The Western Disturbances rocked Northern India in the first week of year. It snowed in almost each and every district of Himachal Pradesh. Even the places where summer temperature easily reaches 45 Celsius received snowfall. Some places like Kangra, Hamirpur, and Una witnessed snowfall after a gap of seven decades. Even the temple town Chintpurni welcomed snow after 76 years.
The higher reaches were totally devastated by snow storms and heavy rains. Chamba, Lahaul, and Kinnaur districts turned completely white. Shimla, Dharamsala, and Manali welcomed the year with fresh snowfall. A group of friends was enroute Shikari Devi and they had to abandon their journey midway because they were stuck in a snow storm. In the middle of the forest they were stranded and somehow managed to save their lives by hiding inside a lonely room. One of the guys caught fire because he was playing with petrol and then he was dragged in the snow outside so that fire on his clothes could be extinguished. Here are some photographs from different parts of Himachal making the new year bright, white, and shining.
The Western Disturbances might disturb the climate in January and if it snows again the way it did, it is going to break all the records and the Leh Riders would have to wait long for their journeys this year. Snowfall in planes is definitely not a good sign. This untimely and unexpected snowfall should be celebrated or not is a million dollar question. However, with a short term view we can close our eyes, wear shining clothes, and click some nice photographs but in the long run it might not turn out as beautiful as it looks today. The weather forecast says that in the coming week (13-18 January) weather will turn furious and we might see snow flakes resting on our rooftops one more time. Few weeks ago I was wondering if summers will arrive soon this year and now it seems that winters are going to stay forever.
Photo Credit: Akashdeep Photography