White hills in Himachal, tourists make merry

The Himachal Pradesh capital and picturesque Manali and Dalhousie on Tuesday witnessed more snow that snapped road links, however, tourists made merry by hurling snowballs at one another.

“Shimla and its nearby areas have been experiencing snowfall since early Tuesday,” a Meteorological Department official here told IANS. Dharamsala recorded 47.4 mm of rain, the state’s highest.

Nearby places like Kufri and Narkanda experienced snowfall, turning them into white blankets.

Met office Director Manmohan Singh told IANS that heavy snowfall might occur in Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba districts till Wednesday.

As news of the snowfall spread, tourists started flocking to this resort destination, known for the imperial grandeur of its buildings that were once institutions of power when the town served as the summer capital of British India.

“We are seeing snowfall for the first time. For the past few days we had been desperately waiting for the onset of snow,” said Payal Maheswari, a tourist from New Delhi, who was in Shimla along with her friends.

Shimla, which saw a low of minus 0.7 degree Celsius, recorded more than five cm of snowfall, while Kufri and Mashobra recorded more than 20 cm of snowfall each.

The snowy landscape in Shimla will stay this way for two-three days, an official of the Met Office said.

Reports said some of the areas in Jubbal, Narkanda and Kharapathar also experienced snow, hampering road network.

“High-altitude areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snow,” the official said.

Manali, which saw five cm of snow, experienced a low of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius. Its nearby hills like the Solang ski slopes, Kothi and Gulaba also saw snow.

Kalpa, 250 km from the state capital, and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district experienced heavy spells of snow.

Lower areas of the state including Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi towns received moderate to heavy rain, bringing down the temperature considerably.