Do you need any permits for Spiti valley in 2020?

by Vargis.Khan

Do you need any permits for Spiti valley?

As compared to Ladakh, visiting Spiti valley is considerably easy. You are less likely to get hit by AMS in Spiti, your phone will work for most of the trip, area is better connected and the part where you may get stranded is quite limited. However, considering all the fuss related to the Rohtang permits, a lot of people recently have been asking me if they need any kind of permits for Spiti valley or if there is any place in the valley that is “off-limits” for tourists, either Indian or foreigner.  The answer to that question is different for Indian nationals and foreign tourists and it also depends on how you are travelling and what your itinerary is.

permits for spiti valley

Do you need any permits for Spiti valley?

If you are an Indian citizen and planning to complete the Spiti circuit in what I call as traditional manner, starting from Shimla and ending at Manali that is, than you do not need any permits for spiti valley at all, not even for Rohtang pass. You can just start your journey from Shimla; complete the circuit, cross Kunzum La and Rohtang La on your way and end at Manali. Just carry a valid identity proof, documents of your motorcycle or car if you are travelling in your own vehicle and your driving license if you are the one driving and that would suffice. There is absolutely no need to obtain any other permit for Indian nationals.




However, if you are a foreign tourist and coming from Shimla, then you would need to obtain an Inner line permit from either the District Collectors office in Shimla or at the Reckong Peo border post. Without permit, you will only be allowed to travel as far as Reckong Peo and will be stopped at the next check post if you do not have an Inner line permit. Once you have obtained the permit, please carry several photocopies of it as you may have to submit one at the check posts. It is wise to also carry photocopies of your passport and spare passport-size  photos.

Coming from Manali side gets a little more complicated and this is when the word “permit” comes into picture however the only permit you would need is to cross Rohtang Pass. There is no permit that you need to take to enter Spiti valley or to visit any specific areas in the valley. Please take a look at the following post for more details on what the current restrictions applicable to Rohtang Pass are.

What are current restrictions for Rohtang Pass?

For foreign tourists, it is wise to enter the valley from Manali side because then you do not need to obtain an inner line permit. The border police will register your passport number at the entrance to the valley and it will rarely take longer than 5 minutes.

The only place in the valley that is not open for tourists, both Indian and foreign, is the Shipki La pass. It is too close to the border for anyone except for ITBP and Army guys to be allowed to visit. If you want to visit this pass, you really need to have contacts at the top level so that you can obtain the permit. Otherwise you can just forget this pass and enjoy rest of the valley.

I hope this information was helpful and it clarified any confusion related to permits for spiti valley. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and ask and I would be glad to answer.

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74 comments

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Ayush Sharma October 4, 2020 - 7:11 pm

Hyy Vargis,

Thanks for sharing so much information with us. It is very helpfull for us to travel Himachal Pradesh.
I have an query that if I go to Leh via Spiti (Nako – Kaza Route). Is there any ILP is required for whole Route from Shimla to Leh?

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Ayush Sharma October 4, 2020 - 7:11 pm

Hyy Vargis,

Thanks for shating so much information with us. It is very helpfull for us to travel Himachal Pradesh.
I have an query that if I go to Leh via Spiti (Nako – Kaza Route). Is there any ILP is required for whole Route from Shimla to Leh?

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Soumyajit March 18, 2020 - 2:31 am

Dear Vargis,

I will be starting from Leh. Am I okay to travel directly from Jispa to Kaza during mid June? Do you think a permit may require here to obtain in between? Thanks for writing such a nice blog and helping around people. 🙂

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Sachin Nair August 30, 2019 - 7:48 am

Hi vargis,

Me and my very close friends are planning a road trip from Delhi and finishing in our home town of Kochi in 14 days. We intend to start on Nov 02 ( i know its a bad time to start ) as we are all flying in from different countries. For the first leg we need a drive to the north. Various options were made but all looks difficult with the timings. My question is

1. Can we do a simla-kalpa-kibber-manali route first week of november
2. If this is not possible then which in you mind is the safest north trip i may undertake. We have rented SUV500 for our trip
3. One of my friend is Indian origin with British passport. does he require any major clearances or special permits
4. since our trip only allows 4 days for north what can you suggest as you seem to the right person for answering my query.

