Although the region is gradually opening up for tourism, regulations can change according to the current state of security, so check the latest information with the Indian Embassy, Consulate, tourist office or visa agency before travelling. However, it is best to get any permit while in India through a tour operator or through an agent in Guwahati – allow two days to arrange.

Currently Arunachal Pradesh is the only one of the seven states that requires foreign visitors to obtain Restricted or Protected Area Permits (US$50 for a maximum of thirty days) prior to entry. Parties should theoretically consist of a minimum of two accompanied by a travel agent, though in practice you can get away with saying the second person was “delayed”; allow up to three working days to obtain the permit. Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur currently only require registration on arrival at the entry point at the border and again with the Superintendent of Police within 24 hours of arrival. Indian nationals do require Inner Line Permits for Nagaland (₹50), Mizoram (₹120) and Arunachal Pradesh (₹100) prior to entry. Those Indians travelling to Mizoram by road will also need an ILP, but for those arriving by air, permits are issued on arrival. ILPs for Arunachal can now be obtained online at arunachalilp.com.

Make several photocopies of your passport and permits while travelling through the region. To obtain Inner Line Permits, Indian citizens should apply with two passport photographs to representatives of the state governments concerned. Applications should only take a day to process, and can be extended for up to six months in the relevant state capital. Passes are valid for the full period they are allocated for, no matter how many times you enter and exit a state, but in practice, especially for Arunachal, you may find yourself negotiating with border guards.

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