Shimla, Manali get more snowfall (Lead)

February 26th, 2011 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Feb 26 (IANS) Many popular tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh, including Shimla and Manali, received snowfall Saturday. Shimla, the resort destination and capital of Himachal Pradesh, received the season’s fifth snowfall, but the flakes melted within a few hours due to high temperature.

While Shimla saw a light spell, nearby places like Kufri and Narkanda experienced moderate snowfall, a Met department official said. Manali also received moderate snow of 14 cm.

The snowfall froze the “Queen of Hills”, as Shimla was fondly called by the British. The town recorded a low of the freezing point, and has seen a cold spell since it received light snow Feb 24.

“The higher reaches of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla and Chamba districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snowfall since Friday, while mid and lower hills are experiencing rain,” the official said.

Kalpa, some 250 km from here, in Kinnaur district, and Dalhousie in Chamba district have also experienced snowfall. Kalpa saw 11.1 cm of snow.

The weatherman said there are chances of more rainfall and snowfall in the state till March 2 as western disturbances are active in the region.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in the state with a low of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 3.6 degrees in Kalpa, 3.3 in Dharamsala and 5.6 degrees in Bhuntar.

As news of the snowfall flashed across the plains, tourists started arriving at Shimla and Manali and their nearby hills.

Unlike Shimla, its nearby popular destinations like Kufri, Fagu, Naldehra and Narkanda were draped in white blanket.

Likewise, Manali and its nearby Solang ski slopes have good snow accumulation.

“At present, Solang has more than four feet of snow and the snowy landscape is expected to remain till mid of March,” Randhir Singh Salhuria, director of the state-run Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Manali, said.

He said Narkanda slopes, some 65 km from Shimla, are also ideal for skiing these days.

The mountaineering institute is conducting courses and events for skiers - both amateurs and professionals - in Solang. The course that began Jan 11 would continue till the slopes are wrapped in a thick blanket of white.

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