Darjeeling receives heavy snowfall after gap of 15 years

Published on Feb 05, 2022 06:45 PM IST

The minimum temperature at Darjeeling’s Raj Bhawan, located close to the mall, was recorded to be -2 degrees Celsius; while Gangtok in Sikkim recorded 1.7 degrees Celsius on Friday, which is the lowest temperature recorded in February in 14 years.

Meteorological department officials said that even though the upper reaches of Darjeeling such as Sandakphu and Tiger Hill often receive heavy snowfall and it may even snow for a few minutes in the town, such heavy snowfall in Darjeeling town for two days is quite uncommon. (HT PHOTO.)
Meteorological department officials said that even though the upper reaches of Darjeeling such as Sandakphu and Tiger Hill often receive heavy snowfall and it may even snow for a few minutes in the town, such heavy snowfall in Darjeeling town for two days is quite uncommon. (HT PHOTO.)

Darjeeling in West Bengal, popularly known as the ‘Queen of Hills’, received heavy snowfall for two consecutive days, giving tourists a rare chance to see the popular hill station covered in a thick blanket of snow after a gap of nearly 15 years.

Locals and meteorological department officials said that even though the upper reaches of Darjeeling such as Sandakphu and Tiger Hill often receive heavy snowfall and it may even snow for a few minutes in the town, such heavy snowfall in Darjeeling town for two days is quite uncommon.

“Though it is common for the upper ridges of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim to witness snowfall in the months of December, January and February, it is definitely uncommon for places like Darjeeling town and Gangtok to get snowfall for so long,” said Gopinath Raha, head of the Indian Meteorological Department, Gangtok.

The last time Darjeeling town received heavy snowfall was on February 14, 2007. The snowfall lasted for a few hours, though.

This comes just days after the West Bengal government relaxed Covid-19 restrictions while allowing tourist places to open up and allowing hotels, restaurants and bars to do business with 75% customers. The hill station is now full of tourists and hotels are almost full.

“Never in my life have I witnessed snowfall for two consecutive days in Darjeeling town. It was also uncommon for lower areas like Sonada and Eighth Mile in Darjeeling district to receive snowfall. This will definitely boost tourism,” said Samrat Sanyal, general secretary, Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Network.

The minimum temperature at Darjeeling’s Raj Bhawan, located close to the mall, was recorded to be -2 degrees Celsius; while Gangtok in Sikkim recorded 1.7 degrees Celsius on Friday, which is the lowest temperature recorded in February in 14 years.

“I have been to Darjeeling quite a few times but have never witnessed such heavy snowfall. The hills wore a fairy tale look. I went out early in the morning to enjoy the snowfall,” said Rita Banerjee, a tourist from Kolkata.

Abhijit Roy Chowdhury, another tourist from Kolkata, said: “I was supposed to return to Kolkata on Saturday. But I cancelled the train ticket as soon as snowfall started on Friday evening. Darjeeling looks just like Switzerland.”

According to the forecast of the meteorological department the upper reaches of Darjeeling and Sikkim will continue to receive get snowfall till Monday.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    I am working with Hindustan Times since 2001 and am posted in Siliguri, West Bengal, as Principal Correspondent. I have been regularly covering vast area of northern parts of West Bengal, Sikkim and parts of Nepal and Bhutan.

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