The popular tourist destination of Sandakphu, known for its majestic view of the Kanchenjunga mountain range, received the season's first snowfall, as temperatures dipped in the higher reaches of West Bengal's Darjeeling district.
Minimum temperatures in east India are likely to go down by three to five degrees Celsius in the next three days, the Met Department said on Friday.
Tourists at various places in Darjeeling district started flocking to the higher reaches as news of the season's first snowfall in Sandakphu and Tonglu spread on Thursday.
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, often described as the queen of the hills, recorded a minimum temperature of 6.6 degrees Celsius and rainfall of 4.8 mm in the past 24 hours till Friday morning, the weather office said.
Raj Basu, the Siliguri-based convenor of the Association for Conservation of Tourism, said hotels, transporters and tour operators have started receiving enquiries from various parts of India, after the first snowfall in the Darjeeling hills was reported.
"The first snowfall acts as a kickstart for the winter season for tourism in the region, encompassing north Bengal and Sikkim," he told PTI.
With the dissipation of cyclonic storm ‘Michaung’, which caused light to moderate rain in south Bengal, minimum temperatures are likely to go down at many places in this region, the Met Department said in its forecast.
Kolkata recorded a minimum temperature of 19.8 degrees Celsius and rainfall of 26.2 mm in the past 24 hours till 8.30 am on Friday, it added.
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