Visiting Protected And Restricted Areas With e-Visa India- All You Need To Know

Protected & Restricted Areas in India

Obtaining e-Visa is hassle-free and needs to be applied before visiting India. If it gets approved, the electronic visa allows you to travel to India for tourism purposes. But that doesn’t mean you can visit entire India if you have got your e-Tourist visa approved. Certain areas in India require special permission to visit and the e-Visa is not valid for entry into such areas.

The foreigners (Protected Areas) Act requires foreign visitors to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit certain areas in India in addition to getting a visa to India. Such restriction is solely for security purposes. In order to get the permit to visit these areas, it is mandatory to fulfill certain requirements. 

Indian citizens who are not residents of those areas also require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter these restricted areas. However, the Inner Line Permit is easy to get. Indians who are staying abroad for more than 6 months, PIO Card holders, and OCI holders are not eligible to apply for Inner Line Permit. They will be required to apply for a regular Protected/Restricted Area Permit. 

The areas that are prohibited to visit under e-Visa India are located away from the famous tourist destinations. However, some tourists still prefer to visit these areas after obtaining the proper permit as these areas have some of the most scenic places. 

Earlier, there were PAP requirements on Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and the Darjeeling area of West Bengal but they have been lifted for now. 

If any foreign visitor is found visiting the restricted areas, he/she would be liable to pay a fee of $30. 

Note- The Protected/Restricted areas are not dangerous for foreigners but just for the security of the country they have been marked as restricted.

Requirements to visit the Restricted/Prohibited areas

  • Tourists must travel in a group of at least 4 people. 
  • If you are a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, and Myanmar, you can get the PAP only with the consent of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • A PAP is issued for 10 days and is eligible for 7 days extension. 
  • The PAP is issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and legal authorities of the concerned Indian states, FRROs and Indian Missions.

Restricted Areas

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

 The prohibited areas are:

1). All Islands in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National except the boat, Holiday, Twin Islands, Tarmugli Malay, and Pluto. 2). Basatang Island. 3). Brother Island. 4). Barren Island. 5). Diglipur. 6). Entire Island of center Andaman (excluding tribal reserve). 7). Entire Island of South Andaman (excluding tribal reserve). 8). Havelock Island. 9). Interview Island. 10). Jolly Buoy. 11). Long. 12). Little Andaman Islands excluding tribal reserve. 13). Madhuban. 14). Mayabunder. 15). Mt. Harriet. 16). Municipal Area, Port Blair. 17). Neil Island. 18). North Passage Island. 19). Narcondum Island. 20). Red Skin. 21). Rangat. 22). Ross Island. 23). South & North Cinque. 24). Sister Island.

  • Permit Granting Authorities

-Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai

-MHA & FRROS

-All Indian Missions abroad

-Immigration Officer, Port Blair

  • Remarks:

-If traveling by air, permission to stay up to 30 days is issued on arrival at the airport in Port Blair.

-If traveling by sea, a permit is needed beforehand in order to buy the ticket.

-Day and night visits allowed for places 1 to 8.

-Only day visits allowed for places 14 to 24.

-Night stay at place number 9 depends on the special permission of the U.T. Administration.

-Individual tourists are permitted for 30 days.

  1. Arunachal Pradesh

The prohibited areas are:

1). Itanagar. 2). Ziro. 3). Along. 4). Pasighat. 5). Miao 6). Namdapha. 7). Sujesa.

  • Permit Granting Authorities

-Home Commissioner, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar

-All FRROs at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata

-Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai

-All Indian Missions abroad

  • Remarks

-Tourist groups are allowed to travel on identified tour circuits only.

-Individual tourists not permitted and others are allowed for 10 days.

  • Routes open for Foreign Tourists

– Bhalukpong-Bomdilla-Tawang

-Pasighat-Jengging-Yingkion, 

-Roing-Mayodia-Anini, 

-Tezu-Hayuling.

