Shivering in Delhi? Head to sunny Himachal hills

Friday, January 7, 2011

SHIMLA - If the chill in the north Indian plains is sending shivers down your spine, then head to the hills of Himachal Pradesh. Hill stations like Shimla, Kasauli and Manali are bright, sunny and perfect for a break from the dismal winter weather of the plains.

“Shimla is warmer and pleasant these days. We really enjoyed basking in the mellow sunshine after a long time,” said Sachin Banga, a tourist from Amritsar in Punjab.

His wife Nikita added: “Even the nights are quite comfortable. You see the night temperature in Amritsar is below four degrees Celsius these days, whereas in Shimla it was above 5 degrees. Every morning the sun greets you. Now we have decided to visit the hills every year during winter.”

Amritsar saw a minimum temperature of 3.2 degrees Wednesday, when Shimla was ‘warmer’ at 4.8 degrees. Delhi too was colder than Shimla at 4.2 degrees celsius. On Thursday, while Delhi saw a maximum temperature of 14.5 degrees Celsius, Shimla once again was a warmer at 15.5 degrees.

“It’s the sun that is alluring tourists, especially from the plains. We are now marketing this concept - come and enjoy a cosy winter in the hills,” said Vijay Sharma, assistant general manager of Holiday Home hotel here.

Popular tourist destinations located in the mid hills like Shimla, Kasauli, Chail, Dharamsala, Manali, Chamba and Dalhousie have been witnessing crystal clear skies with sunny, windless days since the New Year dawned.

Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological department here, told IANS: “In the plains, the fog accumulates early morning and remains till afternoon. But in the hills there is no fog and the sky is crystal clear, resulting in longer sunny days.”

He said the sunny weather that has continued for more than a week has helped keep the minimum and maximum temperatures up by several notches in the state.

“Even the day temperature in the hill state is two to five degrees above what is the average for this time of the year, whereas in the plains these are 6 to 12 degrees below normal,” he added.

Likewise, Bhuntar in Kullu district and Dharamsala in Kangra district recorded maximum temperatures of 18.5 degrees and 18.6 degrees Celsius respectively.

The maximum temperature in Amritsar Thursday was just 9.2 degrees Celsius while it was a cold 7.7 degrees in Ludhina and nine degrees in Chandigarh.

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