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Shimla Witnesses Season’s First Snowfall, Roads Blocked

Shimla: After a long wait, the Himachal Pradesh capital witnessed the season’s first snowfall on Monday, which snapped road links but tourists made merry by hurling snowballs at one another.

Officials said roads in the higher reaches of Kinnaur, Shimla, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu and Sirmaur districts were hit by heavy snowfall and work was on to reopen these.

In the state capital and other popular tourist resorts like Manali and Dalhousie, internal roads were too slippery for traffic as these were laden with snow. Even walking in the streets was risky. Shimla saw 9 cm snowfall, while Manali and Dalhousie had 14 cm and 22 cm snow respectively.

Hoteliers have cheered up with the snowfall in the hope that tourists will come in large numbers on the New Year’s Eve.

Tourist spots near Shimla, such Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda also experienced snowfall, making the hill stations even more picturesque.

Even Dharampur in Solan district experienced snowfall. So did picturesque tourist resorts Kasauli and Chail in the district.

As news of the snowfall spreads, more tourists will flock to Shimla, known for the imperial grandeur of its buildings that were once institutions of power when the town served as the summer capital of British India, and other destinations.

Likewise, Manali and its uphill Solang ski slopes and Kalpa, 250 km from the state capital, saw snowfall.

The mighty snow-clad Dhauladhar ranges, forming the backdrop of Dharamsala, turned more white with fresh snow.

Kufri near here recorded 30 cm snow, the highest in the state.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district experienced 3 cm snow and recorded a low of minus 6.7 degrees Celsius.

Picturesque tourist resort Manali recorded a low of 0.2 degree Celsius while it was 1.4 degrees Celsius in Dharamsala, minus 3.1 degrees in Kalpa and minus 1.1 degrees in Shimla.

A weatherman told IANS Shimla and its nearby tourist destinations have good snow cover and would stay covered in snow for the next few days.

He said the western disturbances are expected to recede by Tuesday, and the weather would be dry after that.

After opening of skies, the minimum temperatures across the state is likely to plummet by three to four notches, a weatherman said.

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