Manali: The weather gods finally blessed Manali with the season’s first snowfall today. After much waiting, snow and rain in Kullu – Manali have brought a big relief to farmers and smiles on the faces of tourists visiting the valley. Tourists, especially the honeymooners, enjoyed the fresh snowfall.
The people in the tourism industry were happy with the fresh snowfall as they are expecting a rise in the tourist inflow. The higher reaches of Manali valley received snowfall and the lower reaches of Kullu last night got rain.
Heavy snow on the 13,050 feet high Rohtang Pas has cut off Lahaul valley from rest of the country. Rescue posts have been set up at Marhi and Koksar to assist the commuters who cross the pass on foot.
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-Manali 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 Manali were delighted to see the Solang Valley and Kothi donning the white mantle.
Many of them rushed to the Solang valley to experience fresh snow. A festive atmosphere prevailed in the Manali valley. Tourists were seen enjoying rides on horses and yaks, making snowman, throwing snowballs on one another and had photo sessions.
The snowfall has intensified the cold wave as icy winds lashed the areas throughout the day.
Photos by Sanjay Dutta
Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice.
He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express.
With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology.
Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.