Inner Line Permit for Ladakh

Offcial stamp on Inner Line Permit document for Ladakh

What is an Inner Line Permit?

An Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued and stamped by the Indian authorities. This document is compulsory to visit Restricted Areas. Permits are delivered by the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Leh, they are valid for a maximum period of 15 days for foreigners and for a maximum period of 3 weeks for Indian citizens (you can specify the dates when the validity period starts and ends). There is no limit on the number of times you enter a Restricted Area. The Inner Line Permit is called Protected Area Permit when delivered to foreigners (but it is the same).

Police check post to Restricted Areas in Ladakh

What are the Restricted Areas?

The Restricted Areas are located near the Line of Control (border with Pakistan) and the Line of Actual Control (border with China). There are several check posts on the roads leading to these areas.

You need an Inner Line Permit to visit the following places:

You do not need an Inner Line Permit to travel along the Leh-Manali Road and the Leh-Srinagar Road.

Passports from various countries

How to obtain an Inner Line Permit?

It is very easy to obtain an Inner Line Permit when you are in Leh:

  • Allow one working day to process your application.
  • The permit office is open Monday to Saturday. It is also open on Sundays in summer.
  • Indian citizens need to provide a valid identity proof (driving license, passport, election card, aadhar card, pan card).
  • Foreigners need to provide a valid passport with visa or OCI card.
  • Check the latest rules with the DC office.
Inner Line Permit required for Tso Moriri Lake in Ladakh

How much does it cost?

The cost breakdown of an Inner Line Permit is as follows:

  • Environment fee: ₹ 400
  • Red Cross donation: ₹ 100
  • Wildlife protection fee: ₹ 20/day

For example, a permit valid for 3 days will cost ₹ 560 (400+100+3x20). There is also a small processing fee of approximately ₹ 200 unless you go to the Deputy Commissioner’s Office by yourself to get the permit stamped.

Special cases

  • Visitors from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will not be able to obtain a permit from the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Leh. They will have to apply for an Inner Line Permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi.
  • Foreigners holding a diplomatic passport and members of the United Nations will have to apply for an Inner Line Permit from the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.

Ecology Contribution Fund

Since August 2022, all tourists (domestic and foreigners) are requested to contribute to the Ecology Contribution Fund through the permit system that has been reinstated, irrespective of whether they are travelling to Restricted Areas or not. The contribution will be checked at the Phyang check post and at the Kharu check post (at the junction towards Pangong lake, a few kilometres before Chemrey).

Finally, you can apply for a single permit when you reach Leh. The permit will be valid to travel everywhere in Ladakh and the contribution to the Ecology Contribution Fund will be included.

Author: Dechen Yangdol
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