali to kaza.
ILP is it possible to get it in kaza itself?

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Vargis.Khan July 27, 2018 - 12:36 pm

Hello Ashish – Yes you can get the permit from Kaza as well.

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sikandar July 16, 2018 - 6:30 am

hi mr khan we would arrive late on 21 jul18 inmanali around 4 pn and we need pass to visit spit for 22 early morning hw is it possible online unable to fill form facing difficluty

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Vargis.Khan July 16, 2018 - 6:03 pm

If you are unable to apply online then the only way out is to either get it in person after you reach Manali; or contact a hotel or travel agent in Manali and ask them to arrange the permit for you.

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Stephen July 12, 2018 - 12:24 pm

Hi. Can you let me know where I can get the permit from in Manali, please?

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Vargis.Khan July 12, 2018 - 1:45 pm

It will be issued from DM office in Manali

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Lee July 9, 2018 - 9:03 am

Hello Mr. Khan, I am a foreigner planning to travel to Spiti together with one Indian national. We want to travel without a travel agency. Do I understand it right that I do not actually need to have my whole trip planned by a travel agency but can just approach them and pay them to get me the permit? If yes, in which cities is that possible (also Reckong Peo?)? Can you suggest a travel agency?
Thank you very much, I am a little worried if I can get my permit.

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Vargis.Khan July 10, 2018 - 3:45 am

Hi Lee – Yes you are right. You can just pay the travel agent to get you the permit and that is all. It can be obtained at Shimla, Manali, Reckong Peo and even at Kaza if you came from Manali side.

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Lee July 12, 2018 - 1:12 pm

Okay, thank you very much.

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Vargis.Khan July 12, 2018 - 1:45 pm

You are welcome !!!

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Roshan Karnani July 16, 2018 - 3:37 am

Hi Vargis, so a foreigner can go to Kaza from Manali, and then get the permit for Kaza from there itself? Please clarify? Thanks.

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Vargis.Khan July 16, 2018 - 6:06 pm

Hi Roshan – The permit is actually not needed for Kaza but for the area beyond Kaza which comes very close to Tibet border.

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jennief June 18, 2018 - 8:22 am

Dear Sir,
can I get permit at Kaza?

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Vargis.Khan June 18, 2018 - 1:53 pm

No the permit is actually for going to Kaza.

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jennief June 19, 2018 - 1:52 pm

i mean from kaza to shimla,can i get permit at kaza?

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Vargis.Khan June 19, 2018 - 4:07 pm

That is what I meant. The permit is needed for Kaza itself. So to get to Kaza, you will either need permit from Shimla or from Manali

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carlo motta June 14, 2018 - 1:28 pm

Good morning Khan,
I’m carlo, an Italian and this summer I’ll ride the Spiti valley by myself and then go to Zanskar. After reading with interest his indications and the contents of the forum I am writing to you because I thought I would ask the inner line permit to Rekong peo: considering that I will be alone and that I thought to stay in Rekong for just the time necessary to obtain my permission can you indicate how it is better to do? Can you tell me about an agency that could help me carry out and streamline the practices?
Thank you

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Vargis.Khan June 14, 2018 - 1:41 pm

Hi Carlo – I am sorry I do not have any contacts as such but just reach Shimla or Reckong Peo and any travel agent there can help you with it in return of a small fee.

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siddhant dhaundiyal May 29, 2018 - 3:13 pm

if i travel from shima to kaza via reckong peo…can i take the manali way back to shimla?? or i will need permit for travelling back from kaza to manali via rohtang paas??

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Skywalker May 27, 2018 - 6:45 am

Hi, in the form it says, that permit holders are not allowed to leave the National highway nor nightstay in the restricted areas. How strictly is that enforced? Would it be possible to do a nightstay in Nako for instance or would that cause trouble? Also how far does the restricted area extend? From Pooh to Kaza?
Thanks in advance 😉

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mukul garg May 23, 2018 - 9:58 pm

hello brother
i am very confused
i am from Rajasthan and i want to go at spiti kaza and tabo by bike
so can i take a bike from manali first
second then what should i do to go for spiti which thing is required for going like passes or documents.
[i have to buy a paas or not] for spiti
plz man i want your proper detail …..
i never want to miss any things

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Vargis.Khan May 24, 2018 - 5:38 am

1. Yes you can get a bike on rent from Manali.
2. The only permit you need is the one to cross over Rohtang, nothing else. For Rohtang permit, please see the post below.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/rohtang-pass-permits-details-charges-apply/

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George May 9, 2018 - 2:18 am

Hi,
I am from the UK but am currently living in India. I will be traveling to Spiti Vally from the 12th to the 19th of May. I will be getting my permit in Shimla on the 10th, and leaving back to Delhi on the 20th. However, my visa expires on the 24th of May. As the permit is a two-week permit, am I still eligible to get one?

