Jammu/Uttarakhand: Bringing an end to an unusual dry spell, the Himalayan regions of Jammu and Uttarakhand were enveloped in a picturesque blanket of snow, transforming the landscapes and marking the conclusion of an extended winter dry streak.
In a departure from the norm, this winter in the Himalayas was characterized by an unusual lack of snowfall, leaving the hills without their typical winter coating. However, a fresh snowfall on Thursday morning painted the high-altitude areas of Jammu province, including the revered cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi atop the Trikuta hills in Reasi district, in a winter wonderland.
The snowfall also extended its charm to Bhairon Ghati and Himkoti along the serpentine route leading to the shrine. Despite the weather conditions, the spiritual journey for hundreds of pilgrims remained uninterrupted, with many commencing their pilgrimage from the Katra base camp this morning, showcasing unwavering devotion.
The winter magic was not confined to the Trikuta hills; other mountainous regions, including Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Kathua, Rajouri, and Poonch, witnessed the seasonal phenomenon. The historic Mughal Road was adorned with a mesmerizing layer of snow, creating a challenging yet breathtaking landscape.
While the snowfall brought joy to many, concerns over safety arose. Authorities issued warnings about potential risks of landslides and shooting stones, particularly in vulnerable spots along highways. The public has been urged to exercise caution and avoid unnecessary travel.
The scenic Patnitop hill resort also experienced snowfall, enhancing the region’s allure. Meanwhile, in Jammu and Samba areas, moderate to light rains accompanied by gentle winds marked the end of a prolonged period of dry and chilly foggy weather.
The Meteorological (MeT) official reported, “Rains have ended the extreme cold conditions, providing relief to the residents.” Forecasters anticipate heavy snowfall and rain in the Kishtwar district, posing potential risks of landslides and disruptions on national highways and hilly roads.
This weather pattern aligns with the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) prediction of heavy snowfall in higher altitudes of Uttarakhand on January 31 and February 1. Additionally, the IMD foresees above-average rainfall in February due to western disturbances.
As the region embraces the enchanting beauty of the season’s first snow, residents and visitors are reminded to prioritize safety amid the winter wonderland.