Himachal shivers as mercury dips below freezing point

Shimla, Dec 23 : Large parts of Himachal Pradesh reeled under severe cold Monday, with the minimum temperature staying below freezing point owing to snowfall since Sunday, weather officials said.

The state capital Shimla, with the night temperature at 1.8 degrees Celsius, woke up to a sunny Monday. It saw 4.8 cm snow.

Popular destination Manali, which saw 12 cm snow, recorded a low of minus two degrees.

According to a Met department official here, Shimla's nearby tourist spots like Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda also experienced moderate spells of snowfall.

Other picturesque tourist centre Dalhousie in Chamba district also experienced snow.

"High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla districts have experienced moderate to heavy snow," the official said.

Kalpa, some 250 km from here, in Kinnaur district, was the coldest in the state with a low of 5.4 degrees below freezing point. It saw four cm snow.

It was minus 4.9 degrees Celsius in Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district.

Tourism industry representatives are also happy after the snowfall at the popular destinations.

"We are now hopeful the good spell of snow will attract tourists this week, especially on Christmas," said Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp. general manager Yogesh Behl.

--IANS (Posted on 23-12-2013)

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