I visited Arunachal Pradesh in April 2008 for 30 days. It is a pain to get a permit to get there.
After googling all the official travel websites of Arunachal Pradesh and followed their crappy advice, calling my indian embassy, going to the foreign registration office in Kolkata, emailing and calling other departments, it was such a time waster, that I am now publishing my own way of getting it done… finally, through paying us$20 to a Travel Agent just to apply that us$50 Restricted Travel Permit (RAP) for Arunachal Pradesh.
You would probably gotten the same details on google,
Here’s what the official travel websites say about getting a Arunachal Pradesh Restricted Travel Permit (RAP), they tend to repeat the same crap without actually verifying that it works. All the departments do not know what the hell is going on. and answers vary like the wind changes directions (yea I am still kinda pissed about it)
“Copy and Pasted From all those crappy official Arunachal Pradesh websites”
The foreign tourists can obtain the Protected Area Permit from:
All India Missions abroad – Don’t EVEN BOTHER, Your India mission (in Singapore and London) don’t even know crap about it. They would just retort paranoid questions to you instead. Time Waster!
All Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata – Best chance of success is at New Delhi, Forget the rest, they would just send your application direct to Delhi anyways, unless you have plenty of time to sit around and wait for approval while they take their own sweet time.
Chief Immigration Officers, Chennai – Huh?
Home Ministry, Govt. of India – Double Huh?
Home Commissioner, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar – By now should you even bother to contact them!
Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi-110001 – Another read for entertainment purposes, dont waste your time contacting them.
This is REALLY HOW YOU SHOULD BE
Getting a permit to Arunachal Pradesh, North East India
1. If you have 4 persons travelling
Apply via :
Calcutta Foreigners Regional Registration Office
237 Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Road (AJC Bose Road), Kolkata – 700 020
(nearest train station : Rabindra Sadan station)
New Delhi Foreigner’s Registration
East Block-VIII, Level-II, Sector-1, R.K. Puram, New Delhi – 110 066
Cost : us$50 per person per permit application for 30 days
Processing time varies from 1 day – 3days, to 7 – 14days or more, as they will be sending your approval to New Delhi, you need to submit your application with passport photo, copy of indian visa, passport, and go for an interview should the current govt official decides you should do it. (total of 2-3 trips to the Kolkata office to get it done)
Non Indian Nationals : Do not apply in Guwahati.
Only Indian nationals application will be accepted in Arunachal Pradesh House in Guwahati
Of course there is always exception to the ruling (if you know what to do) The question is how much are you willing to donate/contribute your cash, who you talk to, which officer in charge is currently in attendance, and what mood that govt official is in. etc.. Results will vary from Individual applications
2. For 2 person travelling or more, you need to use a Travel Agent (Best chance of success and highly recommended if you don’t want the headache)
Cost : us$20 per person (agent charges this for their ‘services’)
Permit : us$50 per person (Arunachal Pradesh Govt fee)
Total permit cost : us$70 per person
Duration : 1 month travel permit
3. For 1 person travelling solo (apply with Travel Agent)
You would still need to get someone’s passport details, pay $20+50 X 2 person for the permit. That person need not be travelling with you for the permit. You could technically submit a person’s details without that person actually visiting the state. Not recommended because it is not worth paying a total of us$140 for your permits. Find someone who might be interested in travelling with you, or travelling the same dates as you, but you could both go on your separate ways. -> I did this, but somehow ended up travelling with the same person on my permit.
The official website http://arunachalpradesh.nic.in/enter_ap.htm to be used for information and entertainment purposes only.
Don’t waste your time applying through your local Indian mission as they don’t even know of such ruling.
I used a Travel Agent, thru a local naga contact, his replies will be incredibly slow as internet is not often accessible.
You can contact
Oken Tayeng, You might get away from not paying him prior to arrival. BUT Make sure you do pay him for his effort.
Mode: Payment of permit can be done in Itanagar, Arunachal pradesh, permit given over Email.
Oken’s Contact : ABORCOUNTRY TRAVELS & EXPEDITIONS B Sector, Itanagar , Arunachal Pradesh – 791111 Tel : +91 360 2211722 Fax : +91 360 2292969 Mobile : +91 9436053870 Email : email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org
Failing to contact the guy above, you can contact the rest of the tour operators here.
Update: Oken is now charging us$50 for his services, total $100 per person for permit. Find another travel agent to help you on it. They should charge you only us$20 for their services!
The travel operators would be all be too willing to sell you a travel package as well. -> By suggesting that you REALLY should need a guide to take you around the State, because it is really not safe, blah blah blah…
Travelling around Arunachal Pradesh is easy, just a little time consuming as road conditions are quite bad, there are plenty of public jeeps or Sumos that the locals use to transport themselves from town to town on a daily basis.
I did all my travels via public buses and jeeps, I do find the buses more comfortable for longer rides, as the public jeeps often packed like sardines. A 6 seater jeep could be filled with 10 person or more!
If you are on a time constraint, then it is highly recommended to take up the travel agents services, mostly they are pretty generic, so it really comes down to who you wanna go for.
Application Details :
You need –
1. Digital Copy of Passport WITH current Indian Visa
2. Two Passport photo (2 digital photos organised side by side)
3. Permit Application : filled with your itinerary and suggested dates of Entry and Exit Dates
4. Processing time : min. 7 days – 14days depends on where your travel operator apply it from.
Make sure you fill in ALL the TOWN Names of Arunachal Pradesh in your itinerary, the permit will be issued according to all the towns you apply for in your itinerary, else you might incur problems when you register yourself with the local police in the various towns. It is mandatory that you report or declare your presence in the various towns.
However, I didn’t have visit to the local police station, the hotels would do that for you, or the police officers would approach you when they see you along the streets in your backpacks.
After you get your permit Make sure you have tons of duplicate copies of the permit, every official (from police to the army to govt official) who approaches you, somehow wants a copy of it.
The Long winded story
In Menchuka, the police commissioner approached me in the same shop as I was, while he was shopping for his daily local vegetables. In another town, one of the policeman asked me for my permit rather casually over dinner while sharing his nightly whiskey shots with me at the local tea house, he happen to see me there, while he was having his daily drink,
And yet another town, i was asked again for the permit over a cuppa Indian chai and samosas, compliments of the police chap.
They were all pretty friendly bunch, but somehow they are pretty obsessed about that Restriction Permit. So you get my long winded drift, MAKE TONS OF RAP PERMIT DUPLICATES
Attached is the permit application form here :