Himachal Pradesh - Weather & tourism related news
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| S Roy Biswas
Rain, snowfall from today
Shimla, December 5
Intense cold wave conditions gripped most parts of the state as the minimum temperatures dropped sharply and stayed close to freezing point at many places.
The high-altitude areas, higher hills and mountain passes reeled under the biting cold wave conditions as the mercury stayed between -8 and -13 degree.
Keylong, Kalpa and Manali recorded a low of -5 degree, -0.4 degree and -0.2 degree while Kufri, Sundernagar, Bhuntar, Solan and Shimla shivered at 1.5 degree, 2.5 degree, 2.6 degree, 3 degree and 4.9 degree, two to three degree below normal, while Nahan and Una in lower hills recorded the minimum temperatures at 6.9 degree and 6.3 degree.
All natural sources of water like lakes, springs, rivulets and 70-km stretch of the Chandrabhaga river have frozen - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/rain-snowfall-from-today/693916.html
| Senior Member

Higher reaches of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu receive snow

Tourist destinations like Kalpa located on the high hills of Himachal Pradesh received snow on Friday, turning it even more picturesque.

“The higher reaches of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla and Sirmaur districts experienced moderate snow. The weather will remain dry till December 9. Thereafter there are chances of widespread rain and snow in the state,” the weather bureau predicted.

There is widespread snow expected in the state on December 10, a Met official said.
Members of the hospitality industry were waiting for tourists to arrive in Kalpa, some 250 km from here, in Kinnaur district, with news of the snow flashing.

Shimla and its nearby places like Kufri, Mashobra and Narkanda saw no precipitation, according to a Met official here. Manali, which saw a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius, experienced rain.
The minimum temperature here was 4.7 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 3.8 degrees in Kalpa and 7.2 degrees in Dharamsala.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti was the coldest in the state with a low of minus 9.9 degrees Celsius.

| S Roy Biswas
Vistadome coach on Shimla-Kalka route to cost Rs 130 for adults

This would be the first narrow gauge train to have such a coach. ANI
Chandigarh, December 9
Indian Railways will roll out vistadome coaches on the 114-year-old Shimla-Kalka railway route from December 11, an official said on Sunday.
“Fare would be Rs 130 for adults and Rs 75 for children,” ANI quoted Shimla Railway Station Superintendent - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/vistadome-coach-on-shimla-kalka-route-to-cost-rs-130-for-adults/695899.html

Drive to promote rural tourism

Dharamsala, December 8
The Department of Rural Development on Saturday launched the ‘Namaste Dharamsala’ event to promote tourism in rural areas of Dharamsala.
Under this drive, tourists, included students of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), were taken to various destinations in the vicinity of Dharamsala, served traditional Kangra cuisines and a cultural programme was organised in the evening.
Abhineet Katyayan, BDO, Dharamsala, who coordinated the tour, said it was an initiative under which the tourists from across the country were being invited to visit the rural areas around Dharamsala.
The villagers were being involved in activities during the tours.
The self-help groups of women were involved in preparing Kangra cuisines for the tourists and later present a cultural programme. The expenditure of the programme was borne by the Rural Development Department - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/drive-to-promote-rural-tourism/695634.html

Beas bridge on Manali-Leh road opened

Mohan Lal, Additional Director General, BRO, inaugurates a bridge at Beaskund in Manali on Saturday. Tribune Photo
Mandi, December 8
Mohan Lal, Additional Director-General of the Border Roads Organisation, inaugurated the Beas bridge, 33-km from Manali on the Leh highway on Saturday. It has been constructed at a cost of Rs 6 crore.
Mohan Lal said the construction of the bridge was part of upgrading the Manali-Sarchu road. This road connected the remote district of Lahaul-Spiti and facilitated thousands of Leh-bound tourists.
“Seven more bridges from Manali to Sarchu are at the advance stages of construction and the BRO is trying its best to get all these bridges completed. The BRO will continue to do its best to augment road infrastructure in spite of difficult terrain and availability of very limited working season being a high altitude area. The widening of the road to double lane is in progress at a few left-over stretches and continuous endeavour is being made to complete these stretches on priority” - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/beas-bridge-on-manali-leh-road-opened/695636.html
| Senior Member

CM inaugurates elevator from Cart Road to Mall

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Friday inaugurated the Rs 6.2-crore elevator, the costliest and the largest in the state. It has the carrying capacity of 26 persons and will cover the distance between Cart Road and The Mall in 90 seconds.

With the new elevator in place, there won’t be any inconvenience to tourists and locals during weekends and rush hours. Now, there are three elevators that can carry 40 persons in one go.

