Kashmir continues to shiver as 'Chillai Kalan' begins

Kashmir continues to shiver as 'Chillai Kalan' begins

‘Chillai Kalan’, the coldest period of winter, starts from December 21

Vendors display their wares in an early morning floating vegetable-market at the interiors of Dal Lake, in Srinagar on December 21, 2020. Credit: AFP Photo

Intense cold wave conditions continued in the Kashmir and Ladakh regions as the harshest 40-day period of winter, locally known as ‘Chillai Kalan', began in the Kashmir Valley.

On the first day of the ‘Chillai Kalan', long icicles were seen hanging from leaking taps and branches of trees which presented a kaleidoscopic view as the sun struggled its way through the cloud covers. In recent days, water bodies, including the Dal Lake have frozen in parts, due to the extreme cold in the valley.

A MeT department official said Srinagar recorded a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius. The city had recorded a low of minus 6.6 degrees on December 17.

The minimum temperature at famous tourist resort Pahalgam, which serves as a base camp during the annual Amarnath Yatra, was minus 4.6 degrees Celsius while north Kashmir’s famous ski resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, he said.

Leh town, in the cold desert Ladakh region, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 14.6 degrees Celsius while the neighboring Kargil town shivered at bone-chilling minus 20 degrees.

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

‘Chillai Kalan’, the coldest period of winter, starts from December 21 which will be followed by a 20-day-long ‘Chillai Khurd’ and 10-day-long ‘Chillai Bacha’. During the 40-day ‘Chillai Kalan’, it is said earth goes dead while the air and water are the coldest.