MANALI/ROHTANG: Situated at a height of 13,050 feet, Rohtang pass, the famous tourist spot of Manali has turned a ski resort as the slopes of Marhi, Rahni Nullah, Rohtang have left thousands of tourists mesmerized with winter games. Covered with 3 to 20 feet snow, the valley is inviting adventure lovers from around the world.
As soon as the highway to ski slopes was opened this week, it seemed that whole country carrying ski kits rushed to it to measure the snow first. Although Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institue of Mountaineering and Allied Sports is organizing ski courses here but private ski instructors and skiing kit lenders are minting money these days.
The extent of happiness of tourists can be estimated by the fact that when several tourists were asked about their views and feelings about the snow, Rohtang and Manali, no one had time to stop and talk. All had only one answer, “It’s great to be here. Let us enjoy the snow and skiing.”
Happy with the ongoing income and tourists’ increasing trend towards winter games, a local ski instructor, Ravi Thakur, said that all his nine ski pairs had been rented out since morning and he believed that he would be able to earn his yearly income in next two months only. “Compared to previous years, the ski slopes of Rohtang have received adequate snow that will last till the end of August month. After that we would shift to behind the pass where tourists would certainly be able to see snow throughout the year which is a good sign for thousands of businessmen,” he said merrily.
He further added, “We have formed a skiing association to stop some mean people for misleading the tourists.Tourists can learn and enjoy the tricks of skiing and snow boarding with a little money ranging between Rs 400 to Rs 1,000, depending on the time and their passion to learn. We had suffered a big loss last year but we are hopeful to compensate our all previous losses this year.”
The white ground and snowcapped deodar trees amidst sky touching silvery white mountains presented a heart touching picturesque view where thousands of tourists in colourful dresses were looking like stars on white sky. Dense dark clouds have again covered the sky of Manali and tourists and tourism based businessmen are hoping for more snowfall at Rohtang.