I. Inner Line Permit

You need to acquire an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter certain states in the northeast. At present, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and parts of North Sikkim require ILPs to be presented at the various cross-border check posts. Foreign nationals need Protected Area Permits (PAPs) to enter these states. This is an effort by the Government of India to monitor movement near its international borders. It’s not difficult to obtain an ILP especially for tourism purposes. The document is authorised and released by the relevant state departments.
Indian nationals can apply online for an ILP for Arunachal Pradesh. Just log on to http://www.arunachalilp.com/index.jsp. ILP on arrival can also be availed at Naharlagun Railway Station, Gumto Railway Station and Guwahati Asom Paryatan Bhawan and Guwahati LGBI Airport. It usually takes about 30 minutes to get the permit unless there’s a rush. Besides, you can also get ILPs from the offices of the Deputy Commissioners of all 16 districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Foreign nationals need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to enter Arunachal Pradesh. The easiest way to get a PAP is through the office of the Deputy Resident Commissioner of Arunachal Pradesh. You can pick up your permit in Guwahati en route to Arunachal. The office is located at a 25- 30 minute bus ride away from Guwahati railway station and is open from 10 am to 5pm (IST). Permits are issued until 2pm (IST)
N.B.The office is listed on Google Maps so you can easily find your way there.
A large part of North Sikkim beyond Singhik requires ILP. Foreign nationals visiting the protected areas in the state are required to book their trip through a travel agent registered with the Tourism Department of Sikkim. Check out the list of registered agents at http://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/TATO/TATO_List.aspx
N.B. In accordance with an advisory issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, foreign tourists are required to travel in groups of two or more while visiting Sikkim and the other restricted northeast states.
Yes. All OCI card holders require ILPs to visit restricted areas in the northeast. They will be issued the permit against valid and authorised travel documents.
You can get an ILP for Nagaland at the Nagaland House offices in New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and Shillong. It usually takes 1 day after application to get the permit. Foreigners are not required to produce ILPs or PAPs on arrival in Nagaland. However, they need to register with the local Foreigner Registration Office within 24 hours of arrival in the state. However, citizens of Pakistan, China and Bangladesh are still required to procure a permit before visiting these northeast states.
Indian nationals need an ILP to visit Mizoram. This can be picked up from the official Mizoram House in cities like Kolkata and Delhi. The ILP is also available at Lenpui Airport for tourists travelling by flight. Like Nagaland, foreign nationals not required to produce PAPs on arrival in Mizoram. Instead, they have to register with the Foreigner Registration Office within 24 hours of arrival in the state.

II. Food

Rice is the staple across large parts of northeast India. The local food incorporates a variety of meats into its dishes including chicken, beef, pork, lamb, turtles, fish, pigeons, ducks etc. In some parts of Nagaland and Mizoram, dog meat is also consumed. The food of the northeast uses fresh local vegetables like greens and bamboo shoots with minimal use of spices. Noodles and dumplings are also common in these parts owing to Tibetan- Chinese influences. The major cities like Guwahati, Shillong, Gangtok have more options in terms of world cuisine. A great deal of tea is consumed across northeast India.
Remote places like Arunachal’s Ziro Valley or Mon Valley in Nagaland have few restaurants or hotels. Even the existing ones are small establishments without much variety of fare. You would be well advised to pick up snacks and mineral water bottles from the nearest town if you’re planning a road trip to these parts because roadside shops/stalls are few and far between.

III. National Parks

Most national parks in India have stipulated seasons during which they remain closed. The Kaziranga National Park in Assam stays closed from 1st May to 31st October. The period between November to March is considered the best time to visit most national parks in the northeast because the weather is most favourable in winter.
Kaziranga National Park is divided into 4 different zones and you can enjoy a jeep or elephant safari inside these zones. Elephant safaris are high in demand in Kaziranga so it is advisable to book your safari well in advance either through the park’s official website or through your travel agent. While jeep safaris can be booked for all 4 zones of Kaziranga, elephant safaris are permitted in only 2 zones namely- Kohora and Bagori. You can click on this link below to book a safari- http://www.kaziranganationalpark-india.com/online-kaziranga-safari-booking.html.
Please be advised that any changes to safari timings or closures are at the sole discretion of the Forest Department. Ahom is not responsible for the cancellation of any safaris made by the park authorities and will be unable to provide any compensation for the same.

IV. Clothes

The kind of clothes you pack depends on the time of your visit and the kind of activity you’re going for. Usually in summers, most parts of northeast India are hot and don’t require any warm clothes. Although, in high- altitude areas like parts of north Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, night time temperatures occasionally drop to single digits even in summer months. A light jacket should suffice at these times. In winters, temperatures do drop to sub-zero especially higher in the mountains. You would require fleece jackets, heavy overcoats, woollen gloves, long socks and woollen caps. For those planning high-altitude trekking or other outdoor activities, make sure to carry snow jackets, sunglasses and thermal wear in addition to proper trekking shoes with good traction. Make sure to carry an umbrella for sudden rainfall.
Northeast India is a mostly permissive society without too many restrictions on clothing. However, it is important to consider religious sentiments while visiting places of worship like temples and monasteries. Most of these places require you to take your shoes off before entering and some require visitors to cover their heads. It is advisable to wear more conservative clothing while visiting spiritual/religious buildings. Full length trousers are encouraged instead of shorts.

V. Language

There are over 220 different languages and dialects spoken across the Northeast. English is a common language in most towns and cities. Almost any hotel/restaurant you visit will have English- speaking managers and staff. For more remote areas home to tribal settlements, your guide can act as translator.