Shimla: After much delay, the Himachal Pradesh capital on Saturday received the season's first snowfall, cheering the tourists who enjoyed the icy landscape.
"Shimla and its nearby areas have been experiencing snowfall and this was the season's first snowfall in Shimla town," an official of the Meteorological Department said.
Places near Shimla like Kufri and Narkanda have also been experiencing snowfall, turning the tourist destinations more picturesque.
As news of the snowfall spread, hordes of tourists will flock this weekend to Shimla, known for the imperial grandeur of its buildings that were once institutions of power when the town served as the summer capital of British India.
"We have been experiencing the snowfall for the first time," said Muskan Gill, a tourist from Chandigarh, who was in Shimla along with her friends.
Shimla, which saw a low of 0.2 degree Celsius, recorded 14.6 cm snowfall. Kufri and Mashobra also recorded snowfall.
The snowy landscape in Shimla would remain for one-two days, the Met Department official said.
Reports said most of the areas in the apple belt of Jubbal and Kharapathar in Shimla district also experienced plentiful snow.
"High-altitude areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snow," the official said.
Manali, which experienced rain, experienced a low of 2.4 degrees Celsius, while it was 6.4 degrees in Dharamsala and 0.2 degree in Dalhousie.
The majestic Dhauladhar ranges in the Kangra valley was covered in a fresh blanket of snow.
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district also experienced snow with the night temperature fell to minus 5.1 degrees, the coldest in the state.
Lower areas of the state like Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi towns received rain, bringing down the mercury considerably.
The Met Office has forecast that widespread rain and snow are likely at some places in the state till Sunday.
After the opening of the skies likely from Monday, the minimum temperature across the state could plummet by three to four notches, a weatherman said.