Winters have landed with full power, and it is that time of year when the northern part of India experiences freezing temperatures and strong winds. People prefer to stay inside, wrapped in multiple layers of warm clothing. However, for some, this is the time of year when they can enjoy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures in hilly areas. Heavy snowfall has disrupted life in many parts of Himachal Pradesh, including the state capital Shimla. Due to a power outage and a lack of water, the snow adventure turned into a nightmare for dozens of tourists who were forced to leave Shimla on foot, using slick roads and pathways.
Many tourists were seen stumbling on the slippery roads. Kamal Aggarwal, 48, a businessman from Delhi, says, "I have been coming to Shimla for past many years with my family, we definitely enjoy winters here and especially cherish snow way too much. But this time in 2022, the entire Shimla was covered in the snow blanket and we were stuck, the roads were slippery, we could not even drive. The streets were blocked, cars were covered, and due to heavy snowfall, unfortunately, many of us met with an accident on the streets. I suggest everyone who visit hill stations during the snowfall, please be extra careful as snow can be dangerous too." he further added.
The authorities in Shimla and the police are encouraging tourists to break off from visiting Shimla during the snowfall. It gets risky and heavy snow and lots of tourists lead to traffic jams on the slippery roads of Shimla.
We had talked to another tourist about how one should be careful enough while driving in Shimla during this season. Dinesh Thukral, 55, a businessman based in Delhi says, "One must always be very careful while driving in snow, because of the slipperiness, there are chances you might lose control on your car. Never ever overtake any vehicle as the lanes are narrow and always use dipper. Keep your speed limit under control."
He further added, "Snow can be dangerous, I have been driving and travelling to Shimla for past 2 years, and I have experience of driving at hill stations, but when it comes to higher points in Shimla, I tend to hire the locals to drive for everybody's safety. Perhaps the natives have better experience in driving in such sloped areas and snow".
Before you head out to your favourite hill station to enjoy the snowfall with your friends and family, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Drive carefully: Snow makes the roads slippery, making it dangerous to drive. Driving on snow-covered roads is only recommended for locals or experienced drivers. So, either book a cab for your journey or drive very carefully.
Make a reservation for your stay in advance: Weekends and long holidays see a large influx of tourists to Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand's hill stations. Accommodation options are sometimes fully booked months in advance.
Maintain an adequate supply of warm clothing: It goes without saying that it is essential to maintain a good collection of warm clothing. Even during the day, the temperature can drop dramatically, and you must be prepared for this. You certainly don't want to get sick and ruin your trip.
Maintain a supply of essential medicines: Even if you take all precautions, you may catch a cold and become ill. Maintain a stock of all crucial drugs for fever, cough, cold, and any other issues you may encounter during the winter.
Waterproof shoes and clothing: It's fun to plan with snow, and that's what you'd be doing if you went to your favourite hill station. Don't forget to bring water repellent clothing to wear on top of your warm clothes to keep the inner layers of your clothing dry. Water repellent shoes will keep your socks from getting wet and save you from the unpleasant feeling of walking around in dripping wet shoes.