In the most welcoming news in 2021, Leh Ladakh Inner Line Permits are not required for domestic tourists to travel anywhere in Ladakh including Hanle, Umling La Pass, Marsimik La, or even Demchok or Chumur. You only need to pay the environment/green/ecology fee and carry a receipt of the payment. 

Video: Step-by-Step Guide: Pay Leh Ladakh Environment Fee Online | Apply Leh Ladakh Permits Online

Do I need any permits in Ladakh in 2024?

Indians do not need any permits anymore in Ladakh for regular sightseeing. You just need to pay the Ladakh Environment Fee on the website and carry the receipt of it. Here is the link where you need to pay it: https://www.lahdclehpermit.in/register-as-domestic 

Current Ladakh environment fees are broken down as follows: 

  1. Environment Fee = Rs 400 one time per year
  2. Wildlife Fee/Something = Rs 20 per day per person
  3. Red Cross Fund Fee = Rs 50 one time per year but optional. You don’t need to pay if you don’t want to pay this fee.

DO NOT confuse the environment fee receipt with the Ladakh inner line permit. You just need to carry the fee payment receipt, hard copy, or soft copy. This receipt may be checked at some checkposts. Hence, people are confusing it with the permit. But this is just verification that you have paid the Ladakh environment fees.

Leh Ladakh Inner Line Permits History

In June 2017, Ladakh Inner Line Permits were made available online from the official website of the Leh Ladakh administration. It was a piece of very welcoming news for all the people planning their trip to Leh Ladakh. This step helped all those tourists who travel to Ladakh during holidays and found the Leh DC office closed during those days to get the permits to travel to tourist spots.

Tourists can apply for the Leh Ladakh permits online, choose a tour operator to pay the fee, and get their copies of the Ladakh permit online. This step has eased the process and eliminated the hassles of procuring these permits in advance. Leh Ladakh Inner Line Permits are available online for both domestic tourists as well as foreigners.

Back in 2014, the concept of Inner Line Permits for domestic Indian tourists was waived. It meant all Indians traveling to the Inner Line region of Ladakh, including Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri, were exempted from the need for Inner Line permits. Domestic tourists just require a self-declaration form when visiting these places, and that will act as a permit for them.

However:

The decision was reverted back in 2017 to the original requirements of having permits. In April 2017, authorities in Leh Ladakh reverted the decision and re-introduced the Environment Fee of Rs 300, the Red Cross Fund fee of Rs 100, and Inner Line Permits for domestic tourists as well. Now all tourists, foreigners, and Indians, visiting the Inner Line region of Leh Ladakh need these permits to visit Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri. 

Foreigners need a Protected Area Permit to visit tourist places in Ladakh which is different from Inner Line Permits needed by domestic tourists.

What are the permits required for Leh Ladakh trip?

Process for Ladakh Environment Fee Online or Ladakh Inner Line Permits Online

In this article, let’s look at the step-by-step process to obtain Ladakh Inner Line permits online or in advance of your Ladakh trip. This will help you a lot in planning the trip to Ladakh smoothly. I will also discuss in detail the manual steps required to apply for the inner line permits.

Ladakh Inner Line Permits (ILP) are required for Indian Tourists, but foreigners require Ladakh Protected Area Permits (PAP). Tourists need these permits in Ladakh to visit the inner line places like Nubra Valley, Khardung La, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Dah, Hanu Villages, Man, Merak, Nyoma, Loma Bend, Turtuk, Tyakshi, Chusul, Hanle, Digger La, Tangyar (for trekking only).

You do not need any permits to travel on Manali Leh Highway or Srinagar Leh Highway or Zanskar Valley.

The permits for Hanle and direct route from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri from Chusul can only be applied manually or in person at Leh DC office.

These permits are not required for residents of J&K state and children below the age of 12 years. They can visit the inner line region in Ladakh by showing/carrying a valid Photo Id proof.

Both Protected Area Permits (PAP) and Inner Line Permits (ILP) are available online from the official website www.lahdclehpermit.in of Leh administration. All tourists can go through the website to obtain the inner line permits.

