Major hill stations of Shimla, Kufri, and Narkanda in Himachal Pradesh witnessed heavy snowfall on Sunday morning, bringing cheers on the faces of tourists and locals alike.
Manali and upper reaches of Kullu district, Kinnaur, and Lahaul Spiti continue to receive snowfall since January 4. The snowfall has also brought cheers on the faces of apple growers as there has been deficient snowfall in last few years, resulting in poor crops.
The recent spell of snow and rain has brought temperatures down across the state, leading to cold wave like conditions. The lowest temperature was recorded at Keylong in Lahaul Spiti at -8.7 degree Celsius while Kalpa recorded -3.8 degree Celsius, Kufri -3 degree Celsius, Manali -1.2 degree Celsius, Shimla 1.7 degree Celsius, Kangra 5.7 degree Celsius, Bilaspur 7.6 degree Celsius, and Hamirpur 8 degree Celsius.
The heavy snowfall has resulted in major road blockages in upper reaches of Shimla district as Kufri, Narkanda, Rohtang Pass, Jalori Pass in Kullu district, Pangi, Bharmour in Chamba district, Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti districts.
Highest snowfall has been recorded at Kothi near Manali in Kullu district at 70 cm, followed by Udaipur in Lahaul Spiti 25 cm, and Manali 22 cm till 11 am on Sunday.
High hill areas of Chamba and Kangra districts too received intermittent snowfall since the last 24 hours and lower parts of the state received moderate rains.
Una received 21.8 mm rain, Palampur 15.7 mm, Kangra 8.7 mm, Bhuntar in Kullu 8.6 mm, Mandi 8 mm, and Chamba 3 mm.
More snowfall is expected in the next 24 hours, however, after that, the western disturbance would weaken and there are chances of snow or rainfall at isolated places till January 9, state Meteorological department director Manmohan Singh said.
The fresh snow has also brought cheers on faces of hoteliers as occupancy rate would now go up from the existing 60-70 per cent.
The state government, meanwhile, has issued advisories to tourists and locals to not to venture out in upper reaches of Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti, Kullu, and Chamba district and they have been advised to stay indoors.