If travelling to Manipur, you are advised to the services of a local travel agent who can ensure smooth travel as well as make any security arrangements necessary. Nagaland has had a long-term insurgency issue, which only rarely affects the main areas but is still rife along the eastern border with Burma. Sporadic violence does plague Assam as well, where the western districts around Kokrajhar have been devastated by ethnic clashes between Bangladeshi migrants and Bodos in 2012. The entire region is prone to wildcat strikes known as bandhs (lockouts) when shops, restaurants and public transport shut down – do check before and while travelling. Avoid driving any distance at night, even through Assam, due to the threat of banditry often in the guise of insurgency.

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 all necessary paper work and travel arrangements.

Currently Arunachal Pradesh is the only one of the seven states that requires both Indian and foreign visitors to obtain Restricted or Protected Area Permits ($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, the other person may have been “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, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh 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.

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