Last year around April, residents in the state of Punjab in northern India were astonished to see the Himalayas from the rooftop of their homes for the first time in decades. The country was in the middle of a lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19. The shutting down of factories and clearing of traffic from the streets had a significant impact on the quality of the air. The improvement in air quality became evident when the Dhauladhar mountain range, a part of the lesser Himalaya, located some 200 km away, drifted into view one morning. For many residents, it was the first time they had seen the peaks. This brings us to the question: how far can we see on a clear day?
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The Himalayas. Photo: Sitoo/Flickr