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Kashmir’s harshest winter period ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ begins; Srinagar records minus 4.3 °C

Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 4.3°C last night down from the previous night’s minus 3.7°C, a MeT department official said. Dal Lake in Srinagar and other water bodies in the valley were partially frozen due to intense cold wave conditions.
Last Updated : 21 December 2023, 06:00 IST
Last Updated : 21 December 2023, 06:00 IST

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Srinagar: Despite sunny days ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’, the 40-day harshest winter period, began in Kashmir on Thursday, with the annual winter phenomena sending shivers down the spine as the mercury dropped several notches below the freezing point.

Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 4.3°C last night down from the previous night’s minus 3.7°C, a MeT department official said. Dal Lake in Srinagar and other water bodies in the valley were partially frozen due to intense cold wave conditions.

The lake was completely frozen twice in the last 60 years - in 1986 and 1964. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Kashmir was minus 14.4 degrees Celsius on January 31, 1893.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.8 °C against minus 6.3°C previous night.

Famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded a low of minus 3.0°C against minus 4.4°C on the previous night, he said.

The official said that due to clear skies, the night temperatures will show further dip and morning frost will be a general phenomenon from now on.

‘Chila-i-Kalan’, the coldest period of the winter, starts from December 21 and ends on January 30. It will be followed by a 20-day-long ‘Chila-i-Khurd’ and 10-day-long ‘Chilla-i-Bacha’. During the 40 day ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’, it is said earth goes dead, air and water are the coldest.

Meanwhile, doctors have warned elderly persons and children not to move out of their homes in the morning and evening when the temperature remains below freezing point because of icy cold winds.

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Published 21 December 2023, 06:00 IST

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