The Chief Minister said the new elevator was equipped with an emergency alarm, music system, telephone connectivity and a clock. HP Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) operators said the new elevator would drop 26 persons at a mid-corridor that linked the second elevator. “During summer, the HPTDC operators face a lot of problem when VIPs don’t stand in queues and anger locals,” said an operator.
The HTPDC Lift Complex has a shelter-cum-corridor, which will give respite to people during the rainy season.

| S Roy Biswas
Himachal gets snowfall, rain

Mandi, December 11
The Met Office has forecast snow and rain across the state due to an active Western Disturbance till Wednesday. State capital Shimla, with the night temperature at 3.7 degrees Celsius, saw mild rains.
Upper reaches of Manali town experienced fresh snowfall, which brought cheers to hoteliers and farmers.
With the fresh spell of snowfall, the temperature fell by at least 2-3 degrees Celsius in the district.
Popular destination Manali, which saw 4.4 mm of rains, recorded a low of minus 0.4 degrees Celsius.
According to a Met Department official here, tourist spots like Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda experienced drizzling - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/himachal-gets-snowfall-rain/696827.html

Snow, rain to lash state over next 48 hours
Shimla, December 10
The local Meteorological Centre has issued an advisory regarding the blockage of roads and landslides due to snow and rain in the the higher reaches of the state during the next 48 hours.
The cold wave conditions in the state intensified with a steep fall in the temperature and higher reaches in Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba receiving fresh snowfall.
As per the weather forecast, the high and middle hills of the state, including the districts of Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla could be lashed by snow and rainfall during the next 24 hours. The middle and low hills in Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Solan and Sirmaur could be lashed by light to moderate rain.
There is also forecast of rain and snow over the state on December 12 following which dry weather conditions were expected to prevail - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/snow-rain-to-lash-state-over-next-48-hours/696449.html

Frost makes travel risky on Manali-Leh highway

The Rohtang covered under a thick blanket of snow. Jai Kumar
Mandi, December 10
Sub-zero temperature has made driving risky on the Manali-Leh highway (between Kullu and Lahaul via the Rohtang Pass). Vehicles often skid off the road due to frost.
Not caring much about the risk, residents of Lahaul-Spiti have been taking the Kullu-Lahaul road for the past many days. Earlier, the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) used to ply buses between Kullu and Keylong on the Manali-Leh highway, but now it has suspended the service.
Mangal Chand Manepa, regional manager, HRTC depot at Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti, said driving was a nightmare here. The bus service had to be suspended for the safety of passengers. But small vehicles continue to ply on the road between Manali and Keylong, putting the lives of people at risk.
Every year, the Rohtang Pass, the gateway to Lahaul, is closed for vehicular movement on November 15, but this year, the residents of Lahaul-Spiti forced the district administration and the state government to keep it open until the pass received heavy snowfall - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/frost-makes-travel-risky-on-manali-leh-highway/696447.html
| S Roy Biswas
Heavy snow at Rohtang, Solang, Gulaba

Houses and vehicles covered under snow at Solang in Manali on Tuesday. Photo: Jai Kumar
Mandi, December 11
A heavy snowfall at Rohtang today closed the pass to the traffic on the Manali-Leh road, leaving Lahaul-Spiti cut-off from the state for almost six months.
Rohtang received around 30 cm snow while tourist places near Manali like Solang, Gulaba and Marhi experienced a considerable snowfall. Keylong had around 7 cm snowfall and Koksar 15 cm.
Manali experienced snowflakes which brought cheer to hoteliers. The room occupancy in Kullu-Manali hotels is 40 per cent but now hoteliers are hopeful that the fresh snowfall will attract more tourists.
Anup Thakur, president of the Hoteliers Association Kullu-Manali, said, “The snowfall is a boon for the tourism industry, which will give a boost to the sluggish industry. We are expecting white Christmas this year,” he added.
People of Lahaul-Spiti are in a quandary after the snowfall blocked the traffic between Kullu and Lahaul. They are seeking the helicopter service to visit out of the district - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/heavy-snow-at-rohtang-solang-gulaba/696890.html

Shimla receives first snow of season, bringing cheer to people

Shimla, December 12
Shimla received its first snow of the season bringing smiles to residents, tourists and apple-growers.
The snow is mild and till now all roads are open.
The daily-use items, like milk, bread and newspapers reached Shimla and upper areas on time.
The queen of the hills is covered under a thin layer of snow and mild snow is continuing.
The roads are open for vehicular traffic, said Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap, adding that all arrangements are in place. Heavy snow is being witnessed in Narkanda and the PWD has been asked to clear roads simultaneously - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/shimla-receives-first-snow-of-season-bringing-cheer-to-people/697305.html
| S Roy Biswas
Mild snow greets tourists in Shimla, Kufri, Barog

