The higher reaches of Darjeeling district of West Bengal may receive snowfall in the year-end and the New Year, the Met department said in a forecast on Friday that is likely to bring joy to tourists flocking to the hills.
Sandakphu, which offers a majestic view of the Kanchenjunga mountain range, experienced the season’s first snowfall in the first week of December.
The Met department said rain or snowfall may occur at one or two places in Darjeeling district nestled in the eastern Himalayas in its forecast from December 31 to January 3 morning.
“Rain or snowfall may occur in the higher reaches of Darjeeling during this period,” Regional Met director G K Das said.
Situated at a height of 11,930 feet on the Singalila ridge in the Himalayas, Sandakphu is the highest point in West Bengal, offering a view of the Everest, Makalu, Lhotse and Kanchenjunga peaks.
Darjeeling town, described as the Queen of the Hills, recorded a minimum temperature of 6.2 degrees Celsius on Friday morning, while the picturesque Kalimpong town was a little warmer at 10.3 degrees Celsius.
Raj Basu, the Siliguri-based convenor of the Association for Conservation of Tourism, said that most properties in various destinations, including those in the towns and also in remote areas, were booked till January 26.
“With tourists flocking to Darjeeling and Kalimpong during the year-end break, snowfall in this period will prove to be the true icing on the cake,” he told PTI.
Basu said that there was a significant rise in tourist flow from Nepal and the states of Assam and Bihar to the hills, this season, apart from visitors coming from within Bengal and other states.