As winter begins its enchanting dance in the Kashmir valley, Gulmarg, a beloved jewel in Jammu and Kashmir's crown, welcomes its first snowfall of the season. This picturesque destination is renowned not only for its snow-clad beauty but also for the lupine flowers that grace its landscapes from mid-June to late July. However, during the winter months, which embrace the region from December to March, Jammu and Kashmir transforms into a mesmerizing winter wonderland.
In Gulmarg, the arrival of snowfall ushers in a season of delight for tourists who indulge in snowball fights and create intricate snow sculptures against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayas. Beyond its captivating aesthetics, Gulmarg also holds a prestigious place in the world of winter sports, making it a coveted skiing destination.
Meanwhile, in Himachal Pradesh, a state that has faced the wrath of this year's monsoon season with unprecedented disasters, the challenges continue. Heavy rainfall has triggered the closure of twenty-four roads across five districts. According to the State Disaster Management Authority, Lahaul-Spiti district is grappling with 16 blocked roads, Shimla with 4, Kullu with 2, and Kangra and Kinnaur districts each reporting 1.
The toll from the monsoon's fury in Himachal Pradesh is heart-wrenching, with 468 people losing their lives, 487 sustaining injuries, and 40 individuals still missing. The devastating impact extends to property damage, with 2,647 houses completely destroyed, 1,129 partially damaged, and 320 shops bearing the brunt of nature's wrath. Additionally, 5,977 cowsheds have suffered damage, further emphasizing the extent of the calamity that has befallen the state.
As Gulmarg dons its winter attire and Himachal Pradesh grapples with the aftermath of relentless monsoon rains, the stark contrast between nature's beauty and its fury serves as a poignant reminder of the multifaceted forces that shape our world.