How to Apply Online For An Alcohol Permit For Gujarat, India’s Strictest ‘Dry Province’

How to Get an Alcohol Permit in Gujarat, India's Only 'Dry Province'

How to Apply Online For An Alcohol Permit For Gujarat, India’s Strictest ‘Dry Province’

When backpacking in India, I decided to visit the country’s strictest “dry province”, that is to say, “alcohol free province”, the north western province of Gujarat which borders Pakistan. My reasons for visiting Gujarat dated back to a Michael Palin documentary where I remember Palin had to fill in a certificate or document to collect alcohol. But also because Gujarat, is Gandhi Land. Mahatma Gandhi was born in the town of Porbandar in the west of Gujarat State. I based myself at the Hotel Formule 1 in Ahmedabad. But before that, I applied online for the alcohol permit.

Touring Gandhi's House in Gujarat State

Touring Gandhi’s House in Gujarat State

I remembered how cool it was to drink alcohol in Iraq, to get a permit to bring alcohol into Brunei and to have a few sneaky beers while backpacking in Bahrain. So a night on the rip in Ahmedabad beckoned, with a difference.

The madness of Ahmedabad at night

The madness of Ahmedabad at night

Michael Palin-esque, I got the train from Mumbai into the Gujarat Province and I ended up in the city of Ahmedabad, the former capital of this province and a city which has a total of eleven places where foreigners can buy alcohol.

Backpacking in India: Top 5 Sights in Ahmedabad, Gujarat State

Backpacking in Ahmedabad, Gujarat State

Alcohol Laws in Gujarat, India
Gujarat is the strictest of Provinces for alcohol in India. It is still the only Indian state with a death penalty for makers and sellers of homemade liquor. This legislation is titled the Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2009. Scary stuff – yes a death penalty for makers and sellers of alcohol, ouch.

How to get an alcohol permit for Gujarat

How to get an alcohol permit for Gujarat

There are other parts of India that also ban alcohol, but Gujarat remains the strictest beast. Nagaland and parts of Manipur as well as in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep also ban alcohol, but not with a death penalty. The State of Kerala has been implementing prohibition in a phased manner since 2014. Bihar has announced a ban on alcohol sale starting 1 April 2016. All other Indian states and union territories permit the sale of alcohol and it’s widely available in New Delhi and Mumbai, and especially in “Hippy Goa bruv”.

Beers with Joe from England in Mumbai, India

Beers with Joe from England in Mumbai, India

How to Apply for a Permit to Drink Alcohol in Gujarat Province?
You can now apply for your permit to drink alcohol in Gujarat Province online, just go to this link and follow my guide. You will need to fill in all the forms and frustratingly upload four images, all of which must be resized to be less than 200KB. This took me ages to re-size the images.

My train ticket from Mumbai to Ahmedabad

My train ticket from Mumbai to Ahmedabad

The four images you need are:

1.An image of your face – i.e. a passport photo.
2.An image of your passport’s photo page – take a photo of it.
3.An image of your train, bus or flight ticket into Gujarat Province. I came by train, so used my train ticket – take a photo of it.
4.An image of a receipt that proves you are staying in a hotel. Ask your hotel for this – there are no real hostels in Ahmedabad. I will try to mention in another article sometime, that booking a hotel in Ahmedabad is not an easy thing and thanks to being a travel blogger, this was made easier for me by my welcome at the Hotel Formule 1 in Ahmedabad. You don’t need an image of your Indian visa which I found odd.

My Indian Visa - not actually needed for the permit though!

My Indian Visa – not actually needed for the permit though!

Once you have all that uploaded on the website, submit your form online and they will immediately issue you with a permit which still says “pending”. This is because you need to print out this form and take it to a licensed venue to get your actual stamped permit. The officials working there need to confirm it all anyway, this is just an online document. You are told:

  1. Permit approval is subjected to physical verification of required documents.
  2. Please carry your permit at the authorized wine shop To See the List of Permit Centres of Gujarat. Click Here
  3. Designated authorities will sign and stamp your permit after physical verification of your uploaded documents.
  4. Official Timings are: 12:00PM to 8:00PM.
Gujarat Alcohol Permit Pending Jonny Blair