You need to pay an Environment fee of Rs 300, Red Cross Fund fee of Rs 100, and an inner line permit fee of Rs 20 per day per person to get these permits. You need to provide a valid photo ID proof to apply for these Inner Line Permits in Ladakh. You can pay the fee for the Inner Line Permits when you choose the option of the tour operator and pay them the required fee after applying for the permit.

Ladakh Inner Line Permits Available Online
Ladakh Inner Line Permits Online Circular
Video – How to get Ladakh inner line permits online?

Step-by-Step Process to Apply for Online Ladakh Permits / Online Ladakh Environment Fee

Below steps need to be followed to apply for the permits

  1. Click on the “Apply for Permits -> Domestic Clients” button on the center bottom of the screen. It will take you to the first step of providing the details of the Domestic Tourist applying for the permits.
  2. On this page, you need to enter your details including Name, State, Gender, Id Type, Id Number, and Home Address.
  3. Apart from that, you need to choose if you are applying directly or through an agent. You should choose to apply directly because with the agent option; you have to get in touch with the agent to get your permit processed.
  4. Lastly, you need to enter the Arrival Date when you are arriving in Leh and start exploring inner line areas of Ladakh. Then, you click on Submit.
  5. When you click on submit, it will take you to the screen with two options “Click here to issue an individual permit” and “Click here to issue group permit.”
  6. If you are applying for the permit alone, you need to click on the Individual permit option else if you are in a group, choose the group option and add details of other users on the next screen.
  7. Once, choose the respective option (and fill group details in case of group option), you will go to the next screen where you need to select among the circuits which you plan to visit in Ladakh, and a reference number will be present on the page.
  8. PLEASE NOTE the reference number and save it somewhere as it will be required to Print the permit whenever you need it.
  9. Select the required circuits as per your itinerary of the Ladakh trip. As you cannot reissue the permits, so choose all the circuits at once when applying for the permits. The below table will help you select the relevant circuits based on your Leh Ladakh trip plan.
  10. Finally, enter the Start Date and End date of the permit which will define the total fee for your permits.
  11. Click on Apply for Permits button which will take you to the confirmation page that tells you about the selected circuit details with dates of the permits.
  12. You need to click on the Proceed button to generate your permit. Print a few copies of this permit. Download the sample online permit for reference purposes only.
  13. The permit has your total inner line permit fee that includes Environment fee (Rs 300 per person one time), Red cross fund fee (Rs 100 per person one time), and wildlife fee (Rs 20 per person per day).
  14. You can choose to click on the Pay Now option to pay the permit fee online using a Credit or Debit Card via Jammu & Kashmir Bank online portal. You can pay the Permit Fees online using all major Credit/Debit cards and Net Banking of all major banks.
    On successful payment processing, a receipt will be generated; each transaction you can identify by a unique identifier known as Collection ID. The payer is required to take printouts of Permit Receipt and Easy Collect Transaction Receipt. SMS and Email will be sent to payer confirming receipt of payment.
  15. However, you have to visit the Leh DC Office or Tourist Information Center for verification of your permits and get them stamped. So, if you do not want to pay online, then visit the Leh DC office or Leh TIC office. And there, you can pay the permit fee while getting the verification done for your permits.
  16. You can use the reference number to reprint your permit from the Homepage menu options again.
  17. You cannot apply online for Hanle permits and Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri direct route. Either you have to follow the manual process defined below and apply for those permits in person at Leh DC office. Or you can also take these printouts to Leh DC office, and they will be able to put Hanle permit stamp on these online permits too.

