'Chillai-Kalan' sets in, Kashmir turns scenic in the backdrop of snow clad mountains
Srinagar, Dec 21: With minimum temperature settling several notches below the freezing point in the Kashmir Valley, the 40-day harshest winter period also known as 'Chillai-Kalan' in the local parlance has set in. The cold wave conditions continue to prevail in the Valley and Ladakh
The 40-day harshest winter period in Kashmir, known in the local parlance as 'Chillai-Kalan', began on a dry note on Friday, even as cold wave conditions continue to prevail in the Valley and Ladakh region as the minimum temperature settled several notches below the freezing point. 'Chillai-Kalan' -- a harsh winter period when the snowfalls are most frequent and maximum temperatures drop considerably -- marked its beginning in Kashmir on Friday, MET department officials here said.
Fallen chinar leaves in the backdrop of snow clad mountains in Srinagar
The 'Chillai-Kalan' period ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold). The officials said while the weather remained dry across Kashmir, temperatures dipped at most places last night and settled several notches below the freezing point.
People walk on a snow covered road after heavy snowfall in Anantnag
The minimum temperature last night was also several points below the normal for this part of the season in the Valley, they said. Srinagar - the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir - was the only place in the valley where the night temperature rose last night. The city recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius last night compared to minus 4.9 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said. They said the minimum temperature in the city was around three notches below the normal for this time of the season.
A garden in Srinagar
The officials said Qazigund - the gateway town to the Valley - in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius last night. Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius last night, they said. The night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius last night - down from the previous night's minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.
A man clears snow from the roof top of his mud-house on the out skirts of Srinagar
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a minimum temperature of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius last night - down from the previous night's minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, the officials said. The normal for this time of the winter in the twin resorts is minus 4.4 degrees Celsius and minus 4.8 degrees Celsius respectively.
Leh district of Ladakh region recorded a low of minus 12.7 degrees Celsius last night - up from minus 14.7 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said. The nearby Kargil registered the minimum temperature of minus 15.1 degrees Celsius last night. The MET office has forecast mainly dry weather for the week ahead.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs