Monday, 27 May 2013

Summer snowfall thrills tourists on Rohtang pass

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Thousands of tourists on Monday became witness to the most amazing moment in their life when they saw rare summer snowfall on Rohtang pass after sky started showering snowflakes all over the mountain top in morning time.
Tourists enjoy summer snowfall on Rohtang Pass (file photo)
Snowfall in last week of May sounds a joke but its true and tourists enjoyed every moment of it despite facing traffic jams on Manali-Rohtang road. While mid and low hills of the state experienced rainfall, high hills witnessed snowfall after a gap of one month. Residents got respite from the scorching heat, while people were forced to wear woollens in Manali, Lahaul, Pangi and many other high altitude areas. Given the possibility of snowfall after overnight rain, all tourists thronged Rohtang pass in early morning.
“Snowfall gave us a cool welcome on Rohtang and everything had turned completely white,” a lucky tourist from Mumbai, Tajun Gorawala, said, who had left for Rohtang at 5.30am. “We got stuck in traffic jam just below the pass as road was partially blocked there. We came out of the car and started catching snowflakes. We had never imagined that we would be seeing snowfall in May month. It’s amazing.”
Tourists captured these beautiful moments in their cameras and were spotted dancing out of thrill. There were many tourists who were not lucky enough to reach Rohtang on time. Mohit and his family, from New Delhi, got stuck in jam for hours and when they reached Rohtang top, snowfall had already stopped. “We have no complains at all. At least we could see enough snow all around the mountain. We enjoyed every moment in cold and wanted to stay here forever,” he said.
Hailstorms in many parts of Kullu district damaged the apple crop. The state has recorded sharp drop in temperature with average minimum temperature decreasing by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius in last 24 hours. Keylong, district headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest area in Himachal at 8 degrees Celsius while Una was hottest at 43.5 degrees Celsius. Minimum temperature of Manali, Shimla, Dharamshala, Solan, Sundernagar, Kalpa and Dalhousie was recorded at 10.2, 18, 21.4, 19.5, 20.4, 11 and 11.5 degrees Celsius respectively.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Rohtang pass opens for tourists

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Bringing cheers to thousands of tourists who throng Himachal to escape the scorching heat of plains, gates of snow-bound Rohtang pass has finally been opened for tourists on Sunday. An official said that
Five to ten feet thick blanket of silvery white snow would entertain tourists till mid or late July. The competition to reach mountain top first resulted in a beeline of hundreds of vehicles that was witnessed on Manali-Rohtang highway throughout the day. Many tourists were reportedly postponing their holiday plans to Manali due to closure of Rohtang pass. Now as pass has been thrown open, tourist season is expected to pick up at full swing.
A picturesque view of Rohtang pass, Manali. Pic taken: May 25, 2013
Border Roads Organization (BRO) had given the road fitness report to Kullu administration on May 22. After confirming preparations of adequate parking and security, tourists have finally been allowed to go till Rohtang top, the most preferred tourist destination of Himachal. Meanwhile, BRO is working against the odds to keep the highway debris and snow free. However, road has been widened enough to accommodate two vehicles at a time.
“Our police personnel are camping at Marhi and would patrol on Rohtang pass from morning to late evening until each tourist leaves for Manali,” Manali deputy superintendent of police, Shamsher Singh, said. He added that main job of the police would be to protect tourists from any kind of trouble and to ensure smooth movement of traffic. “Depending upon the conditions, a police team may shift to camps at Rohtang pass. We are also planning to regulate vehicles at Kothi for smooth conduct of vehicular traffic on congested road.”

Rohtang pass wears deserted look for over five months after heavy snowfall breaks all road links to this area from both Manali and Keylong sides. The pass experiences over 40 feet of snow in four months between December and March. Rohtang is the only tourist spot of India where snow can be found round the year. Perched at 13,050 feet elevation from mean sea level, Rohtang pass is situated 51km north of Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh. Every year over 25 lakh tourists throng Rohtang to see snow and enjoy winter sports like skiing and sledging.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

2-day-long grand birthday of Goddess Hadimba begins in Manali

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: The tourist town of Manali, along with surrounding villages, is celebrating the two-day-long grand birthday of goddess Hadimba as cultural festival in the courtyard of Hadimba temple at Dhungri, 2km from here. Palanquins of over a dozen deities would be participating in the festival to pay obeisance to the
Followers of Goddess Hadimba take out procession in Manali

All the road links to temple remained jammed with devotees and tourists who thronged here to join the divine festival. The colourful palanquins of deities expressed their happiness with ‘dance of pleasure’ which is the main attraction of this occasion. Folk dances by local youth attracted attention of the tourists.