You must apply at least 4 weeks in advance of expected travel dates.

  1. Himachal Pradesh

The Partially Protected areas are:

1). Poo-Khab-Sumdho-Dhankar-Tabo-Gompa-Kaza. 2). Morang-Dabling

  • Permit Granting Authorities

-MHA

-Government of H.P.

-Concerned DM/SDM 

-ITBP Special. Commissioner (Tourism) / Resident Commissioner, Govt. of H.P.

-Director-General of Police, H.P. Shimla.

  • Remarks

-Entry is allowed for trekking only and no individual tourist is permitted.

  1. Kashmir

The Prohibited Areas are:

  • Khaltse Sub-Division:

(Drokahpa Area)Khaltse-Dunkhar-Sroduchan Hanudo-Biana-Dha

  • Nubra Sub Division:

-Leh-Khardung La-Khalsar-Tirit up to Panasik

-Leh-Khardung La-Khalsar up to Hunder

-Leh-Sabo-Digar La-Digar-Labab-Khungru Gampa-Tangar (Only for trekking organised by approved tour operators and accompanied by State Police personnel)

  • Nyona Sub Division:

-Leh-Upshi-Chusathang-Mahe-Puga-Tso-Moari Lake/Kozok

-Leh-Upshi-Debring-Puga-Tso-Moari Lake/Korzok.

-Leh-Karu-Chang La-Durbuk-Tangtse-Lukung-Spanksik.

-Pangong Lake up to Spanksik

  • Permit Granting Authorities

-MHA

-District Magistrates 

  • Remarks

-Individual tourists are not permitted.

-Only 7-day visits can be made.

-Tourist groups are allowed to travel only with identified tour circuits.

Note- A group of 4 to 20 members is allowed, only when accompanied by a liaison officer. 

  1. Lakshadweep Islands

The protected areas:

1). Bangaram. 2). Suheli Islands

  • Permit Granting Authorities

-Lakshadweep Administration

-Willingdon Island

-Harbour Rd

-Kochi-3

  • Remarks

-For Agatti Island, it is mandatory for Indian nationals and foreigners to obtain the entry permit.

  1. Manipur

The Protected Areas are:

1). Lohtak Lake. 2). Imphal. 3). Moirang INA Memorial. 4). Keibul Deer Sanctuary. 5). Waithe Lake Kongjam War Memorial.

  • Permit Granting Authorities

-All Indian Missions abroad

-All FRROs & MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs)

-State Government of Manipur (Home Commissioner, Manipur).

  • Remarks

-Travelling from Calcutta to Imphal is allowed by air only.

-Individual tourists not permitted and for others only 6 days allowed.

Additional areas opened up:

-Imphal-Bishnupur-Phubala, Moirang-Sendra-Keibul-Lamjao-Imphal.

-Imphal-Moirang-Lake Keibul-Lamjao-Chur-Chanderpur-Khuga-Imphal.

-Imphal-Litan-Ukhral-Shiroy-Sangsak-Imphal.

-Imphal-Thoubal-Waithu-Lake, Khonjam-Kakching-Thingjao-Waikhong-Sugnu-Imphal.

-Imphal-Khonghampat-Kanglatombi-Kangpokpi-Senapati-Karong-Mao Gate-Imphal.

-Imphal-Nonoh-Khongsang-Nungba-Jiribam-Imphal.

Foreigners are allowed only in groups of 4 or more and for only 10 days. Entry by road can be made via NH39 & NH53 for Dimapur-Kohima-Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar.

  1. Mizoram

The Protected Areas are:

1). Vairangte. 2). Thingdawl. 3). Aizawl

  • Permit Granting Authorities

-Home Commissioner

– Government of Mizoram, Aizawl

-All FRROs at Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata, Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai

-All Indian Missions abroad’

  • Remarks

-Tourist groups are allowed to travel with the identified tour circuits only. 

-Individual tourists not permitted and 10 days allowed for others.

