After over a fortnights break,Shimla and popular hill destinations like Kufri,Narkanda and Manali woke up to a heavy snowfall early this morning,leaving several people stranded due to roadblocks.
Normal life in the state,including the tribal belt of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur,was thrown completely out of gear with several parts of Shimla,Kullu and Chamba districts witnessing disruption of power and drinking water supplies.
Shimla witnessed two heavy spells of snow in the afternoon,after snow clearance work early on.
Newspaper and milk supplies,however,remained unaffected today.
The tourists already lodged in town could move to Kufri,Naldehra and nearby places to enjoy the snow despite their vehicles struggling to navigate the snow-filled roads.
Deputy Commissioner Kullu B.M Nanta said, Manali has witnessed widespread snowfall all around its valleys. It crossed over a feet at Solang Nullah where alpine skiing event is also underway. The Kullu-Manali road was open for traffic up to Solang Nullah.
Many tourists were seen playing in the snow in Shimla town at the Ridge and Mall Road. The hill station experienced a freezing night with the mercury falling to -1.6 degrees celsius,some four degrees below normal and the maximum was 4.8 degrees celsius. In Manali,it was -1.2 degrees. The road leading up to Rohru was blocked at Kharapather .
In Shimlas apple belt,the snow eased farmers worries about lack of chilling hours – a requirement for a good crop – but it did damage apple trees and new plantations.
The tribal belt of Kinnaur,Lahaul,Spiti and Pangi experienced heavy snowfall,cutting off the entire region from the rest of the country.