In the days following Christmas, various media outlets, including Times Of India and Hindustan Times, reported a massive rush of tourists in Himachal Pradesh. As per reports, 19,000 vehicles passed the Atal tunnel on the Leh-Manali Highway. Some news portals used a photograph of traffic congestion in their reports, with hundreds of cars lined up in a queue.
Dainik Bhaskar on December 26 published a report in which this image was used with the caption: ‘On the way to Atal Tunnel… 5-km-long jam’.
Gujarati newspaper Divya Bhaskar used the photo on Page 2 of its December 27 print edition with a caption that suggested this was a current photo.
Tv9 Bharatvarsh also tweeted and published an article using the same image.
The image was also tweeted by Amit Karn, who is a film journalist at Dainik Bhaskar.
The image is viral on both Facebook and Twitter with netizens claiming that the rush of tourists has peaked after Christmas in Manali.
By conducting an reverse image search on Google, Alt News found a travel page on Facebook called Travel Menu. This image was posted on the page in July 2022. In the post, a photographer named Yash Handa was credited for the photo. By surfing through his Instagram profile, Alt news came across the original photograph that he had clicked and posted in January 2022. The tagged location in the concerned post was Manali.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the image that has been circulating on the internet claiming to be of a massive traffic jam near the Atal Tunnel after Christmas 2022 is actually an old photo. The original image was posted in January 2022.
Vansh Shah is an intern with Alt News.
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