Saturday, 15 December 2012

Winter Line

Shri Nathji was very fascinated with the winter line which was visible from Mussoorie. This rare natural phenomenon is visible in Mussoorie from the month of October at the onset of the winters. Shri Nathji would point to the dividing line between the sky and the earth as viewed from the hills of Mussoorie and say:
“Vo winter line shuroo ho gayi hai. The winter line has begun.
Whenever Shri Nathji was in Mussoorie he would frequently tell Pran Nath and Priya Nath:
“Mujhe R.R.Khanna kahaa kartaa thhaa ke October ke maheene men Mussoorie ki havaa men Ozone nikaltaa hai jo health ke liye bahut achhaa maanaa jaataa hai! Mussoorie men koyi in dinon raih jaaye to uski umar paanch saal lambi ho jaati hai!
“R.R.Khanna used to tell me that in the month of October the atmosphere in Mussoorie contains Ozone which is very good for the health. It is said that if a person lives in Mussoorie during this period he adds five years to his life.”
From mid-October till January, with the setting sun, the western horizon is replete with myriad shades of yellow, red, orange and mauve. This is known as the winter line. The phenomenon is unique to Mussoorie and a certain place in Switzerland only
The ‘Queen of Hills’ is known for its picturesque landscape, waterfalls, gardens etc, however, a majority of tourists and even localites are oblivious to the fact that Mussoorie has another aspect to her beauty - “The winter line”.
From mid-October till January, with the setting sun, the western horizon becomes replete with myriad shades of yellow, red, orange, purple and mauve. The sun drops behind what is essentially a false horizon, a grey and mauve coloured strip, and there is a bright line of yellow and orange colours at the upper end of this strip. The colours are so spectacular that onlookers are left spellbound till the sun finally sets.
This gray and mauve line visible from Mussoorie is referred to as ‘The winter line’. Experts believe that the winter line occurs due to the refraction of sunlight at a particular angle. They opine that it is visible only from those mountain areas that have a long clear valley extending beyond them towards the west.
Anand Sharma, director of Uttarakhand meteorological department, says “settled weather conditions with less moisture and haze” is also an important precondition for the occurrence of winter line.
Local shopkeepers feel that, more tourists could be attracted to Mussoorie, if the winter line is promoted properly. This would also mean good business during the generally dull winters. Perhaps it is time the tourism department in Mussoorie should cash in on this unique natural gift that has the potential to attract tourists.

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