Dateline Mussoorie: Temperature inversion, smog, smoke, dust, moisture, inverse air-currents and anything in between, ingredients for the perfect recipe for Nature’s glorious spectacle: The Winterline.
As another wintry evening descends upon our hill-station, what has been erratic this time of the year is the elusive Winterline. Up until last year, as early as October, no matter which direction you looked, you would walk into brave-hearts braving the winter chill, facing the magnificent sunset with a smart phone in hand ready to entrap Mussoorie’s winterline in all its glory.
“While all over the world, at the end of the day, the sun ends its journey behind a fixed geographical feature. Call it a mound, a hillock, or the sea but up here in Mussoorie, it’s different. The sun ends its journey behind an aerial line to form a perfect Winter line,” says Author- historian Ganesh Saili.
Greek mythology has it that the Goddess Venus, wore a magical hand crafted belt called the Girdle of Venus. It was made of gold filigree crafted by her husband, the not-so-handsome Smith-God Vulcan, who was in awe of his wife’s beauty. Besotted, he carved her this priceless gift. It is this girdle or belt or kamaar-bandh, that we in the hills call Winterline.
Literally making hay while the sun sets during winters, hotels, motels and air-bnbs in town cash in on this natural phenomenon. Selife-point, sit-out point, decks and benches have been specifically placed on The Mall to get an uninterrupted view of this awe-inspiring phenomenon. Come evening and you will find the sky aflame with hues of yellow, orange, blue and mauve light up the horizon, with the silhouette of the town, trees, buildings highlighted against the winterline.
This year, the magic is late in the coming. Maybe it is so on account of the unprecedented cold, or pollution . No one knows for certain. Every evening residents and tourists alike, hope to catch a glimpse of that elusive winterline that continues to spin its magic.