Shimla : Lovers of winter sports are thrilled as the Himalayan tourist resort of Manali and its nearby areas in Himachal Pradesh have been receiving heavy snowfall since early Monday.
“It started snowing in Manali around midnight after intermittent rain Sunday morning. So far it has received more than two feet of snow,” said Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office in Shimla. Manali is around 300 km from state capital Shimla.
Over 250 people from across the country are in Manali to participate in the National Senior Alpine Skiing Championship at Solang slopes, 13 km from the town.
The five-day championship was originally scheduled to start Sunday.
“The skiing championship was not held yesterday (Sunday) due to intermittent snow at Solang. Today (Monday) the area is getting good spells of snow. Now there is enough snow to hold the ski meet, but we are waiting for the weather to get clear,” event organising committee president R.C. Negi said.
Earlier, the organisers were planning to change the venue as the Solang ski slopes were totally bereft of snow cover.
The weather bureau here said it was snowing heavily in the upper reaches of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Chamba and Kullu districts, pushing the mercury down.
“Keylong and Udaipur (both in Lahaul and Spiti) experienced more than two feet of snow, whereas Rohtang Pass (52 km from Manali) in Kullu district saw more four feet of snow,” Singh said.
Pangi in Chamba district also saw heavy snowfall and was cut off from the rest of the country.
“All the road links to Pangi have been cut off due to heavy snowfall,” Pangi’s Resident Commissioner Gopal Sharma told IANS over the phone.
Lower areas of the state, including Shimla, Solan, Dharamsala, Una, Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Nahan and Mandi, have been receiving intermittent rainfall.
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district saw a low of minus 4.9 degrees, while it was minus 4 degrees at Kalpa in Kinnaur district and 3.6 degrees at Bhuntar in Kullu district.
Shimla recorded a minimum of 4.7 degrees Celsius, a fall from Sunday’s 8.1 degrees.