Meerut: For the first time in over three decades, snow-capped peaks of Gangotri became visible from Saharanpur as Air Quality Index (AQI) in the UP town dipped below 50.

For an entire generation in Saharanpur that grew up listening to stories from elders that they used to see the Himalayas from the dusty mofussil, it was a pleasant surprise for many as snow-laden peaks were visible once again. Stunned residents took to social media to express their joy, sharing pictures of the mountains.

Dushyant Kumar, an income tax inspector who along with his wife Nidhi Saini shared photos of the ranges taken from their terrace, said, “I was amazed.”

The photos soon went viral on Twitter after they were shared by Ramesh Pandey, an Indian Forest Service officer and secretary of UP State Biodiversity Board. “The mountains that were visible were peaks of Bandarpunch and Gangotri in the inner Himalayas. I shared the photos because I have never witnessed such a sight in Saharanpur and I was posted there for a long time,” he said.

V K Jain, forest conservator, Saharanpur division, said it was after more than three decades there was such a spectacle. “These are the same mountains which can otherwise be seen from Mussoorie.”