SHIVALIK MOUNTAIN RANGE – By Cheena Malhotra

A lesser known mountain range of Himalayas. Shivaliks run 2400 kms- almost parallel to greater Himalayas with width of 10-50 kms and it is most youngest formation of Himalayas.
From Indus to Brahamputra – elevation varies from 1500- 2000m. Arguably highest point would be considered CHURDHAR PEAK 3647m near Solan in Himachal Pradesh.

Shivaliks receives very less rainfall thus most of the mountain range is bushy, seasonal agriculture and major source of fruticulture of North India.Most of pear, peach, plum, citrus, mango, raisin grapes.

Shivaliks shot into fame when prehistoric fossils were recovered in a village in Distt. Sirmaur of Himachal Pradesh. Government constructed a museum where plethora of skeletal remains of different groups of skulls and limbs of mammals, skulls of hippopotamuses, tortoises, gharials andcrocodiles, tusks of 22 species of elephants, rocks and charts and paintings related to the several aspects of plants and animals life of the past and present. The stone items on display belong to the Early Palaeolithic Man. Also preserved in the museum are fossils of two genera of extinct primates, Sivapithecus and Ramapithecus.The museum also houses antiquities unearthed by Captain Cautley in the area, from which he dug out the remains of Asia’s oldest human ancestor.

A shot look at slopes and cuts of mountain clearly shows huge sedimentation which is marked by presence of mud and rounded stones with clear markings of water flow thus establishing that once this whole region was under water. Scientists believe it took millions of years for rivers to cut down and form present bed of valleys.

http://blog.cheenamalhotra.com/shivaliks-the-outer-himalayas

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Himalayas- heavy snowfall, passes and roads blocked

Shimla, December 14
Widespread heavy snowfall overnight blocked roads and disrupted power supply in many places throwing normal life out of gear in the higher and mid-hill areas of the state.

Shimla, Kullu and Kinnaur districts experienced the heaviest snowfall of the season with Solang nullah and higher areas up to Rohtang Pass recording 90 cm to 110 cm of snow.

The Churdhar, the Hatu peak and other higher ranges were also covered with a thick white blanket.

Narkanda and Kharapathar had 20 to 30 cm of snow while Manali and Tissa had 20 cm each. The city also had its first substantial snowfall and Jakhu, the highest peak, wore an impeccable white mantle in the morning after receiving 10 cm of snow. Temperature dipped to the freezing point for the first time in the season. Keylong and Udaipur in Lahaul- Spiti recorded 12 cm of snow each, Kalpa 8 cm and Theog 5 cm.

The Rohru, Chopal, Thanedar, Baghi other areas remained cut off as snow blocked roads. However, the India-Tibet Road was opened for traffic by the evening.

Residents of affected areas had to go without essential commodities. Bus services were also discontinued due to slippery road conditions.

The lower hill areas had widespread rain with Dharamsala recording 38 mm of rain, Jubbal, Bangana and Rajgarh (24 mm each), Seobagh (23mm), Ghamroor (23 mm), Gohar (20), Una, Baijnath and Nagrota Suriyan (19 mm each), Nadaun, Sujanpur Tihra, Dehra Gopipur and Jogindernagar (18 mm each), Gaggal (17 mm), Nurpur, Palampur, Mehre and Amb (16 mm each), Renuka and Kandaghat (15 mm each), Dharampur (14 mm), Guler, Hamirpur, Bhuntar, Sangrah and Solan (13 mm each).

In charge of the local Met Department Manmohan Singh said the current spell of inclement weather is likely to continue with another Western Disturbance is approaching the region around December 16. However, its impact will be mainly confined to higher hill areas.

The widespread snow has brought cheer to apple growers as it is considered as white manure for orchards. The rain is beneficial for the rabi crop, particularly in areas where sowing had been delayed due to the dry spell.