Step 1 – Ladakh Inner Line Permit Online Application

Step 1 - Ladakh Inner Line Permit Online Application

Step 2 – Ladakh Inner Line Permit Online Application

Step 2 - Ladakh Inner Line Permit Online Application

Step 3 – Ladakh Inner Line Permit Online Application

Step 3 - Ladakh Inner Line Permit Online Application

ILP – Online Permit

ILP - Online Permit

Pay Online for Ladakh Inner Line Permit

Pay Online for Ladakh Inner Line Permit

Ladakh Inner Line Permits Circuits – What to choose

1Khalsi, Domkhar, Skurbuchan, Hanu, Baima, Dha in Khalsi Sub-Division.Select this one Dah Hanu
2Khardong, Khalsar, Trith up to Warsi and Yarma Gonbo, Disket, Hunder, Turtuk, Pachathang, Tyakshi in Nubra Sub-Division.Select this one for Nubra Valley including Turtuk, Tyakshi
3Upshi, TsomoRiRi/Korzok in Nyoma Sub-Division.Select this one for Tso Moriri
4Upshi, Dipling, Puga, TsomoRiRi/Korzok in Nyoma Sub-Division.Select this one for Tso Moriri and Tso Kar
5Kharu, Changla, Durbuk, Tangtse, Lukhung, Spangmik, Man-merag(Pangong Lake) in Nyoma Sub-Division.Select this one for Pangong Tso
6Upshi, Chumathang, Mahe, Loma Bend in Nyoma Division.Select this one for going to Loma
7Leh-Kharu-Changla-Durbuk-Tangtse-Lukung-Spangmik-Man Merak (pangong) upto Chushul and Loma Bend.Select this one for Chusul & Loma Bend
8Tangtse-Kargyam-Sato, Barma, Chushul.Select this one for Chusul

Pro Travel Tip: Apply for Ladakh Inner Line Permits online when your date is finalized. As the process now is online, the photo ID card number gets stored in the database and same proof cannot be used for next 15 days to get the permits. So, if you change the permit date after applying, you need to use a different ID for it else system will not allow it. 
The entire inner liner permit area is divided into 8 regions and you have to select the desired ones very carefully. Better get the region information first and then apply for it.

Step by Step Process for Ladakh Environment Fee or Inner Line Permits in Person / Offline at Leh DC Office

If you are planning to apply for these permits in person or offline, then you can apply them at Tourist Information Center (TIC) Office, Opposite J&K Bank, Main Market, Leh or you can also apply for Inner Line Permits at Leh DC Office.

The TIC office is open on all working days (Monday to Saturday) from 09:00 AM to 07.00 PM. The timing of the Leh DC office is 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM (as told to us by the clerk there but not confirmed as I didn’t see it written), but they generally do not accept applications after 3 PM, I guess. So, you should reach the Leh DC office before 2 PM. Best will be to reach at around 10.15 AM to find the least rush and much hassle-free process.

The stories of Srinagar Leh Highway
The stories of Srinagar Leh Highway
Is Leh DC office open on Saturday and Sunday?

Leh DC office is closed on Sundays and other national holidays. Hence, you should plan your Leh Ladakh trip such that your Leh local sightseeing day does not start with Sunday or a holiday. Having said that, I have heard that DC office is sometimes open on Sunday for half-day as well but I will say don’t count on it. If that is the case, best it to apply the Ladakh inner line permits online or get the arranged in advance through some travel agent.

Manual or Offline permit application is required mainly for Hanle or Chusul routes. Rest for regular tourist destinations you can apply online

Below are some steps that you can follow for applying for Ladakh Inner Line Permits in person at the DC office in Leh.

