Bird eye view of Kaza in Spiti. Photo used for indicative propose only
Shimla, Feb 21
The tribal districts of Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur, part of Pangi and Bharmour of Chamba witnessed only a few spells of snowfall resulting in early restoration of roads and snow bound passes.
The Gateway of Spiti valley Kunzum La situated at height of 14931 ft from the sea level was restored by the Border Road Organization on Saturday from Spiti side. An in past many years it was probably the first time ever that during mid February, Kunzum Pass has been opened. Last year the same part of the road till the pass was opened in March, informed Gian Sagar Negi, ADM of Kaza.
However last year, the entire road from Lahaul to Spiti was cleared for traffic from May 10 during Covid lockdown.
Ongoing winter season witnessed early Snow on the pass as it reported first spell on Oct 24 however in January and February there were only two to three spells, informed locals of the area. “However as the sun shines upon these snow capped peaks today morning it seems that springs season witnessing receding of snow, brings a new dawn to Spiti tourism,” stated a local in a social media message.
It is very hard to predict whether the same happened due to climate change or any other reason. The Kunzum La like Rohtang pass are among the two snow points which attracts every nature lovers and tourist.

The opening of route so early due to lack of seasonal snowfall is a stark reminder to the “changing climate” of the land we live in, this local added further in the social media. Adding,” One day in future, these snow capped peaks could just be peaks – barren and soulless.” may bring tourism early into the valley but the change in seasons has a drastic effect on the ecology of Spiti and all over Himalayas, he apprehended further. It is high time that we ask ourselves about what sort of footprint we are leaving on this beautiful planet! And how we can preserve these last monuments of God’s creation for generations to come.

Though no official confirmation about it but after the inception of Rohtang Tunnel, the BRO perhaps has lesser task of keeping the snowy Rohtang pass clear of snow. Perhaps could be a reason why Kunzum was cleared a month early.
There are two ways to Kunzum La as first one is shortest route from Manali another from Kaza from Shimla through Kinnaur Valley.  Reaching the pass via Manali is best suited to someone short on time and only intending to visit the pass and Chandratal Lake. This pass is important link if one wants to travel Buddhist Circuit, the pilgrim and foreign tourists  are mostly keen to keep this snowy road open round the year but till lasy year one could cross the pass from May to October only.


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