Tourists enjoy pony ride at Kufri.
Shimla, December 13
Most parts of the state continued to reel under biting cold wave conditions as the temperatures stayed four to 10 degree below normal while the high-altitude tribal areas and mountain passes groaned under the arctic conditions with the minimum temperatures ranged between -10 and -15 degree C.
The region had a clear day this morning but the sky was overcast with thick clouds as the day advanced. Strong-velocity icy winds lashed the region as Shimla and suburbs received intermittent mild snow.
Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Amit Kashyap ordered immediate restoration of essential services in the affected areas. Roads leading to Chopal was still closed to traffic.
He said 10 JCBs and four dozers had been deployed in Chopal, Fagu, Narkanda and Kharapathar to keep the roads open and ensure the smooth movement of vehicles - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/mild-snow-greets-tourists-in-shimla-kufri-barog/697848.html

Kufri, Dalhousie shiver below freezing point
PTI | Dec 14, 2018, 10.53 AM IST
SHIMLA: There were partly cloudy skies in Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla on Thursday following the season's first snowfall, with Kufri, Dalhousie shivering below the freezing point in the state, the MeT department said. The snowfall was experienced in Shimla, Kufri, Dalhousie and higher reaches of the state on Wednesday and Thursday, director Metrological Centre Shimla Manmohan Singh said. Shimla received 3.3 cm of snowfall between 5.30pm to 8.30am, he said, adding that the state capital got a total of 10.1 cm of snow. Tourist destinations Kufri in Shimla district and Dalhousie in Chamba district have been shivering below the freezing point, the MeT department said - here is the link to the news - https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/kufri-dalhousie-shiver-below-freezing-point/articleshow/67083258.cms

Two special holiday trains on Kalka track from tomorrow

A toy train at the Shimla railway station. File photo
Shimla, December 13
The Railways will run two special holiday trains on the Kalka-Shimla heritage track from December 15 to January 15. The move aims at attracting tourists during Christmas and New Year.
A notification to operate train 52445/53446 and 52443 and 52444 from Kalka-Shimla-Kalka has been issued by the Divisional Commercial Manager, Northern Railways, Ambala cantonment, Vimal Kalra.
“Only 10 per cent tourists come to Shimla by train and the idea behind running two holiday trains is to attract more during Christmas and New Year as the tourist inflow increases during this period due to snowfall,” Station Superintendent Prince Sethi said.
The two holiday trains will have seven coaches each and luxury coaches will be added for the comfort of passengers. Bookings can be done online. At present, six normal trains, one joyride to Shoghi, run on this track. - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/two-special-holiday-trains-on-kalka-track-from-tomorrow/697861.html
| S Roy Biswas
Mercury dips as Kalpa, Keylong, Kufri get snow

Snow-capped majestic mountains are a sight to behold in upper Manali on Friday. Jai Kumar
Shimla, December 14
The state continued to reel under severe cold wave conditions as the tribal districts and higher reaches experienced fresh snowfall.
Even as the weather improved in the middle and low hills, the departure from three to five degrees from the normal temperature gripped the state in severe cold wave conditions. The minimum temperature in Shimla was recorded at 1.5 degrees, which was 3.17 degrees less than normal. The maximum temperature was recorded at 11.1 degrees, almost four degrees less than normal.
Kalpa received three cm, of snow while Kufri and Keylong recorded two cm of snow in the last 24 hours. Even as the local meteorological office predicted dry weather in the next few days, fresh spell of snow sent the mercury plummeting. - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/mercury-dips-as-kalpa-keylong-kufri-get-snow/698484.html

Most parts of HP reel under severe cold conditions; Manali shivers at 5.6 deg C
Shimla, December 15
Most parts of Himachal Pradesh reeled under severe cold weather conditions as the temperature in tourist destination Manali in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district was recorded at minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, the Meteorological (MeT) department said on Saturday.
The minimum temperature in Kufri was recorded at minus one degree Celsius for the fourth consecutive day, Met department Shimla director Manmohan Singh said. - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/most-parts-of-hp-reel-under-severe-cold-conditions-manali-shivers-at-5-6-deg-c/698784.html
| S Roy Biswas
No white Christmas in Himachal this year

