SRNAGAR: The night temperature at most places in Kashmir division went further down the freezing point with Kargil, in Ladakh region of the state, recording its coldest night of the season at minus 12.4 degrees Celsius.

Nearby Leh town was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir as it registered a low of minus 13.9 degrees Celsius, down by over two degrees from Monday’s minus 11.4 degrees Celsius, an official of the Meteorological Department in Srinagar said.

The official said the famous tourist spots of Gulmarg and Pahalgam were the only places in Kashmir division where the mercury marked improvement. Gulmarg, the ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded the minimum temperature of minus 12.0 degrees Celsius, slightly up from the previous night’s minus 12.4 degrees Celsius, he said. The resort was the coldest place in the Valley.

The mercury in Pahalgam hill resort, in south Kashmir, settled at minus 6.2 degrees Celsius, up three degrees from minus 9.2 degrees Celsius on Monday night, the official said. Srinagar the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir recorded a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius further down from the previous night’s minus 2.3 degrees Celsius. The official said the mercury went down in Qazigund the gateway town to Kashmir Valley and settled at a low of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius.

The north Kashmir town of Kupwara recorded a low of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius, down nearly two degrees from minus 3.6 degrees Celsius on Monday. Kokernag, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, compared to Monday’s minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ considered the harshest period of winter, when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably. The region witnessed heavy snowfall of the season last Friday. ‘Chillai-Kalan’, which, began on December 21 last year, ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).