Gujarat Alcohol Permit Pending

Where can you buy Alcohol in Ahmedabad?
As of March 2016, there were only 9 outlets in Ahmedabad which sell alcohol to permit holders. They are:
1 Cama Hotels Ltd. Khanpur Road, Ahmedabad Ahmedabad
2 Hotel Inder Residency Behind Madhuvan Tower, Madalpur, Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad Ahmedabad
3 Rivera Hotel’s Pvt. Ltd. Bhavan’s College Road, Khanpur, Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad
4 Hotel President C. G. Road, Opp. Muni. Market, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad
5 Royal Menor Hotel’s Ind. Ltd. Airport Char Rasta, Hansol, Ahmedabd Ahmedabad
6 St Laurn Hotel’s Ltd 15-Ashram Road,Juna wadaj,Ahmedabad Ahmedabad
7 The Grand Bhagawati sakhej-Gandhinagar Road, Bodakdev, Ahmedabad Ahmedabad

The Grand Bhagwati Hotel in Ahmedabad - http://www.thegrandbhagwati.com/ahmedabad/

The Grand Bhagwati Hotel in Ahmedabad – http://www.thegrandbhagwati.com/ahmedabad/

8 PACIFICA HOTELS (AHMEDABAD PROJECT) PVT. LTD., Courtyard By Marriott, 86/2/6, Ramdevnagar Cross Road, Near Satellite Police Station, Ahmedabad
9 THE METROPOLE HOTEL (Unit of Majestic Projects Pvt. Ltd.) NEAR RTO CIRCLE, SUBHASH BRIDGE CORNER,AHMEDABAD Ahmedabad.

I got mine in the Grand Bhagwati Hotel, Ahmedabad.

Off to the Liquor Shop in Ahmedabad!

Off to the Liquor Shop in Ahmedabad!

So that’s it – You Can Now Buy Alcohol in Gujarat State?
No. Definitely not! This turned out to be harder than I expected. Despite filling in the online permit and having this document, I still had to go to the hotel to get my actual permit. The strange thing is, I may as well not have bothered doing this online application! However I thought I’d write the post for you all so you can see how to apply for the permit online. When you get to a Licensed Venue, you have to basically start the application from scratch anyway! But don’t sweat, you’ll get your permit no problem, just head to this article on how to get your alcohol permit at the Grand Bhagwati Hotel in Ahmedabad!

Having a Kangaro 10,000 Gujarati Beer!

Having a Kangaro 10,000 Gujarati Beer!

Join 15,017 Monthly Readers! If you enjoyed this article and LOVE travel and SAVING money, get e-mail updates from Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel! (It’s Free) 😉 Jonny

64 thoughts on “How to Apply Online For An Alcohol Permit For Gujarat, India’s Strictest ‘Dry Province’

  • Hey Jonny

    I went to Kota Bharu last year (near the Thai Border) and it has a population of 95% Muslims. So the only places I could have a beer was at Chinese Street food restaurants that serve up tall bottles of Tiger beer.

    I never bothered bringing Alcohol into Brunei in 2015 as I had to show my life-saving medicines to a guy with a badge and a gun on the border. Glad I didn’t need a permit for that.

  • What’s the point of having an online application process if you have to fill out an application form from scratch at the designated locations, anyway? Man, they really don’t want tourists drinking in this state. Do they? Crazy.

  • Hey Martin, that sounds like a cool thing to do for sure. Never heard of Kota Bharu, might be worth a jaunt sometime. Wow – Brunei was an easy option when I was there – bought my booze in Labuan. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Ray, yes it’s a bit odd. I didn’t hear about anyone using the online permit, and it hasn’t really been covered by travel bloggers before so I wanted to make sure I tried both methods to ensure I could write about it and help others. I’m glad that I found out the online one was not important. It’s Gandhi’s state and it also borders dry Pakistan, so I’m not surprised it’s alcohol free, but it was still nice to have a beer there. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Liquor permit? What permit for so called a “strictest dry state” where millions of litres of foreign brand liquors are being sold and consumed unofficially!!

    This is a beyond jokes and for the state they are loosing revenue in process.

    Wake up the administrators. It is about time to bring the changes. OR at least make life easier for the tourist with foreign passport holders. Majority, if not hundred percent of them are not criminals.

    Make the application simpler and carry the passport identity with it while traveling/staying in Gujarat. That should be good enough.

