With capital Shimla and other tourist places such as Manali, Kufri, Narkanda and Dalhousie receiving heavy snowfall since early Tuesday, tourists are making a beeline for Himachal Pradesh. There have been widespread rain and snowfall in the last 24 hours, as a result of which Himachal cold wave conditions have intensified in the state.
The popular tourist destinations witnessed the second spell of snow this month in a gap of ten days, and it was heavy as compared to the previous snowfall.
According to the Met officials till Tuesday evening Kufri had recorded the heaviest snowfall 40 cm, while Shimla recorded 36.5 cm snow.
In Kinnaur district Sangla received 30 cm snow and Kalpa over 7.1 cm, while Manali recorded 13 cm snow.
While Dalhousie recorded 15 cm snow, Dharamshala in Kangra district received the highest rainfall 35.0 mm, Solan 34.0 mm, Kangra 30.0 Una 25 mm, Sundernagar in Mandi rainfall 18.0 mm, Bhuntar in Kullu district 14.0 mm, Sundernagar Mandi district received 10.8 mm of rain.
“Moderate to heavy snowfall has occurred in the higher reaches of the state, while the lower areas in the state have been lashed with widespread rains,” said Metrological Department director Manmohan Singh.
Snow brought cheers to the farmers, orchardists and the locals as well as tourists and those associated with the hotel industry.
In Shimla, tourists could be seen enjoying the snowfall at The Ridge and on the Mall Road.
The tribal districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti were cut off from the rest of the world and from within owing to heavy snowfall that snapped road connectivity.
Elsewhere in the state, it rained considerably over the last 24 hours. According to weather officials, Ghamroor received the highest 62.8 mm rainfall followed by Dharamsala (47.4 mm), Kangra (39.6 mm), Palampur (32 mm), Saluni (25 mm), Kheri (28 mm), Banjar (33 mm), Kasauli (40.5 mm), Dharampur (30.2 mm), Jogindernagar (25 mm), Naina Devi (32 mm), Una (21.8 mm) and Shimla received (13.2 mm).
Light to moderate rain and snowfall are expected on Wednesday too.
The minimum temperature is down in most parts of the state.
Shimla shivered at -6.2 degree Celsius and at Kufri at -5.2 degree Celsius. The minimum temperatures in Dharamshala plunged to -3.1 degree Celsius, Manali -2.8, Dalhousie -4.0, Kalpa -1.2 and Keylong was the coldest at -8.6 degree Celsius.
Meanwhile, the heavy snowfall threw normal life out of gear as vehicular traffic came to a standstill on many roads. The essential supplies like milk and bread to Shimla from the adjoining states and Chandigarh were also affected as the transportation was delayed till afternoon.
Met officials have forecast fresh Western Disturbance (WD) likely to affect the Western Himalayan region for two days from 25 January.
According to the Shimla district administration, most of the link roads in upper Shimla are closed for vehicular traffic due to heavy snow.
The Himachal Road Transport Corporation has directed its buses to Rampur and Kinnaur via Basantpur due to snow at Narkanda and Theog, while the bus service to Rohru and Chopal in Shimla district were terminated.
Shimla Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap said the administration was putting in every effort to clear the roads and restore normalcy.