Snow in Solang, Marhi, Rohtang
The weather God finally blessed the Solang valley with the season’s first snowfall today. Breaking a long dry spell, the lower parts of the area were also lashed by rain, leading to a sharp fall in the day temperature.
Rohtang Pass, the gateway to the Lahaul-Spiti valley, also experienced fresh snowfall, snapping the road link between Manali and the Lahaul valley. Due to fresh spell of snowfall in Gulaba, Marhi and Rohtang Pass, all vehicles were stopped at Kothi as a precautionary measure.
The entire higher reaches of the Kullu valley, including Pir Panjal ranges, Bhrigu slopes, Hamta Pass, Chanderkhani Pass, Marhi meadows, Gulaba, Kothi, Dhundi and Beas kund, received snowfall. Hundreds of tourists, who have converged on the famous tourist hill station of Manali, were delighted to see the Solang Valley and Kothi donning the white mantle. They rushed to the Solang valley to have a glimpse of the fresh snow.
A festive atmosphere prevailed in the valley. Tourists were seen enjoying rides on horses and yaks, making snowman, throwing snowballs on one another and had photo sessions. Due to the snowfall, the upper Manali region was in the grip of severe cold. Icy winds, which lashed the areas throughout the day, further brought down the day temperature. The people in the tourism industry were happy with the fresh snowfall as they are expecting a rise in the tourist inflow.
Snow blocks Manali-Leh road
Kullu: The higher reaches of Kullu and Lahaul valley received snowfall and the lower reaches of Kullu had rain last night, breaking the long dry spell. The showers have brought relief to farmers and the snow-covered hills were a delight for tourists and residents. Tourists, especially the honeymooners, enjoyed the fresh snowfall, leading to a steep fall in the temperature.
The road from Manali through the 13,050 feet Rohtang Pass to Leh was cut off. The road is blocked by snow in December, but this year, the highway was opened. Tourist vehicles were, however, not allowed to go beyond Gulaba on the Manali-Rohtang road. Koksar rescue post in-charge Luder Singh stated that no vehicle crossed the Rohtang Pass today. He said Koksar experienced around 15 cm snow.
The Lahaul valley remains cut-off for about 6 months during winters due to heavy snow at Rohtang Pass. Rescue posts were set up at Marhi and Koksar till December 31 to assist the commuters to cross the pass. These posts will again be set up after March 15 to assist commuters on foot.
The sole Air-India flight operating from Delhi to Kullu was also cancelled due to poor visibility because of smog in the Kullu valley. The rain was expected to clear the smog, however, the visibility had still not improved and the flight was cancelled today as well. — OC