    Lallubhai Patel UK

  • Hi Lallubhai J Patel, as a tourist I totally respect the liquor permit idea and I actually enjoy the process of trying to get one sorted. I see it as an adventure. Best wishes and safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Jonny,

    I am travelling to Surat on 20th Dec. I have applied for liquor permit and document is with me.

    Now where i have present this document? Any of the 35 shops listed in the site? Or is there any specific centres for that? Please advice.

    Mathew

  • After stamped and signed on e permit by authorities, can we purchase alcohol from outside of Gujarat.. Like Daman or Mumbai???

  • Hi Yatin, thanks for the comment. I am not sure about those two regions in India as they all have their own laws. Mumbai has plenty of bars and alcohol licensed venues anyway and I didn’t visit Daman. This article refers to Gujarat only. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Sunil, thanks for the comment. Just follow the guide in my post and you can get the permit. Make sure you have everything they ask for, more than just 3 things though so research in advance and good luck. Safe travels. Jonny

  • No Yatin. With the permit, you are allowed to buy liquor only from licensed shops within Gujarat. You cannot buy it from outside and carry into Gujarat

  • Are you a nut case to advertise for this stupid web site? I am looking for options for applying on line for bloody permit but nothing there except your experience and life. Who wants to know about your experience? Why there
    All rubbish on this sitte except an answer for application? I hope you stop cheating and wasting time.

  • Hey Jonny, your information has been very valuable and easy to follow – so THANK YOU!

    Just one thing, it does not ask for photo (passport photo) to be uploaded, or did I miss a step. I now have the permit (just like your one) but without the photo – I guess ill have to take along photos when I get the permit verified. Or have I completed this incorrectly. Many thanks Raj

  • Hi, what about the approximate prices of the beer at approved locations, highly inflated due to restrictions or normal rates?

  • Hi Krank, as mentioned in my other posts, the alcohol in Gujarat was not totally dear – easily affordable even for a tight assed backpacker. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Mr. Blair,
    The enforcement policies are definitely changing with time and technology. Gujarat is dry state and many other states are following the footsteps. Your experience is valuable for others including Gujaratis (it’s funny), but it’s more educational to all. Thanks for your blog on it.

  • Note:
    1. They do not give permit on ticket which do not contain tourist name on ticket.
    2. They do not give permit on BUS ticket which has name written by pen. Some travel company has bill printed ticket on which they write tourist name while issue ticket. TGB and Ramada do not give permit on this kind of ticket.. They want computer printed tourist name on ticket.

    My permit rejected with above both reason and now waiting for 3rd time rejection with some other reason. TGB (the grand bhagwait and Ramada both has rejected my online permit).

  • Hi SS Chavda – sounds like a fake name and address! This website is my website of my travels, so I can do what I want with it. I don’t criticise you, your journey or your website and considering I suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts, you’d be better to keep your opinions to yourself. If I kill myself and blame you – I hope your parents and friends see what you have done to me. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Mahendrasingh, thanks for the comment and apologies for late reply. I have stopped blogging here since December to concentrate on fixing my depression. I hope you all get your permit sorted. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Nilesh, thanks for the comment and apologies for late reply. I have stopped blogging here since December to concentrate on fixing my depression. I hope you all get your permit sorted. Safe travels. Jonny

  • the issue of liquor permit to non-resident Indian passport holders are not issued / refused. The NRI of Gujarat needs this permit. Can someone suggest as is that is the law in force now or some office in India / official website issues such permits on verification of documents.

  • Hi Jonny, can pls direct me with liquor permit. I have applied , received permit number and printed the sheet. However the permit says “pending status” and payment mode says “offline”. Please guide me is it valid permit and also is it free or do I need to reapply and do payment?

    Must appreciate and thanks in advance

  • Hi Kamini, I don’t actually work for them I am just a tourist like you, and a travel writer who wants others to explore the world. This was a good and happy time for me. I wish you a safe and happy trip. Jonny

  • For travellers who intend to stay in Gujarat for more than one month I want to share my experience with getting a subsequent permit. As per the information of the liquor shop/permit agent in Dahej there is no way to get a second permit after the first one-month permit has expired. The crucial date is the date of entry into India (Gujarat), which they easily see from the passport. You have to apply for the permit within 4 weeks after entry otherwise the permit will be refused. The tourist permit can only be issued for one month, so if you want to stay longer in Gujarat you should consider to stay dry for the first week(s) and apply for the permit later. For holder of business or employment visa (6 months or longer) there is a possibilty to ask for a long-term permit at the excise office of the district. I haven’t done that yet so I cannot give any information how or if that will work.
    For the tourist permit you just need to show passport, passport copy, letter from the hotel or employer stating temporary address, no photos needed.

