Manali, Kufri get season's first snowfall; tourists happy (Lead)
Shimla : Himachal Pradesh's tourist resort Manali and Shimla's nearby tourist destinations Kufri and Narkanda were on Thursday enveloped by a blanket of snow, giving the resort and its neighbouring areas a picturesque look.
The residents of Shimla shivered as icy winds brought down the minimum temperature to 3.3 degree Celsius. The day's temperature fell by over 2 degrees from Wednesday's 16.2 degrees.
This was the season's first snowfall that froze Manali, Kufri, Narkanda and Kharapathar.
According to the Met office here, Shimla recorded 15.5 mm of rain.
Manali recorded a minimum temperature of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius as the hills overlooking it also experienced moderate spells of snow, Manmohan Singh, Director of the meteorological office here, told IANS.
He said the picturesque Kalpa, some 250 km from here, experienced 7 cm of snow.
"High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Kullu and Kinnaur districts have been experiencing snow since early Thursday," he added.
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest at minus 3.3.degrees Celsius while it was minus 0.8 degrees in Kalpa and 8.8 degrees in Dharamsala.
As news of the snowfall flashed across the plains, tourists started arriving at Manali and the nearby hills -- and in Kufri, just 15 km uphill from Shimla, and Narkanda.
The mountain peaks viewed from Shimla and the Dhauladhar peaks overlooking Tibetan Buddhist leader Dalai Lama's official palace in McLeodganj near Dharamsala are covered by a white blanket.
The other hill destinations of Dharamsala, Nahan, Chamba, Dalhousie and Mandi got rains.
The Met Office said western disturbance -- a storm system originating from the Mediterranean-Caspian Sea region and moving across the Afghanistan- Pakistan region -- receded in the region, with a less chance of precipitation now onwards.