This year the winter in Kashmir brought snowfall ahead of the new year and has seen many tourists rushing to Gulmarg and Pahalgam.
Srinagar, J&K –
On the New Year’s Eve, Kashmir valley witnessed moderate snowfall at most places on Tuesday morning.
Snowfall started in Srinagar around 7 AM yesterday, several hours after it had begun in neighbouring Budgam and Pulwama districts. Kulgam and Anantnag districts of south Kashmir also witnessed snowfall.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded seven inches of fresh snowfall, while Pahalgam resort in the south and Sonamarg resort in central Kashmir received around three to four inches of snowfall each, according to officials.
Also, Gurez in north Kashmir recorded three inches of fresh snowfall, with the reports of snowfall in other areas in the upper reaches of the Valley as well.
The area around the Jawahar Tunnel – on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway – also received snowfall.
As per local Metrological Department, the minimum temperature in Srinagar — the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir — was 0 degree Celsius on Monday night.
It is worthwhile to mention that the snowfall ahead of the new year has seen many domestic tourists and locals rushing to Gulmarg and Pahalgam.
Officials said that Gulmarg saw more than 1,200 domestic tourist arrivals on Monday, while over 2,500 locals from various parts of the Valley were also in the skiing resort. The numbers are expected to swell over the next two days, they added.
Pahalgam resort also saw brisk footfall ahead of the new year celebration.
Meanwhile, Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ — the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably, leading to the freezing of water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the Valley.
The chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
While ‘Chillai-Kalan’ which began on December 21 will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
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