People walk on The Ridge as it rains in Shimla. Photo: Amit Kanwar.
Shimla, December 21
There will be mellow sunshine and no snowfall on Christmas Day at most of the tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh as the weather bureau on Friday predicted dry weather will continue to prevail in the state.
"No significant western disturbance is active in the region. Most of the towns in the state will witness sunny days for 8-10 days," Manmohan Singh, director of Shimla's Met office, told IANS.
But temperatures have been unusually low in most of the popular tourist spots like Shimla, Narkanda, Kasauli, Manali, Dalhousie and Chamba.
Keylong, the headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district, was the coldest place with the minimum temperature dipping to 7.6 degrees Celsius below the freezing point - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/no-white-christmas-in-himachal-this-year/702018.html
| S Roy Biswas
Helicopter service to Lahaul-Spiti resumes

KULLU, DECember 22
The state government has started helicopter services for Lahaul and Spiti district today.
The valley had been cut off after the Rohtang Pass witnessed heavy snow about two weeks ago. Lahaul-Spiti Deputy Commissioner Ashwani Kumar Chaudhari said flights to the tribal areas had been resumed and 22 persons came to Udaipur from Bhuntar.
The DC said two patients from Udaipur and two from Tandi were sent to Kullu, along with 13 persons. He said the rescue posts at Koksar and Marhi would be removed by December 31 and no one be allowed to cross the Rohtang Pass. He added that the rescue posts would be reinstated in March for the convenience of the commuters.
The traffic from the 13,050-foot pass remains suspended during winters for over four months following heavy snow and freezing temperature - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/helicopter-service-to-lahaul-spiti-resumes/702627.html

Keylong coldest at -8.8°C, Manali -1.6°C
Shimla, December 22
Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti continued to be the coldest place in the state with a minimum temperature of minus 8.8 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department said on Saturday.
Cold wave conditions also gripped other parts of the state, causing the mercury to dip below the freezing point in Manali, Solan, Kalpa, Seobagh, Bhuntar and Sundernagar as well, the Met Centre Director, Manmohan Singh, said.
The lowest temperature in the state was recorded in Keylong at minus 8.8 degrees Celsius between 5.30 pm on Friday and 8.30 am on Saturday - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/keylong-coldest-at-8-8-c-manali-1-6-c/702634.html
| S Roy Biswas
Solang snow gives hoteliers reason to cheer

Manali, December 23
Hoteliers of Kullu-Manali are expecting good business this Christmas and New Year eve, but at the same time they are uncertain about white Christmas.
For the past few days, the footfall of tourists has increased in Kullu-Manali and occupancy of rooms in hotels has been gone up to 60 per cent.
The hoteliers of Kullu district are hoping that adequate snow in Solang and Gulaba will help attract tourists here. The hoteliers said they were expecting good business this Christmas and New Year eve because in Solang valley and Gulaba, which are just few kilometers away from Manali town, there is sufficient snow for the recreation of tourists here - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/solang-snow-gives-hoteliers-reason-to-cheer/703155.html

Water sports at Larji lake soon

The government plans to start boating at the Larji lake on the lines of Chandigarh’s Sukhna lake. Photo: Jai Kumar
Mandi, December 23
The state government is planning to develop the lake of the Larji hydropower project for water sports to boost tourism in the Banjar segment of Kullu district. For this, the government plans to start boating on the lines of the Sukhna lake in Chandigarh.
The state government has approved a budget of Rs 3.7 crore for the purpose.

Stating this, Banjar MLA Surendra Shourie said the area of the Larji lake would be beautified and water sports activities would be organised in coming days. All safety arrangements would be made for the purpose, said the MLA. Near the Larji power house, a Rs 30-lakh compartment would be developed - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/water-sports-at-larji-lake-soon/703147.html

Long traffic jams on Solan highway

Traffic moves at a snail’s pace on the Solan bypass. Tribune photo
Solan, December 23
A massive traffic jam was witnessed on the Solan-Shimla highway after the BJP’s Panna Pramukh Sammelan here on Sunday, where thousands of party functionaries converged from 17 Vidhan Sabha seats of the Shimla parliamentary constituency.

Vehicles were lined up on both sides of the highway. One of the commuters said it took him 45 minutes in reaching the Mall Road from the rally venue at the Police Lines ground.
In the wake of the long weekend and Christmas falling on Tuesday, there were a number of tourists heading for Shimla. However, they had a harrowing time as vehicles moved at a snail’s pace - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/long-traffic-jams-on-solan-highway/703162.html
| S Roy Biswas
Cold wave intensifies in HP on Christmas as Manali reels at minus 3.2 deg C

Shimla, December 25
The cove wave tightened its grip on Himchal Pradesh on Christmas, with the mercury plunging to minus 9.4 degrees Celsius in Keylong and popular tourist destination Manali reeling at minus 3.2 degrees Celsius from 5.30 pm on Monday to 8.30 am on Tuesday.

