SHIMLA, DECEMBER 24
Traveler and buccaneer hopes have once again shattered, as there is no white Christmas to be witnessed in the “queens of hill.” The Shimla experienced white Christmas in the year 2016, almost after a gap of 24 years, but after that, only hopes left.
The Meteorology department said “the sky is likely to remain clear with little clouds over the next five days. Going by the prevailing conditions, it may or may not snow for New Years Eve too.”.
“From 1971 to 1991, Shimla witnessed nine times snowfall, while in 1989, snowfall was observed for five continuous days during Christmas. However, in 1995, Christmas Day had 10 cm of snow, and in 1991, there was snowfall for two days starting December 25.
According to climatologists, changing patterns in global weather conditions, including the Indian Ocean Dipole and the El Niño phenomenon, influence the region’s climate. These climatic variations can lead to deviations from the usual precipitation and temperature norms, impacting the formation of snow in Shimla and other Himalayan regions.
While the hoteliers seem to be happy and admit that most hotels, including HPTDC-run ventures like Hotel Holiday Home, are already packed,. Talking with crazynewsindia, a senior official with the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) told that under HPTDC, we run 57 economy and high-end hotels across the state. The arrival of tourists in Shimla, Narkanda, Kasauli, Manali, Dalhousie, and Dharamsala is excellent. However, the popular tourist resort of Narkanda, some 65 km from Shimla, is bereft of snow like Shimla and Manali. But Manali is getting a good share of tourists as its nearby hills have plenty of snow, he added.
The temperature has dipped to sub-zero levels, however, and chances of snowfall are not yet fully ruled out.
Superintendent of Police Shimla Sanjeev Gandhi said the police have made elaborate arrangements and deployed police personnel to guide the tourists about safe driving and proper parking of their vehicles.
On December 23, over 5,000 tourists’s vehicles entered Shimla via the Parwanoo-Solan highway. But had there been snowfall on Christmas, this number could have been doubled.
The higher reaches of Kullu-Manali, Lahaul Spiti, and Kinnaur have received fresh snowfall.
Atal Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel at a height of 10,000 feet, which has provided all-weather connectivity to Keylong, is attracting a huge rush of tourists. Kalpa in Kinnaur recorded a temperature of minus three degrees Celcius, while Keylong was freezing under minus seven to eight degrees on Saturday.
Moreover, local tour operators have started advising tourists to plan trips to Shimla’s neighboring hills like Kufri, Fagu, and Narkanda to enjoy the snowy landscape. In order to lure more tourists to the state, the tourism industry has also announced special packages for honeymoon couples, which will also influence their business.