Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh received snowfall on Sunday, leading to a dip in the mercury and blocked roads.
© HT
Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh received snowfall on Sunday, leading to a dip in the mercury and blocked roads.
Winter has arrived earlier than usual in Himachal Pradesh with Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts experiencing sub-zero temperatures after Sunday's snowfall. Though the sky cleared on Monday, Keylong recorded a low of minus 5 degrees Celsius and Kalpa 0.6 degree after heavy snowfall a day before.

The snowfall brought life to a standstill in the tribal regions of Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi in Chamba district. More than 50 roads were blocked due to snowfall in the region. Gondla got 15cm snow, Hansa and Khadrala 5cm each and Keylong 3cm.

The Manali-Leh highway was also closed for traffic beyond Darcha due to snowfall on the mountain passes, while the Gramphu-Kaza national highway was blocked at Kunzum Pass.

More than 300 people from Zanskar in Kargil district are stranded at various places, including Manali and Kullu, due to the snowfall at Shinkula Pass. The local administration has made arrangements for their stay and food.

The stranded people are mostly pilgrims on their way to pay obeisance at Trilokinath Temple.

Lahaul-Spiti deputy commissioner Neeraj Kumar has cautioned people to avoid travelling to snowbound areas until the situation improves.

Superintendent of police Manav Verma said all vehicles except heavy vehicles will be allowed to enter Lahaul as the weather has cleared. "Traffic towards Leh will not be allowed as roads are closed," he said.

Apple growers worried as harvest was on

Power supply has also been snapped in some areas.

The snowfall has left apple growers worried. Plucking of the fruit has been stopped due to the weather but there are reports of damage to apple trees in some areas.

Keylong, the administrative centre of Lahaul-Spiti district, was the coldest in the state recording a low of minus 5 degrees Celsius followed by 0.6 degree Celsius in Kalpa.

Shimla cold at 6.4 degrees, Manali 5 degrees

State capital Shimla recorded a low of 6.4 degrees and the tourist resort of Manali 5 degrees Celsius. Kufri shivered at 2.9 degrees, Dalhousie 6.1, Palampur 9.2 degrees and Dharamshala 10.2 degrees.

Shimla meteorological centre director Surender Paul said the minimum temperatures were 3-4 degrees below normal and maximum temperatures dip 7-8 degrees since Sunday.

Rajgarh gets maximum rain

Meanwhile, Rajgarh was the wettest recording 77mm rain. Kasauli received 68 mm rain, Naina Devi 52mm, Amb 43mm, Dharampur and Solan 34mm each, Tissa 32mm, Renuka 30mm, Baldwara 27mm and Manali 24mm.

The MeT department has forecast dry weather till October 27.