  • You need to fill the permit application form to get the approval for your inner line permits. So, carry a pen with you, if filling directly in Leh DC office.
  • The permits cost you Rs 300 for environment fee, Rs 20 per day per person for the permit. There is a fee of Rs 100 which is charged per tourist one time towards the Red Cross Fund. There is a special fee for the students, which is one time only Rs 20. You need to show/attach the i-card, I think, with the permit copy.
  • You need to have photocopies of a valid nationality Photo-ID proof (Passport, Driving License, Aadhar, Voters ID, PAN card, etc.) which proves your identity. Although the photocopies were not checked for attestation for us, I feel one should not take any chance with it and get them attested before venturing to Leh Ladakh.
  • You can apply the permits for your entire group, but you need to attach the photocopy of photo-id cards (nationality proof) for each member in the group and make sure to fill the required details of all group members in the permit application form.
  • Anyone who has yours or your group’s photocopies of valid Photo-IDs, he/she can get the inner line permits on your behalf as well. Usually, the hotels in the Leh town does provide this facility if you are OK with sharing the photocopies of your nationality proof’s Photo-IDs with them either via Email or Fax.
  • The permit approval process may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Hence it’s always nice that you reach early morning at the Leh DC office. Sometimes, when there is a rush of tourists, the permits are issued in two batches viz. morning and evening. Hence, try to be in for early morning batch so that you have some time to partially head towards one of the destinations of your plan or do it at ease and consider Leh local sightseeing as a side option for the day.
  • The application forms required to apply for the inner line permits are mostly available at the Photostat shops nearby (one is just behind Leh DC office). You can also download the inner line permit application form for Leh – Ladakh from the following download link as well: Inner Line Permit Form and Application Letter (Page 2).
  • Usually, the form remains the same so filling the attached form at home and completing the documentation including required photocopies can save a lot of trouble running to-fro from Photostat shops.
  • In the application form, for each member, you need to mention the name with parent/guardian name, complete permanent address, the name of all the places you need to visit, and the specific dates or date range for which you want these permits. At last, in the copy information section, you may mention the hotel name plus address you stayed or are staying in Leh.
  • You need to write Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri to cover all three major tourist spots in Ladakh. Writing Nubra Valley covers all the places in Nubra Valley, including Khardung La and Turtuk. However, writing Turtuk as well will not harm.
  • Besides permit application form, you need to write a request application letter addressing DC of Leh – Ladakh district for the approval of your permits.
  • In the inner line permit application, you need to express your interest in visiting the places you wish to travel along with the dates you would be visiting these places on your Leh – Ladakh trip.
  • Both the application form and this request letter should be in sync with each other for places, names, and dates. You can download the unfilled request application from the following download link: Inner Line Permit Form and Application Letter (Page 3).
  • Once, you complete filling the permit application form and writing the request application to accompany it, you make two-three photocopies of the entire set consisting of Application Form, Approval Request Application Letter, Photo – IDs of all the members requesting for the permits.
  • When the photocopies of the required set of documents are ready then you need to submit them at the DC office along with the original copies of the form and request application.
  • The clerk will ask you to deposit the fees for required permits (amount will depend on the number of days and number of members in the group) + red cross fund fees (Rs 10 per member) + Environment Fess (Rs 400 per member).
  • Once you deposit the fee, the clerk will put the stamp on the permits. In a few instances or special cases, the clerk may ask you to either get signed approval from the ADC room yourself, or he/she will place your documents in the ongoing batch for further approval. Of course, in the latter case, you will need to wait for the approved permits to arrive which usually takes some time about 1-3 Hrs.
  • Once, you get the stamped approved permits you need to go back to the photostat shop again to make photocopies of the approved permits.
  • These photocopies of the approved permits are submitted at every check post that comes up on the way to your sightseeing destinations in Ladakh, including Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri. Hence, you should make at least ten copies of them if you are staying long enough in this heaven.
  • The the validity of the inner line permits is three weeks for Indians and one week for foreigners. However, there is no limit on the number of times you enter a place in the valid period provided you have the permits with you for that place.
  • Although not required; you may carry the passport size photographs as well. I believe, on all your trips, you should carry the passport-sized photographs with you as none knows when you need one. Did you check my comprehensive list of things to carry on a Ladakh trip?
Shanti Stupa - Glittering in the evening
Hanle Village – The Hidden Gems of Ladakh

Inner Line Permits for Hanle

Yes, you can get the permit to travel to Hanle village by applying them to the DC office in Leh. There will be an additional stamp that they will put on the permit copies that will authorize you to travel to Hanle beyond the Loma check-post. Otherwise, the army will send you back from the Loma check-post.

Inner Line Permits for Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri direct route from Chusul

Yes, you can get the permit to travel on the direct route from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri that passes through Chusul village. The permit can only be applied in person at Leh DC office.

There will be an additional stamp that they will put on the permit copies that will authorize you to travel beyond Chusul check-post. Otherwise, the army will send you back from Chusul or Man Merak village check-post.

Inner Line Permits for Umling La Pass

No permit is available for traveling to Umling La pass and civilians are not allowed to travel to Umling La Pass. Some people traveled to it in the past

In 2017, BRO has built and opened the world’s highest road over Umlingla pass or Umling La connecting Chisumle and Demchok villages. Umling La pass is at an altitude of 5,883 Mtrs or 19,300 Feet. It is about 105 KMs from Hanle Village and about 235 KMs from Leh.

