Tourists in Himachal Pradesh cheered on Thursday as Manali received the season's first snowfall on Thursday. Nearby areas of Shimla were also seen wrapped in a blanket of snow, which made the region all the more picturesque. With mild rains, the 'queen of hills' Shimla, saw a minimum temperature of 2.8 degrees Celcius. As news of the snowfall spread, tourists started reaching Shimla's nearby places like Kufri, Mashobra and Narkanda.
Some of the tourist spots in the upper Shimla district were cut off after snow piled on roads, officials said.
"This weekend we are expecting a good rush of tourists," a Shimla-based hotelier said.
Hills overlooking Manali like Gulaba, Solang and Kothi have been experiencing moderate snow since late Wednesday, said the Meteorological Department official. Manali, which saw a low of 1.8 degrees, experienced more than four cm of snow.
"The higher reaches of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla, Mandi, Sirmaur and Chamba districts have been experiencing snowfall, while mid and lower hills are experiencing rain," the official said.
Kalpa in Kinnaur district and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti have also experienced snowfall. They saw a low of minus 0.9 degrees and minus 3.9 degrees Celsius, respectively. Dharamsala recorded a low of 7.6 degrees Celsius.
Traffic movement beyond Dhalli, 10 km from Shimla, was suspended partially as a large stretch of the Hindustan-Tibet Road was under a thick blanket of snow.
The Met Office said a western disturbance -- a storm system originating from the Mediterranean-Caspian Sea region and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region -- would remain active till Friday, bringing more rain and snow.
Meanwhile, tourists and locals took to Twitter and posted videos of snowfall in hilly regions.