Protected Areas of India

In addition to entry visas, special permits are required to visit certain areas of India. These include certain areas of Assam, North Eastern Frontier States (Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh) border areas of Jammu & Kashmir, selected areas of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Union Territories of Andaman and Lakshadweep Islands. If you plan to visit any of these areas, apply for a special permit well in advance at the Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi.


In order to promote tourism in the North-eastern region, the Government of India has decided to allow foreign tourists to visit Nagaland. The foreign tourists can visit the districts of Dimapur, Kohima, Mokokchong and Wokha for a maximum period of 10 days in a group of four and above exempting the married couples from this restriction.

Despite the Ministry of Home Affairs, these permits are also issued by the Directorate of Tourism, Nagaland and the Secretary of Tourism, Nagaland.


In Assam; Kaziranga National Park, Manas Bird Sanctuary, Guwahati, Kamakhya Temple, Sibsagar and Jatinga Bird Sanctuary are the restricted areas. A group can stay for 10 days maximum keeping the individual tourist out of this privilege. Permits can be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, all FRROs and Indian missions.

Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram

The states have been designated as protected areas so the tourists require a special permit to visit these states issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi at least a month before the date of the expected journey.


Certain areas of Sikkim like Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodang and Zongri in West Sikkim and Pamayangtse have been declared as restricted areas. Individual tourist is permitted to visit Gangtok, Rumtek and Phodang. The duration of stay now can be maximum of 15 days.

In addition to Ministry of Home Affairs, permits are issued at all Indian Missions abroad, all FRROs, Immigration Officers at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and New Delhi Airports.


To visit Loktak Lake, Imphal, Moirang, Keibul Deer Sanctuary and Waithe Lake, permits can be obtained from all Indian Missions abroad, all FRROs and Home Commissioner, Manipur, Imphal. The maximum duration of stay is five days.

Andaman Islands

Permits are issued at all FRROs, Indian Missions abroad and by the Immigration Officer, Port Blair. One can visit Port Blair Municipal Area, Havelock Island, Long Island, Neil Island, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Rangat, where a night halt is allowed and Jolly Buoy, South Cinque, Red Skin, Mount Harriet, Madhuban where only day visits are allowed.

Lakshadweep Islands

Only Bangaram and Subeli Islands are open to foreign tourists. Permits are issued from the Lakshadweep Administration, Wellington Island, Kochi.

Himachal Pradesh

The protected areas of Himachal Pradesh are Poo-Khab-Sumdho-Dhankar-Tabo, Gompa-Kaza and Orang-Dabling where an Individual tourist is not permitted at all.


Ministry of Home Affairs and District Magistrates of concerned districts issue the special permits for the following areas:

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

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
  • Note: Only for trekking conducted by approved tour operators and accompanied by State Police personnel

Individual tourists are not permitted at all whereas the tourist groups are to travel on the identified tour circuits only. The respective groups should consist 4-20 persons and should be accompanied by a liaison officer. The permissible stay period is 7 days. You can take the assistance of Indian Missions abroad or the Ministry of Tourism, Delhi.

Uttar Pradesh

Niti Ghati, Nanda Devi Sanctuary and Kalindi Khal in Chamoli, Uttar Kashi districts, Adjoining areas of Milam Glacier are the restricted areas where Individual tourists are totally prohibited. The groups can enter with a special permit.


Other areas requiring special permits include thePakistan-India border region in the west of National Highway No. 15 in Rajasthan.

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