  • Hi Raj, thanks for the comment. When I applied in March 2016, I needed a photo – perhaps things have changed since then. I hope you get sorted and enjoy your time in Gujarat. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Martin, thanks for the comment and update. I was only in this province for a few days so literally just needed a quick carryout, I can imagine others linger longer and may need month long, or even longer permits. Good luck and safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Jonny,

    You shared good travel experience.
    Your blogs will be helpful to lot of people.

    Overcome depression you surely can.

    All best!

  • I uploaded my documents voter id, driving licence, train tickit, temporary address but temporary address not showing in the permit, will they approve my permit or not.

  • Hi Guys,
    I have applied for online e permit, but I am not getting any verification code.
    what should I do now?

  • Hi Sunil. Go to church and pray you get it. That would be my tip! If not, head to the Grand Bhagwati Hotel like I did. Safe travels, Jonny

  • Hi Johnny
    Trying to upload my passport for the liquor permit online application but for some reason when I take a picture of my passport and click submit I just get a message saying please upload passport.
    Any tips on getting through this

  • Hi Vishal, I am not sure about that – contact them on email to check it or just wait until you backpack it to Gujarat and do what I did by getting your permit there. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hey Jonny,

    Trust you doing better. First of all, excellent post. Very detailed and perhaps the only one with such information. Not even official sites has details and queries answered.

    So, asking this question because it wasn’t mentioned in the article or questions. The online permit as you mentioned is ‘Pending Verification’ till we visit a physical permit shop. So, can one carry alcohol (like duty free or 750 ml for personal consumption) with the e-permit? Or Did you bring alcohol to Gujarat through railway station with ePermit – Pending physical verification?

    Thanks & Take Care.
    Cheers,
    Delinkx

  • Hey plz suggest me I am banker I am gov servent I am not state gov employees I am central gov employees here . Can I get liquor Permit ? Bcoz I Am not belong to Gujarat I residence of Rajasthan
    I am work here and my job is transferable job I not local identity proof like aadhar ……… of Gujarat residence no property here

  • Hi Arun, thanks for the comment. In March 2016 when I whackpacked Gujarat, yes, I could get one and so could you but these days, I don’t know if the laws have changed or not. Best wishes. Jonny

  • Hi Delinx, thanks for the comment. In March 2016 when I whackpacked Gujarat, yes, I could bring alcohol in with me without being checked and so could you but these days, I don’t know if the laws have changed or not. There were no border checks. But don’t drink it in public. The fact was, I didn’t want to bring any alcohol in with me, I wanted to go through the process of getting the permit, buying it and drinking it. Best wishes. Jonny

  • Hi Sumit, as I mentioned, I am just a tourist like you also so I cannot help you – you will need to contact the embassies and issuers of these permits. Best of luck, safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Bhupendra, thanks for the comment. You checked my posts right? This is not about Indian visas or embassy! This is a Gujarat Province alcohol permit! You get it in Gujarat province when you arrive, or you order it in advance on the internet and hope it works (unlike for us – ours didn’t work so we had to go to the Bhagwhati Hotel to get them. Good luck and Safe travels, Jonny

  • Hi Jackie, thanks for the comment, as mentioned on this article and on my other articles, the permit itself is realistically free, though if you print it, you might have to pay for your printing and for the photo, but for me I had all that already so I classed it as free. This was in February 2016 so the situation may also have changed since then. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Nice blog Jonny,

    I am a resident of Gujarat & there is no death penalty in case you buy or sell unofficial/ homemade liquor, of course you can be imprisoned for few days if you buy & for few years if you sale.. After you visited Gujarat, Government opened around 20 more shops in other cities including Ahmadabad.

    Good Luck

  • Hi Gautam thanks for the comment and update. It sounds like the laws have made it easier now since I backpacked Gujarat in February/March 2016. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Jonny, is the permit only for one who obtained it?? Can he offer a drink to some, maybe just for company. Does the rules cover anything on this subject??

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