Other important things about permits for Hanle & Chusul

In order to get the permits for Hanle and Changthang or to travel from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri directly via Chusul – Tsaga – Loma – Nyoma route, you need to mention all the places on the route so that you are not sent back from any check-post. These places are Man – Merak – Chusul – Tsaga – Loma – Nyoma (for Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri) and Hanle (if plan to visit Hanle too). The permits for inner Changthang & Hanle are issued only to Indian Nationals, not for foreign tourists.

Permits for Hanle & Chusul route are always issued subject to the present political or border situation. Sometimes, Leh DC office may not even issue the permits for Hanle and Chusul route. 

Even after getting the permits for Hanle and Chusul route with the extra stamp, do not consider it as 100% approval that you will be allowed to these places. Army guys have sent back many tourists since 2011, even having permits based on the actual political and border security situation. So, unless you pass the Chusul check-post or Loma check-post to the other side, there is no guarantee that you will not be returned in between on these routes.

One more thing that sometimes photography equipment is not allowed beyond Loma towards Hanle. So, in case you have cameras, then please pack them in bags and refrain yourself from taking pictures on the route of sensitive areas in Ladakh.

Here are the sample permits issued and stamped by the Tourist Information Center

Notice the stamp for Hanle permit at top & Pangong - Chusul Route
Notice the stamp for Hanle permit at top & Pangong – Chusul Route 
Nubra Valley Permit Stamp
Nubra Valley Permit Stamp
Tso Moriri Permit Stamp
Tso Moriri Permit Stamp

Best or Quick Approach to get Leh Ladakh Inner Line Permits

The best way to approach the processing of Leh Ladakh Inner Line Permits is to first download the application form. Completely fill the form and attach the photocopies of the photo ID nationality proofs with it for all members of the group.

Write a request application letter addressing Leh Ladakh DC expressing your intent to visit the desired places and request the issuing of inner line permits to you for the desired duration. If you are in a group, you can write the names of all the members on the group and attach copies of their photo id nationality proofs.

Staple the bundle including completely filled inner line permit application form, request application letter you will write for approval and the photocopies of photo id nationality proofs from home only.

Then, once you reach Leh, go to Leh DC office and submit the bundle along with the required fees. Get the permit stamped from the Leh DC Office. In case of permits for Hanle and Chusul, make sure you get the required stamps for these places. Otherwise, you will be sent back by the army from the midway.

On the way back to the hotel or sightseeing ahead, get 8-10 photocopies of the permits issued to you. You need to submit these photocopies of the permits at the check posts while going to Nubra, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Hanle, etc.

This will save a lot of time and energy for you in Leh. Otherwise, you will need to keep running up and down to photocopy shop for one thing or the other. Even to get the inner line permit form, you will need to go to the nearest photocopy shop, and all this will surely kill time and exert you in Leh.

Although highly unlikely, the worst-case scenario would be that the DC office changes the attached format of the inner line permit application form and refuse to take up the old version of it. 😥 Even, in that case, you will just need to fill the new form and attach the documents with it before submission.

Shanti Stupa - Glittering in the evening
Shanti Stupa – Glittering in the evening

Conclusion

I hope this article will help you get the required details on applying for the Inner Line Permits for Ladakh online as well as in person. As Ladakh Inner Line Permits are available online now, it will save a lot of hassles of moving around in Leh in the first few days from one shop to another to DC office.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel to ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram or comment on my YouTube videos.

You are also not required to worry about any holidays or odd timings of reaching Leh and then applying for the permits in person at Leh DC office.

In case you find this article useful, feel free to share it with your family & friends who are looking out for a trip to Ladakh in this season. And if you have any further questions or doubts, in planning your trip to Leh Ladakh, please post them in the comments section of this article below.

Again at the end, to download the application form for Leh – Ladakh inner line permit you can click the following download link Ladakh Inner Line Permit Form and Application Letter

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I am Dheeraj Sharma - a traveler, techie, and Himalayan lover. Since 2009, I have been helping thousands of travelers every year plan memorable & budget-friendly trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, and responsibly.

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