Tourist destinations of Narkanda and Kufri near Shimla witnessed season's first snowfall on Monday while the state capital experienced rains and hail opening an opportunity for the tourists to reach hill destinations.
Apart from the famed tourist destinations of Kufri and Fagu, snowfall also started at Narkanda, a place 61 km from Shimla, early this morning. Following forecast of the Meteorological Department (MET), temperature dropped considerably as wintry conditions gripped the state and its high altitude areas of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur.
Lahaul-Spiti and Manali have been experiencing snowfall for the past 24 hours following which the district police at Lahaul-Spiti have advised the locals to refrain from stepping out except for the emergency situations.
Rohtang Pass at a height of 13,059 feet has already been blocked by the snow .
The reports about the snowfall in Manali has brought exuberance among the hoteliers and others associated with the tourism industry as the chances of revivals are likely to increase after the Covid period.
The 10,000 feet high Atal Tunnel recorded heavy snowfall of 45 cm beside Koksar, Darcha and Keylong in Lahaul.The cold deserts of Spiti recorded 30 to 45 cm of snow paralysing normal life and road communications.
Some parts of Shimla also experienced a mild snowfall while a lot of areas got wrapped in the white sheet following a massive hail storm .
The main town,however, still awaits the snow .
Diksha Sharma , a teacher from Ludhiana, who was here with a group of girl students said, “We went to Kufri in the day and witnessed the snowfall for the first time . I hope snowfall happens in Shimla tonight or tomorrow morning before we pack up and return .The students are quite thrilled and excited”.
Shimla, which saw a low of 5.1°C, recorded 2.4 mm of rain, while Kufri and Mashobra recorded moderate snowfall. The night temperature in Kufri stayed at -1°C.
According to an official of the Met office, the snowy landscape in Kufri and Narkanda would stay for a day.
There have been reports of snowfall in the apple belt of Jubbal and Kharapathar which is considered good for the next crop.
Manali, which saw 24 mm of rain, experienced a low of zero degree Celsius while it was 7.8°C in Dharamsala. The majestic Dhauladhar ranges in the Kangra valley got a fresh blanket of snow cover.
In Kinnaur, the popular town of Kalpa also experienced snow.
Heavy rain have been witnessed in Kangra district, Dharamsala, Palampur, Mandi and Hamirpur districts.