MANALI: The tourist town of Manali and its surrounding areas experienced a fresh spell of snowfall today while the lower parts of the region were lashed by rain, continuing the cold wave conditions in the region. The region received season’s second snowfall today.

The sun shone this afternoon and tourists and local residents got a respite from the severe cold conditions.

The entire upper areas of the Manali region were covered with a white blanket.

The vehicular traffic on the Manali-Rohtang Pass was disrupted at several points beyond the Nehru Kund, 5 km from here.

Tourists and local residents had a difficult time this morning driving their vehicles further to Solang and Kothi due to fresh layer of snow on the road. Tourists going to the Solang valley had to stop at different places between Bahang and the Nehru Kund.

After the fresh spell of snowfall in the upper Manali region, the HRTC suspended its bus services between Manali-Solang and Kothi.

The ski slopes of the Solang valley also got a fresh spell of snow. The snowfall on the ski slopes brought cheer to winter sports lovers as now these slopes had enough snow for their skiing.

The 13,050-ft-high Rohtang Pass, the gateway To the Lahaul-Spiti valley, also experienced heavy snowfall today. The entire higher reaches in the Kullu valley also experienced moderate to heavy snowfall.

However, orchardists and agriculturists in the region have welcomed the snow and rain. They said it was beneficial for the apple crop in upper areas and the standing crops in the lower region.

DALHOUSIE: Dalhousie hill station today received 10 cm of snow while the higher reaches of Dalhousie had 30 centimeters of snow, said reports received here today.

The reports said the Saach Pass, situated at an altitude of 4,413 m, had been closed due to snowfall continuing since last night and the far-flung Pangi tribal valley had been cut off from the rest of the district, adding that the pass was the gateway which directly links the mountainous valley with the rest of the district.

The high-altitude passes such as Jalsu, Chobia and Kugti had also been closed owing to the heavy snowfall. The famous sacred Manimahesh lake had been covered under heavy snow, the reports stated.

The low-lying areas of the district have had widespread heavy rain. There is a sharp downfall in temperature in the entire region. As a sequel to this, the whole mountainous region is in the grip of intense cold wave.

Experts working on hydropower projects and the water resource management in the mountainous terrains of the mighty Himalayas believe that the huge deposit of heavy snowfall on the mountainous ranges of the Himalayas proves “a boon”’ for the optimum hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply schemes in the plains of the country during summers.

Weather in Himalayas and of plains of North India [ April 2010 ]

Plains of North India are burning. With Temp. rising above 40 Degree celcius- this is going to be long and tough summer for India. Even mountains are HOT as Shimla is undergoing HOT SUMMER and there is no feeling like a mountain retreat up there. Collers/ AC’s and FANS are IN and gone are the days when people used to visit SHIMLA for some coll air. Same way, there is no respite from heat upto MANDI and only after crossing MANDI- you feel little cool air coming inside. MET dept. is confused as British and Japanese have different views about monsoon predictions- based on EL NINO. CONCLUSION: Best time for trekking, climbing, camping

Snowfall at Rohtang Pass in May

As northern India is facing an intense heat wave, Rohtang Pass in India’s northern state of Himachal Pradesh has emerged as a “hot spot” for tourists escaping the searing heat of the plains.

The 13,000-foot-high Rohtang Pass was opened to tourists last week. It’s the highest point on one key road in the region.

The pass is an important destination on the itinerary of tourists visiting the picturesque Kullu valley and also an adventurer’s dream destination.

A variety of adventure activities like ski scooters, snow tubes, skiing, sleigh and yak rides attract thousands of tourists every day to the scenic area.

Tourists visiting the area are extremely excited about seeing snow in the middle of a summer season.

[Amit, Tourist]:

“Look at the snow, which is coming mildly. Although it’s very cold but I’m actually enjoying it… This is my first time. Can you believe it? I’m 33 years old and this is the first time in my life I’ve seen snow falling like this. I’ve seen snow covered mountains but I have not seen snow falling like this so this is an awesome experience.”

