“A portion of the cliff opposite the temple near Bhattakufer caved in. Boulders rolled down and smashed six-seven vehicles parked along the highway,” a police officer told news agency IANS.
Videos of the incident showed a heap of rubble falling on the road, sweeping away some vehicles while trapping others under the debris.
Fifteen families were shifted to safer places as several houses on a hill top were endangered, the police said.
The incident took place near Dhalli tunnel, close to Shimla. The area has been seeing heavy rainfall for the past three days.
Due to the landslide, the Dhalli-Shoghi road was blocked and hundreds of trucks loaded with apples and headed to the Bhattakufar Subzi Mandi, 3 km from the spot, were stranded.
The police have diverted traffic via Sanjauli, on the outskirts of Shimla. The highway connects Shimla with tourist destinations like Kufri and Naldhera and the apple-growing belts of Jubbal, Narkanda and Kharapathar, and entire Kinnaur district.
Heavy machinery has been deployed to remove the debris and clear the road, Shimla Deputy Commissioner Rohan Chand Thakur.
Last month, 46 people were killed and several were injured after a huge landslide buried two government-run buses in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district. The incident, which happened at Kotpuri near Padhar on the Mandi-Pathankot national highway, was triggered by a cloudburst, officials had said.
(With inputs from agencies)