Imagine, you are in a magical land, with snow all around you: But guess what? Neither you can move, nor can your vehicle. It’s snowing heavily in Manali. And last night, the snow caused the moving cars to come to a standstill. The weather was so ferocious and the roads were too slippery that all the people were all in to sleep safe and sound in their vehicles. Hundreds of vehicles, including nearly 20 tourist buses, got stuck in the snow between Kullu and Manali after the road became slippery with just 10cm of snow.
There was no friction for vehicles to cross the steep roads while descending. This in turn led to halted movements and jams that led to several kilometers.
It was so frustrating that some tourists abandoned their vehicles on the road and hired local taxis to reach their hotels. Some preferred to cover the long-distance by walking in the snow along with their luggage. The locals had no other option but to stay with their vehicles and wait patiently.
A tourist from Delhi shared his experience. “We were thrilled by the snowflakes when we were still about 15km from Manali town. Later, when still about 5kms from the township, the road became too slippery to drive. It took us about 2 hours to negotiate that stretch and then soon after we were stuck in a jam, as vehicles were not getting traction on the steep road stretch. About 11.30 pm, we decided to leave the car and walk to Manali. I lifted my daughter and started walking along with my wife. Many other tourists were also walking along the road. I reached my hotel at 2 am with shoes and clothes wet,”.
The highway around the town remained fully jammed for the whole of Thursday too, for as the weather cleared up, hundreds of tourist vehicles left Manali for home. However, hundreds of more tourist vehicles headed to Manali.
Thursday morning: Many people who were stranded due to the weather left for their homes. The highway was still jam-packed the whole day as many vehicles were all geared up to leave Manali. The meteorological center, Shimla, issued a yellow alert of snowfall and rain in the state for Saturday and Sunday, with 353 roads to be blocked with snow in the state. The last 48 hours have been rough as it has been heavily snowing in many parts of the state.
The south portal of the Atal Tunnel received more than 150cm of snow. Pangi valley is also covered with a 90cm thick blanket of snow. Solang valley near Manali received 60cm of snow and Manali received 14cm of fresh snow.