From capital Shimla to the icy heights of Spiti, people across the state voted braving cold, and in the higher reaches of mountains, trudging through snow to elect a new state government.
Polling was slow in the initial hours but picked up pace as the day progressed.
Only around five per cent polling was recorded in the first hour, while till 11 am, it was 19.98 per cent. It notched up to 37.19 per cent by 1 pm and 55.65 per cent till 3 pm.
Highest polling in Sirmour district
The highest polling of 72.35 per cent was recorded in Sirmour district followed by 68.48 per cent in Solan and 67.67 per cent in Una.
Electors cast their votes with full zeal at the world’s highest polling station at Tashigang under the Lahaul-Spiti assembly segment. Tashigang is located 15,256 feet above the sea level.
Among the constituencies, Shillai recorded the highest 77 per cent turnout while Sarkaghat recorded the lowest 55.40 per cent.
Seraj constituency in Mandi district from where chief minister Jairam Thakur is contesting and Sujanpur recorded 74 per cent polling, according to the provisional figures.
100% polling at world’s highest booth
The remote region of Lahaul and Spiti surprised with a high polling of 67.5 per cent. The region had recorded 21.95 per cent, the lowest, till 1 pm, but polling was brisk as the sun came out.
At minus 10 degrees Celsius, Tashigang, the world’s highest polling station at a height of 15,256 feet in Lahaul and Spiti district, on Saturday saw a 100 per cent turnout.
The village, some 34 km from Kaza, is the last settlement in the Spiti Valley close to the India-Tibet border.
Voters wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling booth, Tashigang
Elderly voters exercise rights
Many voters in advanced age cast their voting rights on Saturday, often enduring challenging conditions.
The Election Commission had provided a voluntary facility to 80 years plus aged electors to vote through ballot papers at their homes, but many opted for the booth on polling day.
An 83-year-old woman, Dolma, cast her vote at Chasak Bhatori polling station in Pangi area of Chamba district after covering 14 kilometers walking on a snowy road.
Similarly, a 103-year-old man Pyar Singh also exercised his right to franchise with his family members.
90-year-old Narjam Mani and her 87-year-old husband Bheesham Dass cast their votes at polling station set up at Kalpa government primary school in Kinnaur.
Also, a 105-year-old woman Naro Devi cast her vote at Ladhan polling station falling under the Churah assembly constituency in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba district.