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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.
 
Nagaland
After the independence of India in 1947, the area remained a part of the province of Assam. Nationalist activities arose amongst Naga tribes, who demanded a political union of their ancestral and native groups damaged government and civil infrastructure, and attacked government officials and Indians from other states. Nagaland is largely a mountainous state. The Naga Hills rise from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam to about 2,000 feet and rise further to the southeast, as high as 6,000 feet. Nagaland is rich in flora and fauna. About one-sixth of Nagaland is under the cover of tropical and sub-tropical evergreen forests - including palms, bamboo and rattan as well as timber and mahogany forests. While some forest areas have been cleared for jhum - cultivation - many scrub forests, high grass, reeds and secondary dogs, pangolins, porcupines, elephants, leopards, bears, many species of monkeys, sambar, deers, oxen and buffaloes thrive across the state's forests. Christianity is the predominant religion of Nagaland. The census of 2001 recorded the state's Christian population at 1,790,349 (90.02% of the state's population), making it one of the three Christian-majority states in India, and the only state where Christians form 90% of the population. 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.
Assam
Assam is known for Assam tea, petroleum resources, Assam silk and for its rich biodiversity. It has successfully conserved the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction in Kaziranga, the tiger in Manas and provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. It is increasingly becoming a popular destination for wild-life tourism. Traditionally Assamese was the language of the commons (of mixed origin - Bodo, Khasi, Sanskrit, Magadhan Prakrit) of the ancient kingdoms such as Kamrupa and medieval kingdoms of Kamatapur, Kachari, Cuteeya, Borahi, Ahom and Koch. Traces of the language can be found in many poems in Charyapada written by Luipa, Sarahapa, etc during the period of the Xalostombho / Salastambha dynasty (7th/8th century AD) of Kamarupa Kingdom. Modern Kamrupi dialect is the remnant of this language. Assamese culture is traditionally a hybrid one, developed due to cultural assimilation of different ethno-cultural groups under various politico-economic systems in different periods of pre-history and history. The roots of the culture go back to almost two thousand years when the first cultural assimilation took place with Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman as the major components. 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
Arunachal Pradesh means "land of the rising sun" ("pradesh" means "state" or "region") in reference to its position as the easternmost state of India. Arunachal Pradesh is claimed by the PRC as an integral part of its territory. The climate of Arunachal Pradesh differs with the elevation. Areas that are at a very high elevation in the Upper Himalayas close to the Tibetan border enjoy an alpine or Tundra climate. While below the Upper Himalayas are the Middle Himalayas, where people experience a climate which is temperate. Fruits like apples, oranges, etc are grown here in this region. Arunachal Pradesh attracts tourists from many parts of the world. Tourist attractions include the Namdapha tiger project in Changlang district, Sela lake near to Bomdila, the bamboo bridges hanging over the river. Historical attractions include Malinithan in Lekhabali and Rukhmininagar near Roing, place where Rukhmini, lord Krishna's wife, used to live. 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
Sikkim
Sikkim is situated in an ecological hotspot of the lower Himalayas, one of only three among the Ecoregions of India. The forested regions of the state exhibit a diverse range of fauna and flora. The flora of Sikkim includes the rhododendron, the state tree, with a huge range of species occurring from subtropical to alpine regions. Orchids, figs, laurel, bananas, sal trees and bamboo in the lower altitudes of Sikkim, which enjoy a subtropical-type climate. Sikkim residents celebrate all major Indian festivals such as Diwali and Dussera, the popular Hindu festivals. Losar, Loosong, Saga Dawa, Lhabab Duechen, Drupka Teshi and Bhumchu are Buddhist festivals that are also celebrated. 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
Manipur
Manipur is considered a sensitive border state. Foreigners entering Manipur (including foreign citizens born in Manipur) must possess a Restricted Area Permit which can be obtained from the Foreigners' Regional Registration Office in the "metros" (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata) or certain other state government offices. 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
The Andaman Islands are a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal, and are part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India. There are 576 islands in the group, 26 of which are inhabited. They are located 950km from the mouth of the Hooghly River, 193 km from Cape Negrais in Myanmar (the nearest point of the mainland), and 547 km from the northern extremity of Sumatra. The climate is typical of tropical islands of similar latitude. It is always warm, but with sea-breezes. Rainfall is irregular, but usually dry during the north-east, and very wet during the south-west, monsoons. The Andaman islands were later occupied by Japan during World War II. The islands were nominally put under the authority of the Arzi Hukumate Azad Hind (Provisional Government of Free India) headed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Netaji visited the islands during the war, and renamed them as Shaheed (Martyr) & Swaraj (Self-rule). 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
Agatti Aerodrome on Agatti Island is currently the only airport in Lakshadweep. Indian, the state owned carrier, serves Agatti and flies to Kochi on the mainland. Only Bangaram and Subeli Islands are open to foreign tourists. Permits are issued from the Lakshadweep Administration, Wellington Island, Kochi.
Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh was also known as Deva Bhoomi (the land of the gods). The Aryan influence in the region dates back to the period before the Rigveda. Himachal Pradesh has one of the highest per capita incomes of any state in India. Due to the abundance of perennial rivers, Himachal also sells hydro electricity to other states such as Delhi, Punjab & Rajasthan. The economy of the state is highly dependent upon three sources i.e. Hydel power, tourism and agriculture. Himachal is situated in the interiors of western Himalayas. The state is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir in the North, Uttar Pradesh in the South-East, Haryana in the South and Punjab is in the west. 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
Kashmir
Kashmir was used to refer to the valley lying between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range. Today Kashmir refers to a larger area that includes the Indian-administered regions of Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh. Kashmir's economy is centred around agriculture. Traditionally the staple crop of the valley is rice, which forms the chief food of the people. Indian corn comes next; wheat, barley and oats are also grown. Blessed with a temperate climate unlike much of the Indian subcontinent, it is suited to crops like asparagus, artichoke, seakale, broad beans, scarletrunners, beetroot, cauliflower and cabbage. Fruit trees are common in the valley, and the cultivated orchards yield pears, apples, peaches, cherries, etc. are of fine quality. 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. Uttar Pradesh covers a large part of the highly fertile and densely populated upper Gangetic plain. Located in North India, it shares an international border with Nepal and is bounded by the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The administrative and legislative capital of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow, and the financial and industrial capital is Kanpur. The state languages of Uttar Pradesh are standard Hindi and Urdu. While standard Hindi (Khari boli) is the official language, several regional Hindi 'dialects' are spoken throughout the state. Among these are, Awadhi, Bagheli, Bhojpuri, Braj, Bundeli. Bhojpuri is the second most-spoken language in the state, Uttar Pradesh attracts a large number of both national and international visitors. There are two regions in the state where a majority of the tourists go. These are the city of Agra and the holy cities: the cities of Varanasi, Ayodhya, Mathura, and Allahabad, by the sacred rivers - the Ganga and the Yamuna are all located in the state.
Rajasthan
Other areas requiring special permits include the Pakistan-India border region in the west of National Highway No. 15 in Rajasthan.
 
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