How to get Inner Line Permit for Himachal Pradesh
While traveling through border areas of Kinnaur and Lahul Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, foreign nationals require Inner Line Permit (ILP) to cross the area between Kaza in Lahul – Spiti district and Khab in Kinnaur district.
As per the district administration website of Lahul & Spiti
Following areas in Himachal Pradesh require protected areas permits Khab, Samdo, Dhankar, Tabo, Gompa, Kaza, Morang and Dubling (Lahaul & Spiti).
The most popular route while traveling is from Shimla side. It can be accessed through Shimla – Sarahan – Sangla – Kalpa – Khab – Kaza – Losar – Batal – Gramphoo. From Gramphoo one can take the route back to Manali via Rohtang Pass or move further to Leh via Keylong. The above route is not exactly the highway route as Sarahan, Sangla and Kalpa lies off the main Hindustan Tibet Road.
Getting Inner Line Permit at Shimla
Inner Line Permit (ILP) can be made at the Deputy Collector Office complex popularly known as the DC Office which lies off the Mall Road. Find your way to the Additional Divisional Magistrate (ADM) office and fill up the form. You need to attach 2 passport sized photographs and a copy of your visa and passport with the form.
The form has to be filled up in person and all concerned person have to be present in front of the ADM when he finally signs the permit. The whole procedure takes 3-4 hours.
There is no fees for issuing the ILP but the staff at the ADM office tend to send foeigners to Sugam Centre where you have to pay a fees of Rs. 200/ to submit the form. This is useless as the ADM signs the permit in the presence of the people requesting the ILP. You can ask for the ILP form from the ADM office and have to pay no fees.
By law, ILP is issued to a minimum of 4 people traveling in a group through a recognised travel agency. Shimla office is quite adamant to enforce the rule.
If you are a solo traveller or traveling in a group with less than 4 people head straight over to Recong Peo in Kinnaur district.
Getting Inner Line Permit at Recong Peo
Recong Peo is probably the best place to get the ILP on this route. Recong Peo is the district headquarter for Kinnaur and is situated at a lower elevation of Kalpa. The Inner Line Permits are issued at the ADM office at Recong Peo. The formalities are the same and you don’t need passport sized photos at Recong Peo. You have to pose for a webcam and the picture is scanned and affixed to the ILP. You may get more solo travellers here to form a quorum of 4 people required to travel together. Just wait for sometime in the complex and you can get the ILP easily. If you are lucky you may also get the ILP without the condition of minimum 4 people.
Getting ILP in Recong Peo is an easy affair and the whole process does not take more than one hour maximum. However you need to carry a copy of your passport and visa to be attached with the application form.
There are a few travel agents in Kalpa who also gets the permit for a charge of Rs. 150/ per person. They then get this done through the Sugam Centre at the DC office where again a payment of Rs. 200/ has to be made. Better to get the ILP straight from the office.
Getting Inner Line Permit at Kaza and Keylong
If you are coming from the Manali side you can get the Inner Line Permit at the DC office at Keylong, which happens to be the district headquarters for Lahul & Spiti. You can also get the ILP from Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Office at Kaza. The formalities remain the same but you have to carry 2 passport sized photos and a copy of your passport and visa. There is no such strict attention paid for the minimum 4 people rule here.
Thing to be noted is there are no charges for Inner Line Permit. If anyone asks for money inside the government office, please ask for a receipt. If you do not get a receipt then someone else is pocketing the money.
Indian bureaucracy is very much organised and every rupee collected is accounted for. In case you end up using the service of the Sugam centre you will have to pay a fee of Rs. 200/ for which a proper receipt will be issued.
You need to carry a few copies of the ILP to be handed over at the check posts in between. Though lately the check posts simply note down the details of the ILP.
Check posts are now located at Chango and Sumdo and the ILP is valid for a period of 15 days. Practically if you are traveling to Nako, you don’t require an ILP!
Indian nationals do not require Inner Line Permit to stay and cross the area though there are a few places where even Indians cannot go. It is advised to carry some valid proof of identity while traveling through the area.
Kinnaur and Spiti journey through the Hindustan Tibet Road will leave you spell bound. Normally the road is open from Mid April to Mid November till Kaza from Shimla side.
Presently Kaza – Grampho stretch of the road is closed as Kunzum Pass is blocked due to snow.
Map courtesy: The Internet
May 30, 2011 / Vikas / 0