Would appreciate your sincere help buddy to make this trip a reality

thanks

sachin

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pankaj sharma June 18, 2019 - 9:59 am

Hi vargis,
Really your information is nice for everyone . actually vargis I am planning from 20th June from Delhi to visit Spiti valley via Manali as via shilma it’s so far distance…so do I need to take any permit for the above……. N I am having my own diesel car swift dezire…will that be ok for the above route …any suggestions for me kindly let me know. So that my travelling will be hassle free.

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Vargis.Khan June 18, 2019 - 6:06 pm

Hi Pankaj – Manali – Spiti road is not yet open and it won’t be before July 1st week as of now.

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Souman June 19, 2019 - 8:33 am

Hi Vargis, is it absolutely sure that the road isn’t open until 1st week of July. We already have a planned trip from Delhi, reaching Manali on the 29th June and starting for Spiti on 30th June Morning. Do you suggest we need to change the date or 30th Jun it is likely to get opened? Any particular reason why the roads are not open yet, though I have heard that June it is usually open!

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Vargis.Khan June 19, 2019 - 5:13 pm

There is no surety Souman. There is a lot of snow on the road and it depends on BRO on how fast they are able to clear it. I am only giving you an estimate. There is a high chance that it may open by 28th – 29th but may get pushed as well. If you can, then push your travel dates by a week or 10 days to be on a safer side. Even if it opens on 28th – 29th, tourists will not be allowed for at least a few days after that.

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Souman June 21, 2019 - 6:14 pm

Thanks Vargis, very helpful! I have been following your blogs/responses since sometime, you have been fabulous in helping out so many of us on those roads, even if its virtual it is so real time….thank you so much mate.

Have been considering to change the dates based on your suggestion but seems it will derail the whole plan as we have two UK citizens who have already booked themselves for India according to these dates. In this case, would you be able to suggest on the following-

1- is rohtang-Spiti road open for bikers or is it closed for all? Thinking if thats the case, we may leave our toyota hiace/commuter at manali and take bikes as an alternative
2- is it advisable to take shimla route rather. If so, hows the traffic on that route and the road condition as compared to manali-kaza. is it ok to take toyota hiace there?
3- from delhi, with one night stop in manali we would have gone straight to Kaza without any further stay in between, do you think it is doable from the shimla side as well? Or that route requires two night stays in between. If possible, would like to keep it one halt trip, if not, please suggest places
4- if we go through Shimla route, what is the best place to rent bikes, as that was anyways the intent, to take a couple of bikes for 8 of us and enjoy the bike ride In turn though we have our toyota hiace running with us
5- you have written a lot on ILP for foreigners in the shimla route and suggested to best get it from reckong peo. With two of our UK guys, we would try and take those on the way if we go via shimla. But the question is, how do we do it without losing much of time. Generally, we would like to start early morning from wherever we stay to cover maximum distance ina day but I understand that these Govt offices opens not before 10 AM, which curtails the coverage in a day, any tips would be helpful such as, can these guys apply ILP online even before they travel to India etc.

Look forward to your guidance. Thanks

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Vargis.Khan June 21, 2019 - 9:37 pm

Hi Souman,
1.It is closed for all but should open in a week or so.
2.You should cover both, Start from Shimla and at Manali. Shimla to Kaza is good and Kaza to Manali is bad.
3.Delhi, Narkanda, Kalpa, Kaza
4.Shimla
5.Contact a travel agent and talk to him about keeping everything ready so that you just need to make an appearance, sign and be on your way. Better get it from Shimla because there are more travel agents in Shimla than Reckong Peo

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Souman June 22, 2019 - 4:28 am

Thanks Vargis, would you be able to help me with some number/s for genuine travel agents there (both shimla and reckong peo) who can do this for us, trying to avoid calling randomly to anybody who may have not done this in past. Thanks

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Vargis.Khan June 22, 2019 - 3:10 pm

Sorry Souman. I really do not have any travel agent contacts.

