The minimum temperature recorded at Manali that saw 14 cm of snow was one degree Celsius below freezing point, the weather office in Shimla said.
Kalpa, some 250 km from Shimla, has experienced 22 cm snow.
"High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu, Kinnaur, Sirmaur, Chamba, Mandi and Shimla districts have been experiencing snow since early Monday morning," an official said.
It was minus three degrees in Kalpa, while it was 5.2 degrees Celsius in Dharamsala and 3.6 degrees Celsius in Shimla, which saw 11.8 mm of rain till 8 a.m.
As news of the snowfall flashed across the plains, tourists started arriving at Manali and nearby hills.
The weather office said certain areas in Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kullu, Kangra and Lahaul and Spiti are likely to experience heavy snow and rain till February 6.
The government has warned tourists not to venture into the high hills as chances of road cave-ins and landslides are high.