Shimla: Popular tourist destinations Shimla and Manali Saturday received the season`s first snowfall, while the lower hills across Himachal Pradesh were lashed by rain, bringing the temperature down by several notches.
Hoteliers have cheered up with the timely snowfall in the hope that tourists will come in large numbers in the coming days.
Tourist spots near Shimla, such as honeymooners` paradise Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda also experienced mild snowfall, making the hill stations even more picturesque.
Likewise, Manali and its uphill Solang ski slopes and Kalpa, 250 km from the state capital, saw snowfall.
However, in Shimla and Manali, the snow soon melted with the accompanying rain.
The Rohtang Pass, 52 km from Manali, has been experiencing heavy snowfall and is closed for motorists. Official sources said that over 400 tourists are stuck at different places between Manali and Rohtang Pass, adding that efforts are on to evacuate them at the soonest.
Meteorological office director Manmohan Singh told IANS that heavy snowfall might occur in Shimla, Kullu, Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba districts till Sunday.
"The higher reaches have been experiencing moderate to heavy snowfall since early Saturday, while mid and lower hills were lashed with rain," an official said.
The minimum temperature in Shimla was recorded at 3.2 degrees Celsius, whereas the maximum was 6.7 degrees.
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in the state at minus 3 degrees Celsius.
It was 7.4 degrees Celsius in Dharamsala, minus 0.2 degrees Celsius in Kalpa and 1.6 degrees Celsius in Manali.