Srinagar, Jan 2: Kashmir, which is known as Paradise on the Earth, has been covered with snow. The Srinagar-Jammu national highway connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country remained closed for the third consecutive day today as the Valley and Ladakh region reeled under intense cold conditions with the night temperature in Pahalgam plunging to the season's lowest of minus 12.2 degrees Celsius.
"The National Highway is closed for the day, but the stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards Srinagar later in the day. However, no fresh traffic will be allowed to ply on the highway today," a spokesman of the traffic department said.
The 294-km road, only all weather road link between Kashmir and rest of the world, was closed on Tuesday following heavy snowfall across the Valley.
The minimum temperature in Pahalgam, in south Kashmir, dipped by nearly 8 degree
After showing an upward trend for two days, the mercury across the Valley dipped several degrees last night owing to clear skies.
"The minimum temperature in Pahalgam, in south Kashmir, dipped by nearly eight degrees to settle at minus 12.2 degrees Celsius compared to minus 4.6 degrees Celsius the previous night," a MeT Department official said.
It was the coldest night of the season so far in the tourist resort.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg registered a low of minus 11.0 degrees Celsius, the official said.
The mercury in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, settled at minus 2.1 degrees Celsius, down from the previous night's 1.3 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Qazigund - the gateway town to Kashmir Valley - was minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, while the mercury fell to a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius in Kokernag and minus 4.4 degrees Celsius in Kupwara, the official said.
Leh, in Ladakh region, recorded a low of minus 15.3 degrees Celsius, more than eight degrees down from the previous night's minus 7.2 degrees Celsius.
Kargil recorded a low of minus 11.6 degrees Celsius, the official said. The weatherman has forecast light snow or rainfall across the Valley over the next 24 hours.
A youth walks on a snow covered road after heavy snow fall, in Srinagar on Wednesday.
Trucks standed on the second day of closed Srinagar-Jammu National Highway during heavy snowfall at Qazigund 120 km's from Srinagar on Wednesday.
A boy clearing Snow from the roof top of his house after heavy Snow fall, in Srinagar on Wednesday.
Tourists enjoying a boat ride in an artificial lake on the bank of Dal Lake after heavy snow fall in Srinagar on Wednesday.
Tourists enjoy a walk inside a park on the bank of Dal Lake after heavy snow fall in Srinagar on Wednesday.
A police officer captures the historical business hub of Lal chowk in Srinagar during a heavy snowfall on Wednesday.
A Kashmiri Muslim Shepherd along with his herd of Sheeps at Kokernag, South Kashmiri's Anantnag district, on Wednesday during a heavy snowfall.
A train runs at Anantnag Railway station after two days due to heavy snowfall, in Anantnag on Thursday.
A youth walks behind long icicles hanging from shops after heavy snowfall, at Abi Guzar in Srinagar on Thursday.
(With PTI inputs)