Shimla, March 7, 2020 –
After a long break, popular tourist resorts Shimla, Manali and Dalhousie got fresh snow on Saturday, while the lower hills across Himachal Pradesh experienced rains, pushing down the mercury by several notches.
Hoteliers, however, cheered up in the hope that tourists will converge in large numbers till Holi that falls on March 10.
Tourist spots near Shimla such as Kufri, Fagu, Narkanda and Chail too experienced snowfall, turning the hill stations even more picturesque.
Likewise, the Solang ski slopes, 13 km uphill from Manali, and Kalpa, 250 km from the state capital, also saw snow, the weather office here said.
While the state capital saw 5 cm snow, it was 10 cm in Dalhousie and 13cm in Kufri.
The minimum temperature in Manali was 0.6 degrees Celsius below freezing point.
Kalpa in Kinnaur district was the coldest place in the state at minus 1.5 degrees Celsius.
It was 6.8 degrees Celsius in Dharamsala, minus 0.1 degree in Kalpa and 0.6 degree in Shimla.
“High altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu, Kinnaur, Chamba, Mandi, Sirmaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snow for the past two days,” a Met official said.
Other parts of Shimla district, especially the upper reaches, experienced moderate snowfall. These included apple-growing areas of Jubbal, Kotkhai and Kharapathar.
Lower areas of the state like Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi towns received moderate to heavy rains, bringing a considerable fall in temperature.
Incessant snow also hampered vehicular traffic on the highways in Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba and Kullu districts.
Tourism industry representatives are happy.
“Despite the scare of coronavirus, we are expecting a good arrival of tourists with this spell of snowfall,” Shimla-based hotelier Rajiv Thakur told IANS.
The Met department’s forecast said western disturbances — storm systems originating in the Caspian Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region — would remain active till Sunday.
Another western disturbance would be reactive in the region on March 12. (Agency)