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Upper Shimla, Manali cut off with heavy snow

Shimla, Jan 6 (IANS) Highways and roads in many parts of Himachal Pradesh were blocked after widespread snowfall on Thursday, officials said.

Towns in upper Shimla and Manali were cut off with heavy snow cover piled on roads, officials said.

Traffic movement beyond Dhalli, 10 km from here, was suspended since a large stretch of Hindustan-Tibet Road was under a thick blanket of snow.

The entire Kinnaur district and towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kumarsain, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal are cut off due to heavy snow, a government official here told IANS.

Connectivity on the Kullu-Manali national highway was temporarily snapped near Patlikuhl, some 20 km before Manali, the official said.

"Over 150 routes in the interiors of Shimla, Kullu, Chamba, Mandi, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts have been closed," an official with Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) told IANS.

According to the weather office here, heavy snow and rain will continue till Friday.

Tourist destinations near here such Kufri and Narkanda experienced snowfall while rain lashed Shimla.

Manali and nearby Solang ski slopes and Dalhousie in Chamba district too were covered in snow.

The town of Kalpa in Kinnaur, around 250 km from here, experienced a massive snow. Likewise, Keylong, headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti, saw snowfall.

The government has advised the people to stay indoors in Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts and not to go through avalanche-prone areas.

Rain lashed lower areas of the state such as Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi, pulling down temperatures.