Himachal towns get snow after 35 years

Shimla/Dharamsala, Jan 7 (IANS) For the first time in over 35 years, towns in the sub-tropical zone of Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district had snowfall Saturday, a weather official said here.

Most of the popular hill destinations in the state have been witnessing light to moderate snow, Meteorological Office director Manmohan Singh told IANS here.

It is snowing in Shimla, Manali, Chamba, Dalhousie and Kalpa. Nurpur and Kangra, both in the Kangra district, saw a mild spell of snow after a gap of over 35 years.

Even the popular Hindu shrine of Chintpurni in Una district saw snow for the first time in many years.

Dharamsala, the abode of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, was totally covered in white, making the town look more picturesque. Old-timers said it was after a gap of many years that Dharamsala, located at a height of 1,350 metre, got snowfall.

The Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas, forming the backdrop to Dharamsala, have been experiencing heavy snow since early Saturday.

McLeodganj, a tiny hamlet in upper Dharamsala, known for its British flavour has received some of the heaviest snowfall in many years.

Shimla and its nearby tourist spots also woke up to a white sheet of snow. The minimum temperature recorded in the hill station was minus 0.7 degree Celsius. This was the season’s third snowfall in Shimla.

According to the Met department, Shimla recorded 7.8 cm of snow till early Saturday. The minimum temperature fell by 0.4 degree from Friday’s temperature.

Nearby tourist spots like Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda also experienced moderate spells of snowfall.

The picturesque tourist resort of Manali in Kullu district saw 22 cm of snow. However, hills overlooking the town experienced heavy snow.

The picturesque tourist destinations of Dalhousie and Chamba saw season’s first snow.

‘High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snow since Thursday. Such conditions would continue till Sunday,’ Singh said.

A government spokesperson said most of the road links in the interiors of Shimla, Kullu, Sirmaur, Kinnaur and Mandi districts was snapped owing to snow.