Generally, if you are an Indian citizen then probably you do not need any permits for Kinnaur and Spiti Valley or anywhere in entire Himchal Pradesh (except the recently introduced permits for vehicles outside Himachal to ply on Manali – Rohtang Pass road. For more details, click here). But, if you are a Foreign National visiting the regions of Lahaul – Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley then you are required to get the inner line permits for these protected areas near by international borders. Even though Indian citizens are not required to carry any permits but carrying a valid photo ID proof of your nationality is always advisable.
Given below are some facts or information you may like to know about inner line permits (ILP) for Leh – Ladakh…
Information for Kinnaur – Lahaul – Spiti Valley Inner Line Permits
- In Himachal Pradesh, Foreign Nationals are required to get Inner Line Permits for visiting these places Khab, Samdo, Dhankar, Tabo, Gompa, Kaza, Morang and Dubling as per official website of Lahaul – Spiti region
- It is a place called Jangi in Kinnaur Valley (after Kalpa / Reckong Peo) beyond which up to Kaza in Spiti Valley, a foreign national is required to get the inner line permits.
- These permits are issued from DM (District Magistrate) offices located in Shimla, Reckong Peo, Kullu, and Keylong. Or, you can get these permits from SDM (Sub District Magistrate) offices located in Shimla, Rampur, Kalpa, Nichar, Keylong, Udaipur. Or, you can get these permits from ADC (Additional Deputy Commissioner) offices located in Pooh and Kaza.
- Of course, if you are going from Shimla – Kinnaur side you need to get the permits from Shimla / Reckong Peo types or if you are coming from Manali – Keylong side then you will need to get these permits from Kullu / Keylong / Kaza types.
- These offices open up by 10 AM in the morning (so be sure to be present there on time) and are closed on Sunday, Second Saturday of the month and national holidays.
- These permits are issued to foreigners in a group of four or more people coming through a reputed/registered travel agency in India. You can also try your luck going without any travel agent (especially at Reckong Peo) as well but it may or may not work depending upon the strictness at that point of time.
- The documents required to get these permits are completely filled Inner Line Permit application form, a letter of sponsorship by a recognized travel agency, a defined itinerary of your travel, a copy of your valid passport & visa and three passport sized photographs.
- The whole process of getting these permits will take anywhere about 2-4 Hrs or may be more. So, it is best to plan the itinerary of your travel in such a way that you get at least a day’s stay at the place from where you wish to get these permits.
- Once the permit is processed it is signed by the ADM/ADC and you have to be present in front of him in person at the time he is supposed to sign the permits.
- The permit is valid for a period of 2 weeks.
- After you get the permits, make 5-6 copies of it as you will be required to submit them at police checkposts mainly at Jangi and Sumdo. Now a days I guess the guys at police checkposts just note down the details from the issued permit or ILP.
- Although as per the GOVT. rule, there is no fees charged for the permits but you should have all the documents prepared in advance. In Shimla, there is a Sugam center now which was setup to make the process faster and efficient. They charge a fee of Rs 150-200 for the permits but to the sorry state the time of processing and efficiency is almost identical with or without that center. Of course, now you are required to pay Rs 150 – 200 for the permit which was free of cost.
- Even at Reckong Peo and other places, people have been asked to pay about Rs 150 – 200 as fee towards Inner Line Permits every now and then but again the HP Tourism official website still says that these permits are free of cost. Not sure in where it might be going. Point is be ready to shell out Rs 150 – 200 for these permits depending upon your luck 🙂
- Out of all, Reckong Peo is the best place to get these permits as first there is least rush + it is hustle free, second people are really helpful, third there is a computer with Webcam which takes the photos to paste them on permits, so you won’t need photos and lastly, you can always utilize the permit processing time (good 2-4 Hrs) to explore a beautiful Kalpa town about 16 odd KMs from Reckong Peo. Additionally, you will be spared off from all the nuisances which Shimla office might have. So, you shall generally avoid it getting through Shimla based on reading the not-so-good experiences of many travelers in the past.
In the end, I hope the above article provides you some helpful information and I look forward for your thoughts or inputs or suggestions about the inner line permits of Kinnaur – Spiti Valley. Please leave your comments below if you have further questions / queries, I will try to be back with an answer as soon as possible.