Pauri (News Trust of India) : Amidst the breathtaking expanse of Uttarakhand’s mountains, a perceptible buzz of travelers fills the air, eagerly anticipating the illusive snowfall. Despite the calendar ushering in December’s passage, the bulk of tourist locations find themselves devoid of the magnificent snow blanket. This scenario has placed a shadow of disappointment upon people who trekked into the highlands to herald the New Year.
A multitude of tourists has rushed to numerous locales such as Auli, Karnaprayag, Dewal, Glavadam, Lohajung, Chopta, Harsil, Kedarkantha, Sankri, Dhanaulti, Chowrangi, Gangi, Lansdowne, and Khirsu, transforming these places into bustling hubs pulsating with activity. The influx of more than 3000 tourists in Auli, for instance, offers a vivid image of the joyous atmosphere. Revelers indulge in lively festivities, dancing around bonfires to the rhythms of DJ music, creating an exciting ambiance. The local hotels, conscious of their customers’ wishes, have organized a variety of Pahari specialties to fulfill the gourmet proclivities of the discerning visitors.
The anticipation reaches its maximum when tourists traverse the mountains on chair lifts, traversing the gorgeous environment. Some even venture further to Gorson Bugyal, indulging in horse rides. Despite the absence of snow, the enthusiasm remains unabated. As the sun sets, the evening comes alive with campfires and music, creating a mesmerizing mood for the New Year’s celebration.
In the realm of hospitality, hotels have methodically organized special New Year celebrations, ensuring that the absence of snowfall doesn’t damper the holiday spirit. The chair lift manager reports a considerable influx, with more than 1500 tourists enjoying the chair lift services on a single day. The past ten days witnessed almost 10 thousand people indulging in the chair lift experience.
Beyond Auli, the allure extends to Quaripas, where a blanket of snow still carpets the surrounds, generating enthusiasm among the revelers. The tents, permitting night naps, bore testament to the ongoing appeal of this winter sanctuary.
However, the stark reality exposes itself in the high-altitude zones, where mountain peaks remain barren, devoid of their normal snow decoration. The relentless cold has converted streams and waterfalls into frozen cascades, reflecting the harshness of the environment. Neeti Valley, formerly decorated with snow-clad peaks, now stands as a witness to the dry, freezing weather, with temperatures plunging to minus 10 in the evening.
Tourists in Karnaprayag and Dewal stare into the sky, waiting for the elusive rain and snowfall. Some go in disappointment, while others endure the severe cold, holding to the dream of experiencing snowfall before the year’s conclusion. The changing environment reveals itself prominently this time, as the Neeti Valley’s once snow-laden summits embrace a snowless facade.
The year-end festivities find resonance in Tehri Lake, Kanatal, and Dhanaulti, where travelers revel in the warmth of the mild sunshine. Boating on Tehri Lake, surrounded by hotels, floating huts, tent houses, cottages, and home stays, captivates the joyful atmosphere. The sudden influx of travelers elicits smiles among individuals affiliated with the local hospitality industry.
Lansdowne emerges as a refuge for nearly 3000 travelers seeking a New Year vacation. Hotels, homestays, and resorts in the area observe full occupancy, receiving people from varied locations. Despite the prospect of snowfall, the weather in Lansdowne stays clear, with temperatures varying from eight degrees in the morning to over 15 degrees in the afternoon. The appeal of the Himalayan peaks remains undiminished, offering a stunning background to the New Year’s celebration.
In this vista of mountains, valleys, and frozen streams, tourists find themselves caught between the yearning for snow and the reality of a snowless world. As they stare at the sky, the hope for a spectacular snowfall lingers, embodying the essence of their highland expedition.