The Himachal Pradesh capital on Wednesday witnessed the season’s heaviest snowfall, which snapped internal road links but tourists made merry by hurling snowballs at one another.
“Shimla and its nearby areas experienced overnight snowfall and this was the heaviest snowfall till date,” an official of the Meteorological Department here told IANS.
Nearby places like Kufri and Narkanda also experienced snowfall, turning the destinations more picturesque.
As news of the snowfall spread, tourists flocked to this resort destination, 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.
“For the past many days we had been awaiting heavy spell of snow,” Nidhi Khanna, a tourist from Chandigarh, who was in Shimla along with her friends, told IANS.
Shimla, which saw a low of minus 0.5 degrees Celsius, recorded more than 20 cm of snowfall, while Kufri and Mashobra recorded more than 40 cm of snowfall each.
The snowy landscape in Shimla will stay this way for two-three days, an official of the Met Office said.
Reports said apple-growing Jubbal, Kharapathar, and Chopal in Shimla district also experienced snow.
“High-altitude areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, Kullu, Kinnaur, and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snow for the past three days,” the official said.
Manali, which experienced a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius, recorded 22 cm of snow. The Rohtang Pass, some 52 km from Manali, also witnessed heavy snowfall.
Kalpa, 250 km from the state capital, and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district experienced snow.
These towns saw the night temperature fall to 2.8 degrees and 5.6 degrees Celsius below the freezing point respectively.
Solan and Palampur towns recorded 46 mm and 42 mm rainfall respectively.
The Met Office has forecast more snow and rain in the state till Thursday.