Video: Tourists throng Manali as temp touches 0°C; snow the big lure
Expecting snowfall or to enjoy the snow, tourist resorts in Manali and surrounding places have been witnessing heavy tourist rush.india Updated: Dec 15, 2017 23:56 IST
Even as the sun shone brightly at many places in Himachal Pradesh in the first half on Friday, recent snowfall in the higher reaches of Kullu, Shimla, Kinnaur and Lahaul & Spiti districts has led to a cold wave across the state. The weather department has warned of cold wave and frosty conditions across the state.
Expecting snowfall or to enjoy the snow, tourists have thronged Manali. Interestingly, the temperature has touched the freezing point of 0°C. The inflow of tourists has been helped by the fact that the capital Shimla is yet to receive snow. Tourist resorts in Manali and surrounding places have been witnessing heavy tourist rush.
Solang valley main attraction
The snow-covered Solang Valley (13km from Manali) is the main attraction for tourists as the road to Rohtang is blocked. “We read in the news that heavy snow has fallen in Manali. We rushed to enjoy the snow,” Amardeep Singh Sandhu, a Jalandhar resident said. Hotels have seen a 10-20% surge in occupancy rates.
“Tourists are visiting Manali in good numbers. Weather is clear and we are expecting the occupancy rate to rise in days to come,” Manali Hoteliers Association president Gajender Thakur said. He added, “Most hotels are running at 70-75% occupancy now.”
Another tourist from Lucknow, Srijan Mishra, said, “The temperature is quite low, especially in the evening and morning hours, but we are enjoying the chill of Manali.”
Rajat Sood, a Shimla-based hotelier said, “We are expecting snow before Christmas. Tourists have been enquiring about snow-covered places near Shimla.” On Friday, the Shimla sky was clear in the first half of the day, but partly cloudy in the second half.
Shimla Meteorological Centre director Manmohan Singh said, “Due to the snow-covered mountains, the state is in the grip of a cold wave. On Friday, temperature across the state fell by 1-2°C over Thursday.”
He added, “The weather is expected to remain dry in the next few days and the cold wave will intensify.”
Over the past 24 hours, starting Thursday evening, Keylong in the tribal Lahaul Spiti has recorded the minimum temperature in the state at -7°C; Kalpa recorded 2.8°C, Dalhousie was at 1.4°C, Shimla was seen at 4.4°C and Kullu was at 5°C.