Shimla, Feb 12 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh's capital Shimla and its nearby tourist destinations on Monday were wrapped in snow, giving them a picturesque look. Likewise, Manali and its uphill Solang ski slopes and Kalpa, 250 km from here, saw snowfall.
Towns in upper Shimla district were cut off with snow piled up on roads, an official said.
This was the season's second significant snowfall that froze the "Queen of Hills", as Shimla was called by the erstwhile British rulers, and Manali.
As news of the snowfall spread, tourists started arriving here and in nearby Kufri, Mashobra and Narkanda.
Hills overlooking Manali like Gulaba, Solang and Kothi have been experiencing snow since early Monday, a Met official here said.
Shimla, which saw intermittent snow almost throughout the day, recorded a minimum temperature of 1.1 degrees Celsius while the maximum stayed at 6.4 degrees. Manali saw a low of 0.2 degree.
"The higher reaches of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla, Sirmaur and Chamba districts have been experiencing snowfall since early Monday, while mid and lower hills are experiencing rain," the official added.
The majestic Dhauladhar ranges in the Kangra valley got a fresh blanket of snow cover.
Lower areas of the state like Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi towns received widespread rain, bringing down the temperature considerably.
Towns in Shimla district such as Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal are cut off due to snow, a government official told IANS.
The Met Office said a Western Disturbance -- a storm system originating from the Mediterranean-Caspian Sea region and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region -- would remain active till Tuesday, bringing more rain and snow.
The apple belt Jubbal in Shimla district saw 10 cm of snow while Kothi near Manali saw 27 cm of snow. Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district and Bharmour in Chamba district saw 11 cm and 10 cm snow respectively.
Sangrah town in Sirmaur district saw 31 mm of rain, the highest in the state.