While the world continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic by following lockdown rules and isolating themselves, the town of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh were given extra incentive to continue to stay indoors.
The AQI index, which in India is generally well on the higher side, dipped below 50 allowing residents to wake up to the beautiful sight of the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Himalayas for the first time in 30 years.
In the first week of April, Jalandhar residents were surprised when they woke up to see Himachal Pradesh's Dhauladhar mountain from their rooftops.
For an entire generation in Saharanpur that grew up listening to stories of seeing the Himalayas from their elders, it was a rather pleasant summer morning surprise.
Officials said the aerial distance between the peaks and Saharanpur was about 200 km. “It was truly a rare sight. People in Saharanpur haven't had such a clear view of snow-capped peaks in the past decade,” said Saharanpur Divisional Commissioner Sanjay Kumar.
Indian Forest Services (IFS) officer Ramesh Pandey shared mesmerising photos of the snowy peaks of Gangotri visible from their houses.
"Snow capped peaks of Himalaya are now visible from Saharnpur ! Lockdown and intermittent rains have significantly improved the AQI. These pictures were taken by Dushyant, an Income Tax inspector, from his house at Vasant Vihar colony on Monday evening," Pandey tweeted while sharing the pictures.
Snow capped peaks of Himalaya are now visible from Saharnpur ! Lockdown and intermittent rains have significantly improved the AQI. These pictures were taken by Dushyant, an Income Tax inspector, from his house at Vasant Vihar colony on Monday evening. #lockdowneffect #nature pic.twitter.com/1vFfJqr05J— Ramesh Pandey IFS (@rameshpandeyifs) April 29, 2020
Around 24 years back I had seem it from saharanpur railway station while travelling to Dehradun. I could not believe I was so close to the himalayan peaks.— martand (@martanz) April 29, 2020
IFS officer Parveen Kaswan also shared a picture of the beautiful sight and wrote, "When you can see snow peaks from Saharanpur. They say it is rare to see these peaks which are 150-200 km far. I hope now people will appreciate what they were missing earlier."