Much of northern India is experiencing a scorching summer for the past few weeks except pockets like the popular resort town of Shimla in the hills of Himachal Pradesh.
This week the mercury shot up to 49C in Rajasthan.It remains above 45C at many places in the desert state.The heat is equally intense in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Delhi has already touched 45C this season.
But Shimla is experiencing a mild summer this time.The maximum temperature this summer has hovered in the mid 20s in the past week or so.Today it was 25C again.The town is lush green and flowers in full bloom.
It has been raining in the evening daily for the past four days. The rain and hail cool down Shimla to such an extent that some are forced to pull out their woollens and sleep in quilts. Some of the elder citizens can be seen clad in pullovers or jackets.
â€œItâ€™s like the old times, as soon as the mercury rises, the clouds gather and rain and hail falls cooling down the hill station. This time the maximum temperature hasnâ€™t even touched 29 C,â€said an old timer.
Even nearby hill stations like Solan and Kasauli are having a warm summer and envying Shimla.
This is of course attracting even more tourists so that Shimla is bursting at the seams. All hotels are full,traffic jams are frequent, you cannot find a place to park and you can hardly walk on the crowded Mall and the Ridge.
â€œThe only consolation is the cool air which is such a treat after the heat of the plains,â€ said a visitor.
The pre-monsoon showers usually hit Shimla after mid June and the monsoon arrives by the end of the month.