Residents including weekend tourists in large numbers here were surprised by early morning snowfall in Shimla and other resorts of Himachal Pradesh.
This the heaviest spell of the season in the state capital so far after a light pre-Christmas snowfall .
This time the higher parts of Shimla town were under more than 6 inches of snow .
The weatherman said it has also snowed in other popular resorts including Manali , Dalhousie , Kufri , Chail , Narkanda , Mashobra and Naldehra .
Traffic was normal on the Kalka-Shimla highway. But has been blocked beyond on the Hindustan-Tibet road passing through the twin ski resorts of Kufri and Narkanda .
The entire sprawling apple belt in the state is covered under a thick blanket of snow , farmers said .
The entire high mountain tribal region of Kinnaur , Lahaul & Spiti , Bharmaur , Pangi ,Dodra Kwar received yet another heavy spell .
For the past couple of days skies in the hill state were overcast but the weather office had only forecast scattered snow .
Travel agents and hoteliers said they are expecting a big rush of tourists for the next few days .