Manali wrapped up in white blanket

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 12:50 hrs

Shimla, Dec 11 (IANS) Popular tourist resort Manali Tuesday saw snowfall but Shimla received only snowflakes, and cold in Himachal Pradesh intensified, a weather official said here.

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

The Solang ski slopes, 13 km uphill from Manali, and Kalpa, 250 km from the state capital, also saw snow.

This was the season's first snow at both Manali and Kalpa.

An official at the meteorological office said there were reports of moderate snowfall in higher reaches of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla and Chamba districts and snowfall and rains would continue till Dec 14.

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

According to the official, Shimla saw traces of snow, while Manali and Kalpa had 5 cm and 1.6 cm of snow.

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

The temperature plummeted in Himachal Pradesh with Shimla recording a minimum temperature of 3.6 degrees Celsius Tuesday, down from Monday's 4.3 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature fell by 6.8 degrees from Monday's temperature.

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 in Manali was two degrees Celsius.

The weatherman said there are chances of heavy rainfall and snowfall in the state Dec 13 and 14 as western disturbances, the weather systems that cause precipitation, are active in the region.

A government spokesperson said all the state-run buses were plying normally on routes and there was no report of any closure of highways due to snow.

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