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Heavy snow in Kasauli, Shimla
Tribune News Service

Shimla, January 17
The city and the surrounding hill ranges donned an impeccable white mantle as the weather god finally obliged the queen of hills with snowfall.

The snowfall started early in the morning and continued throughout the day. The Mount Jakhoo, highest peak of the city, received 25 cm of snow by the evening, while the nearby tourist resorts of Kufri and Fagu had 30 cm. Narkanda, Kharapathar, Nerwa, Sarhan and other areas in upper Shimla recorded 30 to 50 cm of snow. The 11,000 ft-high Hatoo Peak and Churdhar have been covered with a thick blanket of snow.

The tribal areas of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi were having incessant heavy snow since last night. The towering Dhauladhars, overlooking the sprawling Kangra valley, Saketi ranges, Rohtang Pass and other high reaches were also having heavy snow. Reports of snow have also been received from Dalhousie, Chail, Kasauli and other tourists resorts. However, Manali and Kulu were having rain.

The snow blocked the Hindustan Tibet road and various link roads as a result of which upper Shimla and parts of the Kinnaur district were cut-off from lower area. The state road transport corporation diverted the Rampur-bound traffic via Basantpur. Traffic within the city was also disrupted as vehicles could not be plied on the circular road because of slippery conditions. The road via Lakkar Bazar was closed.

The hill ranges were virtually transformed into a fairyland as snow settled on slanting roofs, trees, roads, railings and covered every inch of the ground. It was a pleasant surprise for a few tourists who were lucky to be in the city. Thousands of winter revellers who descended on the queen of hills on Christmas and New Year to experience the thrill of snow returned disappointed as the weather god did not oblige them with snow.

The tourists were thrilled at the sight of falling snowflakes. Young couples had photo sessions on the Ridge, Mall and other places.

The locals also joined them in exchanging snowballs. Some revellers also tired to make snowmen but the snow was too heavy.

The lower areas of the state had widespread rain as a result of which all the three Ranji one-day ties to be held at Una, Nadaun and Dharamsala were washed off. The rain brought cheers to the apple growers who have been anxiously waiting for snow, which is considered as white manure for orchards. The snow will help maintain low temperature for an extended period to ensure minimum number of chilling hours necessary for a good crop. The extensive rains in the lower hills is considered good for the rabi crop.

Chandigarh (PTI): The minimum temperatures rose by a few degrees at many places in the region, but Amritsar continued to be the coldest place in the plains recording four degrees below normal low at 1C. The Meteorological Department said that a few stations in the Dras sector of Jammu and Kashmir received a light snowfall.

Chandigarh had a partially cloudy sky today and the city received some light showers. 

The minimum temperature rose by two degrees to settle at 9.4C.

Hisar and Karnal in Haryana recorded two and four degrees above normal lows at 10.9C and 9.2C, respectively. Ambala, however, had a cold night at 4.9C. Both Ludhiana and Patiala recorded normal minimum temperatures at 6.3C and 8.5C, respectively. Shimla had a low temperature of 1.6C, the low at Bhuntar was recorded at 3.6C, while Sundernagar had a low of 4.3C.

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