Ladakh removes ILP restrictions for Indian citizens

Indian citizens no longer need Inner Line Permit to visit protected areas in Ladakh

The protected areas are located near the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China

Indian citizens can visit Pangong So Lake in Ladakh without an Inner Line Permit. Credit: AFP Photo

To attract more domestic tourists, the Union Territory of Ladakh has removed inner line permit (ILP) restrictions for Indian citizens to visit the protected areas, bordering China and Pakistan, in the region.

In a notification, Ladakh UT’s Home Department said the requirement of an ILP for the Indian nationals, including domestic tourists and local residents, to visit the notified protected areas has been completely removed.

However, foreigners intending to visit these protected areas still need to apply for a permit (Protected Area Permit). But the validity of the permit for foreign tourists has now been extended from seven days to 15 days.

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For obtaining the permit, Indian citizens were required to provide a valid identity proof while foreigners needed to provide a valid passport with visa or OCI card.

Earlier, it was mandatory for the Indian tourists also to apply for an ILP from the district administration to travel to notified protected areas of Ladakh, which include Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, Tsomoriri Lake and the Aryan villages. Nubra Valley covers Diskit, Hunder, Sumer and Panamik.

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

Doing away with the ILP system is likely to encourage more tourists to visit Ladakh which can in long run boost the economy of the newly carved UT.