Shimla, Jan 19: Shimla and Manali Saturday woke to a heavy blanket of snow and no electricity. But the white mantle transformed the tourist resorts, making them even more picturesque.
However, road links to both Shimla and Manali were disrupted throughout the day due with landslides triggered by snowfall, officials said.
However, traffic on the Shimla-Kalka national highway, which was disrupted in the morning, was cleared by afternoon. Train service on the route was normal.
The road connectivity on the Kullu-Manali highway remained snapped as a thick blanket of snow covered the road near Patlikuhl, some 20 km before Manali.
More than 38.6 cm snow was fallen in Shimla and 36 cm in Manali, a Met official here said.
Shimla, which saw a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, saw the highest snowfall on a single day January in the past eight years, Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office, told IANS.
Manali, which had no electricity supply through the day shivered at 1.6 degrees Celsius below freezing point.
Dharamsala, the venue of the fifth and final ODI between India and England Jan 27, saw 63.8 mm rain. It recorded a low of 4.2 degrees Celsius.
But the mighty snow-clad Dhauladhar ranges, forming the backdrop of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association venue in Dharamsala, turned more white with fresh snow.
Kalpa, some 250 km from state capital Shimla, saw 49 cm of snow, while it was 11 cm in Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district.
Kalpa was the coldest town in the state with a low of minus 7.8 degrees Celsius, whereas it was minus 6.7 degrees in Keylong.
Meanwhile, the Hindustan-Tibet road beyond Shimla remained closed on the second day as snow lay thick over it.
Kinnaur district and the upper areas of Shimla district were cut off as various link roads in Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kumarsain, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal were blocked by snow.
An official of the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation said it would take one or two days to restore traffic to upper Shimla towns.
The Met department’s forecast said a feeble western disturbance – storm systems originating in the Caspian Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region – would again be active Jan 23.
Meanwhile, the first phase of pulse polio immunization campaign Jan 20 in Shimla, Kullu, Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti districts and Bharmour and Pangi subdivision of Chamba district has been postponed due to heavy snowfall.
A government spokesperson said the next date for the campaign would be declared later.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was away to Jaipur to attend Congress’ introspection meeting, has directed the authorities concerned to ensure reopening of all link and major roads on priority to facilitate smooth movement of traffic.