Thousands throng Atal Tunnel in Himachal for Christmas holidays | Travel

PTI | | Posted by Tapatrisha Das, Shimla

Thousands of tourists thronged Himachal Pradesh during the long Christmas weekend with the Atal Tunnel in Rohtang joining Kullu and Lahaul & Spiti as the most sought-after destination.

Thousands throng Himachal for Christmas holidays, Atal Tunnel among sought-after destinations(PTI)

An estimated 65,000 people in more than 12,000 vehicles crossed the Tunnel on Sunday, according to police data.

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The 9.2-kilometre Atal Tunnel is the world’s highest single-tube tunnel above 10,000 feet. Rohtang received heavy snowfall on Saturday, prompting tourists to make a beeline for it.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said, “We welcome the tourists who have come in such huge numbers, crossing over lakhs.”

Himachal Pradesh has stood up again to welcome tourists after the natural disaster during the monsoon season.

Large parts of Himachal Pradesh suffered heavy damage during two spells of rain this monsoon season. The heavy rain wreaked havoc in Mandi and Kullu districts, causing large-scale destruction. Shimla and Solan districts were hit during the second spell in August, with the capital city Shimla suffering heavy damage.

Sukhu also praised the efforts of the district administration and the police for efficiently managing the huge tourist influx and extending a helping hand to those stuck in the snow, particularly at the north and the south portals of the tunnel, where the temperature dropped to minus 12 degrees Celsius.

Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu said “lakhs of tourists” have arrived in the state and appealed to them to prioritise safe travel practices and adhere to traffic rules.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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