Four feet of snow reported from 13,000-foot high Rohtang Pass

All the major mountain districts of Himachal Pradesh, including the famous tourist towns of Manali and Shimla, received a nice spell of snowfall on Sunday bringing cheer both on the faces of tourists and local residents. There are reports of very heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts and mild rains in the lower elevated areas that has also broken the prolonged dry spell in the rural hill State.

More than 4 feet of snow has been reported from 13,000 feet high Rohtang Pass and about one feet of snow in Khoksar village, the gateway to Lahaul Spiti district which is now cut off from the rest of the State. About 2 to 4 feet of snowfall is reported from various hill localities of Kinnaur district, including the picturesque Kalpa and Rekong Peo towns. The higher reaches of Kullu and Chamba districts have also received 3 to 5 feet of snow and suffered an acute power shortage. A number of far-flung areas of the State are now cut off from the rest of the world with all communication network snapped, said the weathermen.

Tourist inflow

The capital town of Shimla and nearby tourist resorts like Kufri, Mashobara, Fagu and Narkanda have also experienced mild to moderate snowfall during the day and were thronged by tourists from all the nearby plains. Thousands of weekend tourists, who had descended on Saturday in these suburbs, have now extended their stay due to an early snowfall this year. The local hoteliers and travel agents are the happiest lot.

Similarly after the news of snowfall, the scenic towns of Kullu-Manali are also flocked by tourists and many were seen heading towards the ski slopes of Solang Nala and other locations.

The minimum temperature in Manali was 1.2 degrees below the freezing point. Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest place at minus 4 degree Celsius and it was 7.2 degrees above the freezing point in Dharamsala, minus 3 degrees in Kalpa and 0.2 degrees in Shimla. The farmers in the State are also considering the current snow and rainfall good for their crops. The early snow act as ‘white manure’ for the apple growing farmers in the higher reaches.

The Met Office has predicted more snow and rain at majority places in the State in the next 24 hours.