Snow in nearby hills of Shimla, Manali

Himachal Pradesh,Environment/Wildlife, Tue, 11 Dec 2012 IANS

Shimla, Dec 11 (IANS) Tourist spots near Shimla and Manali Tuesday morning saw mild spells of snowfall, a weather official said here, intensifying cold wave conditions in Himachal Pradesh.

Tourist spots near Shimla, like honeymooner's paradise Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda experienced snowfall, triggering a rush of tourists there.

Likewise, the Solang ski slopes, located just 13 km uphill from Manali, saw snow turning the hill station more picturesque.

But the popular tourist destinations of Shimla and Manali experienced only snowflakes, which melted soon.

A met official said there were reports of moderate snowfall in higher reaches of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla and Chamba districts.

Lower areas of the state including Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Chamba and Mandi received moderate rain, bringing the temperature down considerably.

The snow in Shimla has brought smiles to the faces of the hotel owners.

"This weekend we are likely to see spike in footfall of tourists in Shimla and nearby destinations," said D.P. Bhatia, general manager of Clarke's Hotel.

The temperature plummeted in the state with Shimla recording a minimum temperature of 3.6 degrees Celsius Tuesday, down from Monday's 4.3 degrees Celsius.

The night temperature in Keylong, the state's coldest place, was 2.9 degrees Celsius below the freezing point.

Kalpa saw a low of minus 1.2 degrees, while the temperature was two degrees in Manali.

"There are chances of heavy rain and snowfall in middle and high hills across the state Dec 13 and 14," an official at the meteorological office said.



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