Staff Correspondent

Tourists head for summer capital, Shimla

Heavy snowfall has been reported from all the higher reaches and the tribal districts of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi Bharmour areas of Chamba districtThe top tourist attraction of Manali in Kullu valley also experienced a good snowfall

SHIMLA: After a dry and oddly warmer spell of winter for a long time many places in this hill State including the capital town of Shimla were lashed by moderate to heavy snowfall and mild rain for the second day on Monday. The sky remained overcast in Shimla with intermittent rain and the adjoining suburbs of Kufri, Naldehra and Mashobra experienced mild to moderate snowfall.

Very thin traffic was seen on the roads but a large number of tourist vehicles were seen heading towards all the available snow points near the town in the afternoon. The locals preferred to stay indoors and the regular haunts on The Mall and The Ridge wore a deserted look.

Heavy snowfall has been reported from all the higher reaches and the tribal districts of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi Bharmour areas of Chamba district. There was a heavy snowfall recorded on the Rohtang Pass for the second consecutive day. The top tourist attraction of Manali in Kullu valley also experienced a good snowfall much to the delight of tourists who came out in large number. More than 3 feet of snow has been recorded in places like Palchan, Solang Nala, Kothi, Rohtang, Hanuman Tiba, Indrason and Ladakhi Peak.

There was a power failure in Lahaul-Spiti district and the residents have been advised by the local administration to stay indoors. The temperature has gone much below the freezing point in various places in the district. Some mudslides has been reported from Powari in Kinnaur district which has blocked the Hindustan-Tibet Marg for traffic.

Narkanda and Kharapather, the highest traffic points in interior Shimla, also had a good snowfall. Traffic here remained suspended for the second day.

The agriculturists and horticulturists of the State are a happy lot now with two days of continuous snow and rainfall. The snowfall in high-altitude apple orchards prove very good for the fruit crops that later act as "white manure" for them. The orchards in higher ranges of the Kotkhai and Kotgarh apple belts experienced a good snowfall and rain on Monday.

The vegetable growing belts like Theog, Matiana, Sarahan and Sparoon valley in Solan district were lashed by heavy rain which is considered very good for the off-season peas and cabbage.