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Souman June 22, 2019 - 4:18 pm

No problem Vargis, thanks for all the help!

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Vargis.Khan June 23, 2019 - 3:34 pm

You are welcome !!!

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Karan Sharma June 13, 2019 - 8:30 am

Hi Vargis… Hope you doing gud mate. Just need your suggestion on an upcoming trip i have planned from Delhi in the 1st week of Oct. I am planning to go to Sach pass followed by Rohtang Pass and then down to Manali in Oct 1st week along with a couple of friends. My questions:

1. Do i need any kind of permits or set of documents to enter Sach pass and if yes then what would it be and from where will i get those?
2. Will i need any kind of permits to continue to Rohtang pass from Sach pass while halting at killar and if yes then what sort of permit and docs will they be and from where will i get those?
3. Conditions of roads?
4. Will it be advisable to carry our own stock of liquor in our car which can be consumed where ever we take a night halt in the hotel?
5 Petrol Pumps and Car mechanics?
6. Advisable time to cross Sach pass and Rohtang Pass?
7. Any other info if you would like to share.

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Vargis.Khan June 13, 2019 - 12:58 pm

Hi Karan,

1. No
2. No
3. Mix of good, bad and ugly
4. Yes, better that way
5. You will keep coming across petrol pumps regularly. Only long stretch without one is from Bairagarh to Keylong but a tankful should suffice for that. Mechanics are rare.
6. As early as possible in October, possibly first week. Don’t plan after 10th.
7. See this post

https://vargiskhan.com/log/plan-trip-sach-pass/

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siddharth jain June 4, 2019 - 6:49 pm

hi
i want to travel from Chandra Taal to Manali vis Rohtangpass on 11 June 2019 ( Tuesday ), is it possible ?

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Vargis.Khan June 4, 2019 - 7:35 pm

Not before 15th probably

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Michal June 5, 2019 - 4:16 am

Why? I am in Spiti now and my destination is Manali. Is Rohtang covered by snow? Everybody here says that Rohtang is open. Thanks for your reply.

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Vargis.Khan June 5, 2019 - 3:58 pm

Rohtang Pass is open but Kunzum Pass is not. They will take another 5-6 days to clear that section of the road

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Iftikhar Khan June 4, 2019 - 9:12 am

Hi, I am planning to go to Spiti from Delhi Via Shimla completing the circuit via Manali. Is it possible on Swift Dzire. Also do we require any permits. Planning to go on 15th June for 7-8 days.

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Saiby June 2, 2019 - 9:37 am

Hi Dear is it possible I go to spiti via shimla by Wagon r .
I am from Delhi

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Vargis.Khan June 2, 2019 - 3:24 pm

Yes but you will have to return via Shimla only. Do not go towards Manali from Kaza

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NIKHIL KHAN P A June 2, 2019 - 5:03 am

Planning to take bike for rental from chandigarh, enter through shimla to spitivalley and exit via manali and back to chandigarh.

1. DO I need any permit ?
2. Chandigarh registration vehicles are allowed ?

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Vargis.Khan June 2, 2019 - 3:27 pm

1. No
2. Yes

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Jatin June 4, 2019 - 12:02 pm

Hi Vargis,

I am planning Spiti trip on coming 29th June but I have lost my RC a week back Nd duplicate RC will take some time. So does the FIR and other original documents are will work at the checkpost on the way to spiti.

Look forward to hear mate.

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Vivek Madan May 21, 2019 - 10:23 am

going from shimla side towards manali. any permits required? please let know. thanks

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Aakarsh Singh April 16, 2019 - 11:54 am

Hello,
Your article is really helpful. Just one question
I am planning to go to spiti on 19th april 2019 from delhi. Which way should we choose to reach spiti(not supposed to travel anywhere else) from delhi via car(suzuki baleno) without any disturbances?

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Vargis.Khan April 16, 2019 - 12:11 pm

Hi Aaakarsh – See the below post please. Should answer your question.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/plan-trip-ladakh-in-april/

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Aakarsh Singh April 17, 2019 - 2:13 pm

Hi Vargis,
This post is about Trip from Delhi to Ladakh. I am still not clear about the trip from Delhi to Spiti.
Would there be any permit or pass needed if we travel from Delhi to Spiti and which way would be the best way to reach Spiti?

