Between 4.30 pm and 5.30 pm yesterday, in the outskirts of the city, it hailed. Laxman Gadekar was away from home when he received a call from his wife that hailstorm has hit their locality, Tilekarnagar.

What the hail! Children play with pellets of ice, for the first time in their lives. Pic/Mohan Patil

The area, which has about 800 families (around 2,000 people), was lashed with big and small pellets of ice such as the locals had never seen in their lives.

This is not Kashmir: A scene after hailstones hit Tilekarnagar near ISKCON temple. Pics/Mohan Patil

Besides the hailstorm, there were heavy rains. When it was all over, the landscape was transformed into something like a snowed-under hill station.

A child holds up a ball of ice

“It rained for around an hour with heavy hail. My wife called me at my workplace, as my children were scared; it was very difficult for me to reach home from nearby Rajuri where I work. It was only Tilekarnagar where the hailstorm hit.

Surrounding regions of Kondhwa, at just half a kilometer of distance, witnessed not more than a drizzle. Water entered my television set, making it dysfunctional,” Laxman Gadekar said.

Shovel it: A Tilekarnagar resident removes layers of hailstones outside his house

But the children couldn’t have wished for a better day outdoors. There were half-foot layers of hails on all the roads in Tilekarnagar.

They buried their hands in the white pellets, balled then together and pretended it was snow. Grown-ups, however, had a lot of shoveling and scooping to do to clear the blocked roads and pathways, and roofs.

There were a few unseemly sights. “The ice-cold stream currents bore on them dead birds and piglets. Lifeless snakes stuck to the frozen water at many places,” said resident Santosh Jadhav.

Water entered many houses, destroying stored grains, furniture and electric appliances. The area, which is dish-like in shape and is surrounded by hills on all sides, was the worst hit in the city.

Only mild hail showers were reported in other parts, including Ambegaon-Narhe, Ambegaon-Pathar and Pimpri-Chinchwad Pradhikaran, on the city’s fringes. Rainfall recorded in the city was 1.4 mm, while in Lohegaon, the rainfall measured 1 mm.

“Leaves had fallen from the trees and all the surrounding hillocks were covered with hailstones. We felt as though we were in the Himalayas. Many people regularly take their cows and buffaloes for grazing on the nearby Katraj Hills.

The cattle were injured due to the continuous hail,” said Santosh Jadhav, adding, “The semi-frozen water entered our houses,” he said.

“I had to scrape the icy stones from my rooftop. I have not seen this side of nature in the last four decades,” Parameshwar Tolanure, another resident, said.

The hailstorm mainly hit Indapur, Baramati and Junnar in Pune district.