Kalpa, Solan, Bhuntar, Sundernagar and Seobagh also witnessed sub-zero temperatures during the period, Meteorological Centre, Shimla, Director Manmohan Singh said.

Keylong, administrative centre of the tribal Lahaul and Spiti district, was the coldest place in the state - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/cold-wave-intensifies-in-hp-on-christmas-as-manali-reels-at-minus-3-2-deg-c/703866.html
| S Roy Biswas
Cold wave intensifies in Himachal
Shimla, December 26
The cold wave sweeping Himachal Pradesh had further intensified, with the minimum temperature dropping by a few notches in most parts of the state, the Meteorological (MeT) department said on Wednesday.

The lowest temperature in the state was recorded in tribal district Lahaul and Spiti’s administrative centre Keylong at minus 11.1 degrees Celsius, Director of the MeT Centre, Shimla, Manmohan Singh, said.

Besides Manali, Solan, Chamba, Kalpa, Seobagh, Sundernagar and Bhuntar were shivering at sub-zero level during the period - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/cold-wave-intensifies-in-himachal/704290.html
| S Roy Biswas
Manali, Kalpa receive fresh snow

Snow-covered mountains in Reckong Peo, Kinnaur, on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Amit Kanwar
Shimla, December 27
Manali and Kalpa in Himachal Pradesh received fresh snowfall on Wednesday night, the Meteorological Department said.

Rain and snowfall is also predicted in isolated parts of the state between December 30 and January 3.

While Kalpa received 5 cm snowfall, Manali received 3 cm snowfall, Director of MeT Centre, Shimla, Manmohan Singh said Thursday.

He said several parts of Himachal Pradesh, including tourist attractions Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie, Kufri and Narkanda, may receive snowfall around the New Year.

Snowfall is predicted in middle and higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh on December 30 and December 31 under the influence of a fresh western disturbance from December 29 - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/manali-kalpa-receive-fresh-snow/704777.html

Keylong coldest at -11°C, Manali -3.4°C

With temperature dipping >> to below zero degrees, the Chandra river has started to freeze at Udaipur in Lahaul-Spiti on Wednesday. photo: Jai Kumar
Shimla, December 26
Most parts of the state continued to reel under severe cold wave conditions as the minimum and maximum temperatures remained two degrees below normal.
Keylong was the coldest with a minimum -11.1 degrees C. Other places too recorded very low temperatures with Kalpa recording -4 degrees, Manali -3.4, Sundernagar -1.3, Bhuntar -1 and Solan -0.7 degrees.

Shimla recorded 2.7 degrees, Una 0.4, Dalhousie 1.6, Kufri 0.6, Hamirpur 2.1, Bilaspur 1.7, Mandi 1.2, Kangra 2.2, Palampur 1.5, Nahan 4.7 and Dharamsala 4. There was chill throughout the day despite sunshine - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/keylong-coldest-at-11-c-manali-3-4-c/704402.html
| S Roy Biswas
Tourists elated as Manali, nearby hills in Himachal Pradesh receive more snow

Manali after the snow. Tribune photo
Shimla, December 28
Manali and its nearby hills in Himachal Pradesh received more snow on Friday and are wrapped in a white blanket to the glee of tourists, the Met office said.

People in the capital shivered as icy winds along with snow in higher reaches in the state kept the minimum temperature at 0.2 degree Celsius. Manali recorded minus 5.4 degrees.

The Solang ski slopes and picturesque Kothi, both near Manali, were covered in snow, attracting tourists and skiers.
“Snow occurred at isolated places in Kullu and Kinnaur districts in the past 24 hours. Cold wave prevailed in Shimla, Kullu, Kinnaur, Kangra and Chamba districts,” an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/tourists-elated-as-manali-nearby-hills-in-himachal-pradesh-receive-more-snow/705290.html

After fresh snow, Rohtang closed

The Rohtang top under a thick layer of snow. Photo: Jai Kumar
Mandi, December 28
In the wake of fresh snowfall in the region, the Lahaul-Spiti administration on Thursday closed the Rohtang Pass for pedestrians and also removed rescue posts set up at Koksar and Marhi on the Manali-Leh highway.

These posts were set up by the authorities last month to help visitors in case of any problem. However, the posts were removed in view of public safety.

SDM, Keylong, Amar Negi said the rescue posts had been removed from Marhi and Koksar. Since no one would be available to help the visitors, the pass had been closed for pedestrians - here is the link to the news - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/after-fresh-snow-rohtang-closed/704929.html