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Vargis.Khan May 9, 2018 - 2:33 pm

You will not get the permit if your passport expires in between.

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Karanjot Singh March 6, 2018 - 10:59 am

I am going to the shimla
So permit is compulsory or not ?

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Vargis.Khan March 6, 2018 - 4:12 pm

No it is not required for Indian citizens and not for Shimla

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dd182003 October 18, 2017 - 5:05 pm

Is the ADM office in Reckong Peo open every day?

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Vargis.Khan October 18, 2017 - 6:51 pm

All working days.

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milemuncher August 27, 2017 - 8:04 am

Hello Sir,

4 of us plan to leave for Spiti next month. My query is my b-i-l from UK will accompany us and is an OCI card holder so in his case will he need to take ILP etc ? Btw he has an Aadhar card.

Regards.

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Vargis.Khan August 28, 2017 - 2:25 pm

Hello – Since he has an Aadhar card, just keep it handy, make sure that he is not driving while approaching a check post, produce the Aadhar card while registering at the post and it will be enough.

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farah azianti August 1, 2017 - 2:47 am

Hello Mr Khan,

I will be travelling in a group of 2, so as per in your article we will apply for PAP in Reckong Peo. Do we need to submit letter from travel agent as well?

Thank you

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Vargis.Khan August 1, 2017 - 3:12 pm

Hello Farah – Yes a letter would from a registered travel agent is required. Better would be that you contact a travel agency in either Shimla or reckong Peo, pay them a little amount and they will get you the permits themselves.

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Joel Graham July 15, 2017 - 5:50 am

Thank you for the important information. I will be traveling alone so I’ll have to figure all of this out. My question is about photographs. That is why I wish to go – to take photos! How strict are they about that? Thank you

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Vargis.Khan July 15, 2017 - 11:14 pm

For Indian citizens, only place where photography is not allowed is towards Hanle or Koyul, beyond Loma where you will have to submit your photography equipment. Rest you are free to click in Ladakh wherever you want.

All the areas where photography is banned, foreign nationals are not allowed there anyways.Areas where movement of foreign tourists is allowed, there is no restriction in terms of photography.

Going by your name, I couldn’t decide if you were an Indian national or foreign so answered from both perspectives. LOL

If you are not an Indian citizen though, you won’t need ILP. You will have to get a PAP;

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nikhil yadav June 22, 2017 - 8:39 am

hellow sir
please tell how can i get permit for sprit vallley and leh ladakh is their any one form.. or any other way to get permit please tell me soon

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Vargis.Khan June 22, 2017 - 1:29 pm

Nikhil – Indians do not need a permit for Spiti valley. For Ladakh, please read the article at the link below.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/obtaining-ilp-for-ladakh/

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Abhinav Kankani June 19, 2017 - 7:34 pm

Dear Sir,
We are planning to travel kaza from manali route by self drive SUV (zoom car)
We are travelling from 25 to 30 June. Is any permit required to go to kaza and if yes how to get it. Please advice us the best itinerary.

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Vargis.Khan June 19, 2017 - 9:23 pm

Hello Abhinav – No permit is required for Indians to go to Kaza. Where are you starting from? And you will start from home on 25th or you will be in Manali on 25th?

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Abhinav Kankani June 22, 2017 - 8:05 pm

We will be leaving from chandigarh on 25 morning. So will reach manali in evening. And there is some beyond Rohtang permit to be taken to cross Rohtang. So can we get it online. And tell me budget options to stay in spiti..!

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Syed Alimuddin. June 18, 2017 - 3:03 pm

hello Mr Khan.
I have a simple but vital enquiry.
Me & my friend plan to travel to Leh By Delhi Leh HRTC bus in the second week of July, we plan to stay 2 days in Leh and visit K Pass.
Is any permit needed for our travel ?
We plan to return to Delhi by same route bus.
Is Aadhaar card enough for our Identity requirement.
Please help us by providing the information.
Thanking you in Advance…
( Your Blog have given us very useful information in planning our trip.)

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Vargis.Khan June 18, 2017 - 8:53 pm

Hello Mr. Alimuddin,

I am glad the information from my blog was helpful. Thank you .

If you only want to go to Khardung La top, then ILP is not required. It is only needed if you want to descend down on the other side towards Nubra valley.

Your Aadhar card will suffice as a valid identity card throughout the trip.

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