Forty-five people, including 35 students, are reported missing in the mountainous Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh after heavy snowfall in the region.

The students are from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and were on a trekking trip in the area.

Rajiv Singh, father of one of the students said the group had gone for a trek to Hampta Pass and were supposed to return to Manali but their whereabouts are unknown.

Himachal Pradesh has been hit by heavy rain and snowfall since Saturday and five persons have lost their lives and many have been injured on Monday as heavy rain lashed districts of Kullu, Kangra and Chamba, causing flash floods and landslides.

All educational institutes have been ordered to remain close in Kangra, Kullu and Hamirpur districts.

Water levels in rivers and streams have increased following the continuous downpour and this resulted in a man being swept away in Nahad Khad in Kangra.

The River Beas was flowing at a dangerous level and flash floods swept away several houses. People have been cautioned from going near rivers.

A 'high alert' has been sounded in Kullu where property worth over Rs 20 crore has been lost during initial estimates by the district administration. All adventure sports activities have been banned in Kullu district.

Snowfall in Himachal PradeshReuters