With temperature dipping below 15 degrees Celsius, woollens are out in Manali in mid-August. The incessant rains in mid and lower hills and snowfall on high altitude peaks have caused a dramatic fall in mercury this month.
Manali this month recorded minimum temperature of 10.5 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature was 23 degrees Celsius. The shops where fashionable clothes were available a month ago have been filled with sweaters, jackets and other warm clothes. Travel agents are advising their clients from plains to carry a pair of woollens with them to Manali. Locals and tourists, all are clad in warm clothes. It looks like as if the winters have begun in August.
A garment shopkeeper in NSC market Manali, Mohd Maqbool said the warm clothes; especially sweaters and jackets are in great demand. “I’m looking forward for a good business this year. As the temperature is falling down drastically, clients are rushing the woollen shops. I’ve replaced all the casual wearing by warm clothes. I think this time the August is much colder than last years’,” he said.
Vineet Agrawal, a tourist from Ghaziabad, who is travelling in his own car, said weather was warm till Punjab and he had to use his air conditioner but as he entered the Himachal, he had to switch it off. He added, “Temperature beyond Kullu was extremely cold. My son was shivering without warm clothes so we shopped a lot in Manali. I was cursing my decision to find an air conditioned room in hotel. It’s really stupid thing. This is the real feeling of being on hills.”
Battered by cold, locals are thronging natural hot water springs of Bashisht and Kalath in Manali. The springs were wearing deserted look a month before. “I cannot dare to bathe with cold water. Along with a quilt, I am using a blanket in nights. Sweater is must even in daytime in Manali,” resident of Manali, Ramesh Thakur said.