The Himalayas Are Now Visible From Hundreds of Kilometers Away
That's almost like seeing Baguio from Metro Manila.
(SPOT.ph) Barely two weeks into India's 21-day lockdown, folks in the City of Jalandhar, Punjab, were treated to one good thing amid the COVID-19 pandemic: views of the snow-capped mountains of the Dhauladhar mountains—part of the Himalayan chain of mountain ranges.
For the first time after World War 2, the Himalayan Ranges are visible from 230 Km away due to less pollution in lockdown! from r/interestingasfuck
The white giants are located in the next-door state of Himachal Pradesh, India, and are around 200 kilometers away; that's around the same distance between Metro Manila and the highlands of Benguet. Though, of course, even Mt. Pulag—Luzon's highest peak at 2,922 meters—pales in comparison to Dhauladhar's highs and lows of 3,500 meters to nearly 6,000 meters.
And it seems rare sights are not the only side effect: "It is for the first time these days that I could wear a white shirt for two consecutive days to work and not get even a speck of dust on it. Even my wife laughed saying she did not have to scrub the collars," said Harpal Kler, a Jalandhar resident who runs a bio-medical laboratory in a report by India's Tribune.
With most of India's population confined to their homes, several of its mega-cities have enjoyed cleaner air. The nearby city of Ludhiana in Punjab—often cited as one of India's most-polluted—was the cleanest city in the country on March 23 when it recorded an air-quality index of 35. At other times, the state of Punjab could record index highs of 300 up to 400; levels between 51 to 100 could already cause breathing discomfort, according to a report by the Indian Express.
With millions of people in India struggling because of a lockdown, these views of the snow-capped mountains have offered one silver lining. As of writing, India has reported 3,577 confirmed cases and 748 deaths.
Main image shows the Dhauladhar range taken in Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh from Nomad Bikers / Unsplash