Ready for a white Christmas, tourists may to head towards hills

New Delhi: If you have been waiting for a snowy Christmas, book your tickets and pack your bags to leave for the Himalayas. On Wednesday, Shimla received its first snowfall of this season and tourists enjoyed to the fullest at the nearby spots like Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda. The temperature dropped to -1 degree Celsius. Along with Shimla, Manali and its nearby tourist spots too experienced snowfall, this week.

Tourists in the area have started getting hopes high with early December snowfall that has hit the area after years. The residents say, they do not remember when was the last time that they experienced early December snowfall.

Officials also said that Ladakh, Srinagar and other areas in Jammu and Kashmir experienced the coldest night of the season, this Friday. The temperature there dipped to -4.2 degree Celsius. No major disruption in power supply has been reported yet.

The cold wave further intensified in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday with the minimum temperatures dropping several notches below the freezing point, the weather office said. The minimum temperatures were likely to drop further in the next four to five days as dry weather with clear night sky is expected during this period, an official of the MET Department said.

Officials said Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil town recorded a low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius. Drass, in Kargil district, had a low of minus 19.7 degrees Celsius and was the coldest place in the state.

Hoteliers are expecting more tourists after the snowfall. However, tourists around the areas are warned about the shut in traffic in few areas like district Nankhadi-Tutupani-Khadrara, Basabani-Khamadi roads.

“Low inflow of tourists on weekends and otherwise was hitting the tourism industry. Nature too has not been very kind to us. Snowfall on December 12 would indeed mean better days for us,” said Mohinder Seth, president, Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association.

Good snowfall may also boost Shimla’s water availability, since the town made headlines for the crisis of drinking water for eight days in the summer when water availability dropped down to 18 million litres per day against the requirement of 40-42 MLD.

The Ridge and the Mall Road are among the most charismatic spots during snowfall in Shimla.