“The festival which started on Wednesday would be celebrated for two days. More deities would converge here to pay their obeisance on Thursday,” priest of the temple, Rohit Sharma, said, adding that Hadimba has lakhs of followers which gives birth to this grand occasion. Manali is the only place where Hadimba can be found in lingam, footprints and idol forms. Most of her idols found here are with mustache.
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Manali abuzz with film shootings

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Hills of Manali are once again echoing with sound of light, camera and action as filmmakers have thronged here to take advantage of its snowy backdrop which gives a sense of foreign locations but at desi cost.
A Bollywood film unit is camping here for the shooting of Purani Jeans with lead role of Tanuj Virwani, son of renowned actress Rati Agnihotri. Team would be shooting here for at least two weeks and then move on to Shimla to take some more shots. Nearly a dozen local residents have also been selected to work in the film after their proper auditions.
Sarika Thakur, ex-wife of Kamal Haasan, and her daughter Shruti Haasan, have also reached Manali and are said to have their roles in the film. Meanwhile, shooting for a Telugu film is also going on here for some days. Julia Ukraine, a renowned model from Slovakia, is also shooting for an Indian commercial at Gulaba near Manali.
According to local film coordinators, more film units are reaching here this summer. “Filmmakers ask for the current climate of Himachal along with photos and videos of locations. Beautiful backdrop of Manali with white snow on peaks is drawing their attention. More Bollywood and Tollywood units are coming Himachal in a row,” a film coordinator and line producer, Manoj Kumar, said.
Resuming of regular flight service to Kullu and Kangra has doubled the hopes for big banner films and stars that earlier had to cancel their plans due to non-availability of flights to Himachal.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Summer snowfall thrills tourists in Manali

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Thousands of tourists from plains where mercury has crossed 43 degrees Celsius mark quenched their thirst with snowfall at Beas Nullah and Marhi near Rohtang pass on Sunday.
The weird weather of Manali with unusual snowfall here is thrilling tourists with cool temperature in first week of May. Despite being mid-summer season, Manali has no sign of heat and people are forced to wrap themselves with heavy woollens. Hoteliers say tourists are demanding for blankets and heavy quilts during nights while many are asking for room heaters.
Tourists enjoy snowfall near Rohtang pass
Peaks near Manali, including Rohtang, are experiencing snowfall since Saturday night. As highway has been declared safe up to Marhi for tourists’ movement, thousands of tourists thronged here on Sunday morning after local forecast of high possibility for snowfall. “We had never imagined that we will see snowfall in May month. After spending days in scorching heat in Maharashtra, it seems like we have entered a different world,” a tourist from Pune, Vishnu Umredkar, said, who is here with his wife and parents.
Intermittent snowfall stared after mid day and it picked up pace soon. Tourists stopped their vehicles on roads and came out to feel the fresh snow. Not caring for biting cold, tourists with their screams of happiness turned this serene place into fun-world. Another tourist from Faridabad, Vijay Sharma, said, “Now I knew how snow comes from sky. This moment is inexpressible.”
The whole area of Marhi and Beas Nullah is covered with several feet of winter snow and mountains are now glittering like silver after fresh snowfall. Lower parts of Kullu including Manali town received light showers of rain and temperature has again dropped suddenly.
“Some guests who are not habitual of cold are asking for room heater in summer season. All the guests are provided with blankets and quilts,” said Ludar Thakur, general manager of hotel Snow Peak Retreat. Mountains near Manali experienced snowfall for over 20 days since April 1 this year. Nobody is daring to switch the fans on and the temperature is ideal for tourists escaping heat of plains.