Government liberalizes entry of foreigners to northeast states

Foreigners are now free to travel Arunachala Pradesh and some parts of Sikkim, as Indian tourism ministry has planned to remove the restriction on foreign travelers to enter in these areas. The limitations can be removed only if the home ministry and the defense ministries approve the proposal.

From now onwards foreigners have to apply for travel documents such as Protected Area Permit (PAP), Restricted Area Permit (RAP).

“The ministry has proposed opening up the north-east for tourists. In the last six months the government has opened up many restricted areas and if the plan in the north-east works, then many more border areas can be opened up,” Mr. Alphons told news agency Press Trust of India.

Arunachala Pradesh and Sikkim accommodate one of the highest proportions of Buddhists in India.

Arunachala Pradesh became the state on 20th February 1987. The main tourist attracted places include:

Tawang Monastery, Ita fort, Gomsi fort, Naksha Parbat ruins.

Arunachala Pradesh protected areas are: Itanagar, Ziro, Along Pasighat, Miao, Namdapha and Sujesa (puki) Balukpong.

Partly protected area of Sikkim: Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodang, Khecheperi, Tashiging, Zongri (west Sikkim), Tsangu Chhangu lake (east Sikkim).

“Arunachala Pradesh and parts of Sikkim are under travel restricted area permit rule and no foreigners can enter or stay in the state without the document. However resident from Pakistan and China may still need to apply for the permit after being the rules are eased, an official had said”

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