Though the snow brought a chill in the air, the cold did not dampen the spirits of the tourists.

Source: http://english.ndtv.com

Heat in plains of north- people running to himalayas

Dramatic rise is heat in plains of North India has forced either people to remain indoors or to run for himalayas which is getting busier each day by thousands of vehicles running into it.

Char dham yatra has started and Srinagar and Manali are HOT destinations.

No snow, No cold…weather changing fast

With no rain or snowfall reported from anywhere in the state, the mercury rose today, easing cold wave conditions across the state.

Shimla recorded a minimum temperature of 6.5°C, Met office sources said.

Temperature in Manali rose to 3.4°C. It was 1°C yesterday. Though there was no report of fresh rain or snowfall, there was no let-up in cold wave conditions in high-altitude areas.

Keylong, district headquarters of Lahual and Spiti, recorded the lowest temperature of -6.9°C, while it was -2.5°C at Kalpa.

The Met office has forecast light to moderate rainfall or snowfall at isolated places in the state over the next 24 hours.

Nights would be colder as minimum temperatures were likely to fall by 1 to 2 °C, sources added
SOIURCE: http://tribuneindia.com

Latest Weather – North India

Rain in plains and snow in mountains

Heavy snowfall is still going in mountains of North India while plains are getting rain with thundershowers.

* Temperature
Maximum: 22.0 ºC
Minimum: 12.2ºC

Fresh snow: Tourists make beeline for Solang

The entire higher reaches of the Manali region experienced a fresh spell of snow while the lower parts of the region were lashed by rain, reviving the chilly weather conditions in the upper Manali region.

The higher reaches of the upper Kullu valley, including the Rohtang Pass , Pir Panjal range, Bhrighu ski slopes, Hamta slopes, Chanderkhani, Marhi, Gulaba and Dhundi experienced fresh snow.

The famous ski slopes of Solang valley also had a fresh spell of snow yesterday. But due to lack of sufficient snow for skiing on the main ski slopes, the ski lovers were disappointed a lot.

However, fresh snow was expected to revive the influx of tourists. Vehicular traffic on the Manali-Rohtang road was disrupted due to fresh snow at Kothi, 13 km from here. But the Solang valley has nowadays become a popular venue with tourists. Tourists made a beeline for Solang valley where there was enough snow to enjoy.

The sky remained overcast and icy winds lashed the region throughout the day, bringing a sharp decline in the day temperatures. The apple growers in the upper Kullu valley are hoping that the weather god will oblige them with a good snowfall. The snow which is considered as a white manure for the apple orchards is essential for a good harvest.

CHAMBA: The north-western ranges of the Himalayas in Chamba and Lahaul-spirit districts of Himachal Pradesh and the adjoining ranges of Pir Panjal mountains in Jammu and Kashmir have been experiencing heavy snow for the past 24 hours, according to reports pouring into the district headquarter town of Chamba on Saturday.

The lower areas have been experiencing heavy widespread rains. However, the road network is open and the transport services are operating as usual. Intermittent snowflakes are reported from the hill resorts of Dalhousie and Khajjiar. As a sequel to this, the entire region is in grip of chilly winds.

The heavy snow and rain have also prevented the telecommunication services with the highlands of this region. Official reports said due to heavy snowfall, the link of Pangi tribal valley had been cut off from the rest of the state due to the closure of Saach Pass situated at an altitude of 4413 metres connecting its district headquarters at Chamba.

According to district soil testing officer R. L. Chauhan, who is an agriculture expert, though the heavy rains were beneficial for the ‘rabi’ crops yet the fallings of snowfall is indispensable for the fruit crops, particularly the apple production.

Chances of snowfall in mountains.

Weather has changed slowly in North with plains of India getting cooler day by day…there are chances of light to moderate snowfall on higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh. Amritsar was coolest in plains with aprox 4.5 degree celcius in night.