Shimla: A white Christmas may have eluded this Himachal Pradesh capital, but New Year`s Eve is more than likely to make up for it with the season`s first snowfall Friday cloaking the city with a picturesque coat of white.
Besides Shimla, its nearby popular destinations like Kufri, Fagu, Naldehra and Narkanda too were covered with snow.
"Shimla and its nearby tourist spots received good spells of snowfall early morning. This is the first snowfall of the season in Shimla," Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office here, said.
He said the town`s commercial centre The Mall Road, the historic Ridge, the US Club and Jakhu hills received around four inches of snowfall.
As the news of the snowfall flashed in the plains, tourists started descending on Shimla to celebrate a white New Year`s Eve.
And those in the hospitality industry were celebrating too at the snowfall tailormade for the holiday season.
"We are hopeful of getting a record footfall of tourists as the snow has finally kept its date with the erstwhile capital of the British after a long gap," Clarke`s Hotel general manager DP Bhatia said.
Shimla, known for the imperial grandeur of buildings that were once institutions of power when it was the summer capital of British India, has not been seeing much snow in the last couple of years.
Besides one mild spell of snow (8.2 cm) Jan 13, 2010, there was no snow at all here last winter.
Likewise, in 2009, the town saw just two mild spells of snowfall and those flakes too melted within a few hours.
Shimla experienced snowfall on the last day of the year in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2002.