Shimla, Jan 05 (Agencies): Enjoying snowfall in Himachal Pradesh can be fun but before you travel to snow peaked mountains, check venturing out to high hills.

Braving heavy snowfall and bone chilling temperatures can be a challenge and one should also avoid getting stranded on blocked roads.

"In most of the cases, we have noticed that tourists prefer to travel to the high hills during winter where snowfall is a constant threat. They are often allured by their travel agents that this is the right time and place to cherish snow-white winter. But the tourists must check the climatic conditions before travelling to these areas," said Director Tourism Arun Sharma.

Citing an example he said, recently more than 100 tourists were stranded in remote Kalpa town in Kinnaur district for more than two days due to heavy snow. Afterwards, eight children and four septuagenarians were rescued after the connectivity was restored.
"In this case too, the booking was done by a travel agent in Kalpa. Despite our warning, the tourists ventured into a place where even the locals start storing ration and wood for the winter from the middle of November," Sharma added.

West Bengal Civil Defence Minister Srikumar Mukherjee contacted the Himachal Pradesh government to ensure necessary assistance is provided to the tourists and also blamed tour operators for organizing trips to such areas.

Similarly, last year in October, a 51-year old tourist from West Bengal, Debyani Chowdhury, died on her way back to safety after being trapped in snow in Kalpa.

Sharma said the state tourism department would soon hold a meeting with the tour operators of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata and ask them to act more responsibly by informing the tourists about the actual weather conditions.
"We are also going to release a travel advisory on the tourism department website and that will be updated regularly," he added.