As the administration is allowing tourist vehicles to ply the Manali-Rohtang highway in the daytime, hundreds of tourists have made a beeline to Rohtang pass to enjoy the fresh snow.
Rohtang is covered with 10 to 20cm of powder snow which will last for few more weeks. Earlier this month administration had stopped tourist movement to Rohtang pass after some vehicles had stranded in snowfall. The Manali administration is now allowing tourist vehicles to go to snow point at Rohtang pass in day time. But the tourists need to leave Rohtang for Manali in the afternoon before icing of the road in the evening time. A large number of tourists are thronging Rohtang every day.
“We were given a surprise in the form of fresh snow at Rohtang pass. This was one of the best surprises we ever received,” a tourist from West Bengal Deepak Ojha said. He added that they had booked the tour to Himachal a long back and had not expected to see snow in Manali in October. “We were surprised to see the whole area covered with white blanket. We had a lot of fun all the day.”
Another tourist from Delhi, Amit Rathore, said he and his wife planned trip to Manali after hearing news about snowfall at Rohtang pass. “This is our second trip to Manali. Last time we could not see snow. We left Delhi for Manali on Sunday morning and visited Rohtang on Monday. It was an amazing experience. There were no traffic jam and no maddening crowd as we had faced last time,” he said.
Most of tourists visiting Himachal these days are from West Bengal. The hoteliers, who complained about weak summer tourist season this year, are still complaining of lean season. Tourist inflow increased since Dussehra but hoteliers say the crowd was less than previous years. Hoteliers are expecting surge in tourist arrival during Diwali holidays.Hotel occupancy in Manali is still below 20 per cent. Saying that availability of snow at Rohtang pass will definitely attract more tourists to Manali, the hoteliers are offering discounts up to 50 per cent on their room tariffs.
Hotel occupancy in Manali is still below 20 per cent. Saying that availability of snow at Rohtang pass will definitely attract more tourists to Manali, the hoteliers are offering discounts up to 50 per cent on their room tariffs.
Meanwhile, meteorological department has predicted more snowfall in higher reaches of Himachal in next three days.