You must apply at least 4 weeks before the expected travel dates.

  1. Nagaland

The Protected Areas are:

  • Dimapur District: Dimapur Town, Chumudima Sethikima and all places on the National Highway No. 39 en route to Kohima Town.
  • Kohima District: Kohima Town, Khonoma Dzulakie Kigwema , Jakhama Viswema, Khuzama, Japhfu, Dzuku Valley.
  • Mokochong District: Mokochong Town, Lungkhum, Ungma, Impur Mopungohukit, Chuchlyimlang, Tuli, Chani.
  • Wokha District: Wokha Town, Doyang, Vankhosand, Tsunki, Governor’s Camp and Mount Tlyi.
  • Permit Granting Authorities

-All India missions abroad

-MHA, FRRO Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai

-The Chief Officer Immigration Officer Chennai

-The Home Commissioner, The State Government of Nagaland, Kohima

-Resident Commissioner, the State Government of Nagaland, Kohima

  1. Rajasthan

The Partially-Protected Areas are:

-Western Side of NH No.15 starting from Sriganganagar to Sanchore via Sriganganagar, Suratgarh, Lunkaransar, Bikaner, Gajner, Kolayat, Phalodi, Khera, RamDevra, Pokaran, Lathi, Jaisalmer, Sangad, Fatehgarh, Sheo, Bhadewa, Kapoordi, Barmer, Hathitala, Sanwara, Lookho, Gandhwa, Dhamuna subject to following exclusions: 

  1. The outer areas of cities, towns, and villages on the NH N0. 15 through which it crosses.
  2. The boundaries of Suratgarh, Bikaner, Phalodi, Pokaran, Jaisalmer, Barmer and Sanchore.
  3. The following villages and tourist areas in Jaisalmer, Amarsagar, Ludrawa, Kuldara, Bada Bagh, Akal, Sam & Unda.
  • Permit Granting Authorities

Concerned MHA & DM 

  1. Sikkim

The Partially Protected Areas are:

  1. Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodang, Pemayangtse Khecheperi & Tashiging.
  • Permit Granting Authorities

-MHA, all FRROs

-All Indian Missions abroad

-Immigration Officers at Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, and New Delhi Airports

-Chief Secretary/Home Secretary/Secretary, Government of Sikkim

-Inspector General Of Police, Government of Sikkim

-Siliguri, Deputy Directors of Tourism

-Sikkim Government, New Delhi

-Assistant Resident Commissioner, Government of Sikkim

-Calcutta, Tourism Officer

-Rangpo, Deputy Commissioner

-Darjeeling Deputy Secretary/Under Secretary Home Department

-Government of West Bengal, Kolkata

  • Remarks

-Individual tourists permitted for 15 days.

  1.  Zongri (West Sikkim)
  • Permit Granting Authorities

MHA and all concerned authorities of Government of Sikkim and its senates at Kolkata, Siliguri & Rangpo.

  • Remarks

-Groups allowed for 15 days trekking accompanied by a liaison officer.

-Individual tourists not permitted and for others 16 days allowed.

  1. Tsangu (Chhangu Lake in East Sikkim) 
  • Permit Granting Authorities

Home Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Gangtok

  • Remarks

-Individual tourists not permitted and for others only day visit is allowed.

  1. Mangan, Tong, Singhik, Chungthang, Lachung and Yumthang
  • Permit Granting Authorities

Home Secretary, Government of Sikkim

Secretary (Tourism), Government of Sikkim

  • Remarks

-Individual tourists not permitted and only 5 days allowed for others.

  1. Uttaranchal

The Partially Protected areas are:

1). Nanda Devi Sanctuary, Niti Ghati and Kalindi Khal in Chamoli, Uttar Kashi Districts.

2). Adjoining areas of Milam Glacier.

Permit Granting Authorities

MHA

Government of Uttaranchal

DM/SDM concerned ATBP

Remarks

Individual tourists are not allowed.

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