Image From December 2020 Passed Off as Recent Crowd Seen in Manali
While it is true that Manali is witnessing a large number of tourists, the viral image is an old one.
Amid reports of people thronging hill stations, such as Shimla and Manali, as COVID restrictions were eased, an image is being massively circulated on social media to claim that it shows the recent situation in Manali in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district.
While it is true that Manali has been witnessing a large number of tourists, the viral image dates back to 31 December 2020 and it's not a recent picture.
The photo was also used by several news outlets to show the crowd in Manali. Among those who shared the picture were Livemint, Republic, Hindustan Times, Financial Express, ScoopWhoop. The viral image was erroneously used in an article on Quint Hindi as well.
The Quint received a query on the claim being made about the viral image on its WhatsApp tipline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We searched on Twitter with relevant keywords and came across a tweet shared by Twitter user Sai Kiran, who suggested that the viral image was taken in January and that it was captured by a user called 'Amigosblink.'
We then looked up on Facebook and found that the user had shared the viral image on 23 January.
Further, Amigosblink, a production house based out of Manali, clarified on 5 July that the viral image was captured on 31 December 2020 and that it's not a recent picture.
On 31 December 2020, the handle had gone LIVE from the location in Manali, in which a huge crowd could be seen on the street.
Speaking to The Quint's WebQoof team, Ajay Kumar, head of Amigosblink, confirmed that the viral image was not a recent one.
"We had captured the viral image on 31 December 2020, on New Year's Eve and had also gone live on the same day from the same location," he added.
On 6 July, Amigosblink also shared a time-lapse showing similar crowd at the same location and mentioned that it was taken on 31 December 2020. The video can be viewed here.
RECENT VISUALS OF MANALI'S CROWDED STREETS
While the viral image is not a recent visual, news reports have shown tourists thronging Manali as the government of Himachal Pradesh relaxed COVID restrictions.
News agency PTI, too, captured an image on 3 July where tourists could be seen be visiting the Mall Road area in Manali.
Evidently, while there have been several recent instances of people crowding the streets on Manali in Kullu district. However, this viral image is an old picture from 31 December 2020.
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