New Year revellers warm up to snow-bound destinations in Himachal
Hotels packed to capacity in Shimla and adjoining Narkanda and Kufri as tourists from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh head uphill to ring in 2021.
Himachal Pradesh witnessed intense cold wave conditions on Thursday but that did not stop New Year revellers from making a beeline for popular destinations in the hill state.
Hotels in Shimla were packed to capacity on Thursday as the revellers landed up to ring in 2021.
Shimla Hotel and Restaurant Association president Sanjay Sood said, “Tourists are coming from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh besides other states. They are visiting Narkanda and Kufri to enjoy the snow. Hotels, rest houses and guest houses in town and its periphery such as in Narkanda and Fagu are packed to capacity.”
Atal Tunnel at Rohtang opened
Atal Tunnel, which was closed due to heavy snowfall at Rohtang Pass earlier this week, has been reopened for traffic.
Manali sub-divisional magistrate Raman Gharsangi said that the tunnel was opened on Wednesday and tourists can head towards Lahaul-Spiti.
He, however, cautioned them to drive carefully as road conditions may be slippery due to the extreme cold.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperatures across the state continued to fall as the sky remained clear.
Keylong, the administrative centre of Lahaul and Spiti, continued to be the coldest place in the state at -12.2° Celsius, while Kalpa in Kinnaur recorded a low of -3.7° Celsius. The maximum temperature at Keylong and Kalpa was -3.7°C and 8.3°C, respectively.
Meteorological department director Manmohan Singh said the minimum temperatures were 4° below normal, while the maximum temperatures were 7° below normal in the state.
Fresh spell of snow from Jan 3
He said another spell of snow and rain is expected in the state from January 3 as a fresh western disturbance gets active. The spell will continue till January 5.
Dalhousie recorded a low of 2.0°C and maximum of 11.8°C. The minimum temperature at Manali was -1.6°C, while Shimla and the hill stations of Kufri, Dharamshala and Palampur recorded lows of 3.0°C, 0.4°C, 2.4°C and 1.0°C, respectively.
Una was the warmest place in the state and recorded a high of 21.2°C.