Kashmir heat-wave: Unexpected scorcher disrupts serene summer escape

On Wednesday Srinagar recorded a maximum of 35.6 degrees Celsius, highest temperature in 25 years.
Last Updated : 04 July 2024, 08:42 IST

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Srinagar: The serene valley of Kashmir, renowned for its stunning scenery and refreshing air, has long served as a summer refuge for tourists seeking relief from the scorching heat of the plains.

This year, however, an unexpected change has left both locals and visitors in a state of surprise and discomfort. From early July the first signs of an unusual weather pattern began to surface. On Wednesday Srinagar recorded a maximum of 35.6 degrees Celsius, highest temperature in 25 years.

Maximum temperature in Srinagar this month has been five to six degrees above the normal for this time of the year. The morning mist, usually lingering over the Dal Lake in Srinagar like a gentle embrace, seems to have been evaporating faster with each passing day.

By noon, the sun blazes down with an intensity rarely felt in Srinagar. Tourists, clad in light summer wear, stroll through the Mughal Gardens with faces flushed and foreheads beaded with sweat.

Rahul and Anita, a young couple from Haryana, had come to Kashmir to celebrate their first wedding anniversary with a dream of cool breezes, shikara rides, and cozy evenings by the lakeside.

However, as they ventured out of their houseboat on the first day on Wednesday, they were met with a wave of heat that made them reconsider their plans. “Is this normal temperature?” Anita asked the houseboat owner who responded by saying “this heat wave is something new in Kashmir.”

Undeterred, Rahul and Anita decided to visit the famous Shalimar Bagh. The garden, usually a lush paradise of flowers and shade, now seems parched and tired under the relentless sun. The fountains, still operational, offered little respite as the water seemed to warm almost instantly.

However, despite the heat wave, the beauty of Kashmir remains undeniable. “This (temperature) wasn’t what we expected, but it’s still been an incredible experience,” Rahul told DH.

Anita nodded with her eyes reflecting the shimmering waters of the Dal lake. “Kashmir is resilient. Just like its people. This heat wave will pass, and the valley will remain as beautiful as ever,” she said.

Published 04 July 2024, 08:42 IST

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