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Vargis.Khan April 17, 2019 - 4:20 pm

No permit is needed for reaching Spiti Aakarsh for Indians. You can take the road via Shimla to get there or Manali if going after June

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Aakarsh Singh April 20, 2019 - 11:48 pm

Thanxx a lot.

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Vargis.Khan April 21, 2019 - 6:31 pm

You are welcome !!!

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Deepender January 27, 2019 - 8:25 pm

Hey I am from delhi,I want to go kaza via shimla by Hyundai i20, is there any restrictions or permits for low ground clearance cars?

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Vargis.Khan January 28, 2019 - 12:47 am

There is no restriction but I woulnd’t recommend an i20 for Spiti

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Deepender January 28, 2019 - 6:39 am

Thank you.

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Vargis.Khan January 28, 2019 - 1:14 pm

You are welcome !!!

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Mooktadir A August 13, 2018 - 6:41 pm

I am a bangladeshi. I find your blog priceless..
I am planning a trip by road from manali to kaza on 5-6 next month..
If I take that route do I still need an ILP for going to kaza? Or is my passport good enough?
Thanks in advance.

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Vargis.Khan August 13, 2018 - 11:37 pm

Hi Mooktadir, Thank you for your kind words. No you do not need a permit for going till Kaza from Manali.

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Mooktadir A August 13, 2018 - 6:36 pm

Hello brother.

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Sagar August 9, 2018 - 7:18 pm

Hi Vargis,

I have a bike ride planned from Chandigarh > Shimla > Kaza > Manali > Chandigarh. I have a US Citizen riding along in another bike. He has all documents including International Driving Permit.

Would he face any issue in either Shimla or Reckong Peo to get the Inner Line Permit? Will this be a deal breaker and make us go via Manali?

Thanks for the great articles!

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Vargis.Khan August 9, 2018 - 11:26 pm

Hi Sagar, No it won’t be any problem at all. You will easily get the permit from either Shimla or Reckong Peo. Do take a look at this article please.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/get-inner-line-permit-for-spiti-valley/

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Md. Shimon Aziz July 11, 2018 - 10:40 am

Dear Brother, I’m from Bangladesh and I wanted to know whether it is required to take any ILP if want to visit Chitkut and Sangla. As I heard Spiti valley permission is closed for Bangladeshi Citizen.
Thanks
Shimon Aziz

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Vargis.Khan July 11, 2018 - 1:15 pm

Hello Shimon – As far as I know, no permit is required for Sangla and Chitkul. And yes, ILPs were not being issued to Bangladeshi Citizens for both Spiti and Ladakh this year. You will have to try getting these from Delhi.

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shubham Grover June 10, 2018 - 7:13 pm

do we need any permit to go to chitkul or beyond?

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Vargis.Khan June 11, 2018 - 6:02 pm

No permit needed for Chitkul and the road ends there so cannot go beyond anyways.

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Garima June 6, 2018 - 10:38 am

HI this is helpful, just one clarification, do you require permit if you are going by commercial self driven car (Zoomcar)?

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Vargis.Khan June 6, 2018 - 7:27 pm

Hi Garima, No permit needed for Indian nationals.

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Deshraj Gosinha May 31, 2018 - 7:54 pm

Hi vargis,
I going to spiti valley on 3 June via Shimla. Then I am going to kaza to leh laddakh. So plz tell me requirements of permit. If permit is compulsory then where I found permit.

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vishal May 30, 2018 - 9:57 am

Hi vargis,
we are planning to go leh from kaza on 4th may,do we need any permits on leh manali highway from kaza to leh other than inner line permit,is so, please let me know

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Clementich May 25, 2018 - 8:26 pm

Hi Vargis, I am a foreigner in India, and would like to confirm whether I need any ILP for traveling to Moorang (esp. Moorang Bridge and Monastery), Thangi and Lambar. Thank you.

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Sachin verma April 26, 2018 - 8:56 pm

Hi varg is I will go spiti valley via shimla and then I will go to keylong I need any permit and return to via manali.

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Vargis.Khan April 27, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Hi Sachin, No you do not need any permit for coming to Manali from Spiti

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PRIYABRATA CHOWDHURY April 22, 2018 - 9:41 am

I wish to go leh from delhi>simla>sangla>kaza>jispa>tso moriri>pangong tso>nubra vally>leh and return via srinagar to delhi . If i start 21th of september this year… Is it possible to complete..? Plz explain and is there a chance to get snowfall?? In this circuit , is any permite do required to drive a authorised vehicle from my friend! Plz i need ur suggestions.

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Vargis.Khan April 22, 2018 - 4:20 pm

You may come across snowfall in Ladakh at high altitude passes but chances are less. You cannot go to Tso Moriri directly without getting permits from Leh so you will have to go to Leh from Jispa 1st.

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Rajumar April 1, 2018 - 9:53 am

Hi Vargis,

I am planning a trip to Spiti during mid July in 2018. Is it a good time to travel. I believe it rains during this time.

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Vargis.Khan April 2, 2018 - 2:40 pm

Hi Rajkumar – Timing is OK. Chances of rain is there but it is more towards later part of July.

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deepak Kumar December 17, 2017 - 6:30 pm

If I plan to go on bike to spiti valley n kaza in early march month , so is there restrictions for bikers to go even Google map shows road closed for winters

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Vargis.Khan December 18, 2017 - 4:19 pm

Road from Shimla to Kaza remains open throughout the year so yes you can travel, without any restrictions.

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mukesh singh January 17, 2018 - 2:06 am

sry again the same question but i desperately wants to visit spiti valley but roads are closed even from shimla to kaza google showing its closed…

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Vargis.Khan January 17, 2018 - 2:38 pm

Google will show the road closed until Winter but that is not accurate. Shimla to Kaza remains open 12 months.

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anuj October 4, 2017 - 7:48 am

shimla to manali from kaza any permission for delhi num bike

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Vargis.Khan October 4, 2017 - 4:30 pm

If going to Kaza from Shimla then no permission is needed. From Manali, you will have to obtain the permit for Rohtang Pass though.

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Kimberley October 3, 2017 - 9:24 am

Thanks for the useful info, Vargis.

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Sami August 14, 2017 - 11:32 am

Hello Vargis,
If I am coming from Kaza to Manali via Rohtang pass, what is the timing to cross the pass? Do I need any permit?

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Vargis.Khan August 15, 2017 - 11:42 am

Hi Sami, If you are starting from Kaza early morning, you will reach Rohtang sometime around 2 noon and will be allowed to cross over. No permit is needed from Kaza side.

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Protim July 12, 2017 - 8:50 am

Hi Vargis,

Just a quick question, what all permits does a bike need to go through Manali till Spiti.

Thanks!

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Vargis.Khan July 12, 2017 - 7:53 pm

Hello Protim – You just need to obtain a permit to cross Rohtang Pass.

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Karan Hemani June 11, 2017 - 5:56 pm

How about permits for self drive rented cars?

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Vargis.Khan June 12, 2017 - 9:03 pm

No special permit needed Karan, just the all India taxi permit that the rental agency will provide you with.

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abhinav June 20, 2017 - 6:53 am

Hi Varghis,

Thanks for sharing this information, I am driving via manali to Spiti on 2nd July. I would request you to let me know if I need the following :

1) Permit for “beyond Rohtang” as per the website
2) Manali green tax permit

Also, for beyond rohtang permit do we have any limit for the number of permits issued ?

Thanks a lot .

Regards
Abhinav

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Vargis.Khan June 20, 2017 - 5:08 pm

Hi Abhinav, Yes you will need both., Green taxi you will need to pay right before you enter Manali. Rohtang Pass you will have to collect from SDM office Manali.

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Abhinav June 21, 2017 - 3:48 am

Hi Varghis, thanks for your response but can’t I just apply for the permit online for both “beyond rohtang” and ” green tax” ?

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Vargis.Khan June 21, 2017 - 3:58 pm

No Abhinav. The green tax would have to be paid just before you enter Manali

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