SRINAGAR Chillai-Kalan, the traditional 40-day long period of harsh winter, begins in Kashmir on Friday as the mercury remained below freezing point a day ahead of it in the Valley.
As the people brace up or the harsh traditional winter spell, cold wave continued its tightened grip in Kashmir with Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recording the minimum temperature of minus 4.9 degree Celsius, an official of the MET Department said.
The mercury in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir valley, saw a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said the famous tourist resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir registered a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius compared to the previous nights minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Kokernag town in south Kashmir registered the minimum temperature of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg, the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmirs Baramulla district recorded a low of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, he said.
The mercury in Leh, in frontier region of Ladakh, settled at minus 14.7 degrees Celsius while Drass was the coldest recorded place in the entire state with minus 17.6 degrees Celsius, the official added.
Chillai-Kalan, which begins with winter solstice on December 21, ends on January 31 next year, and the period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.
It is followed by a 20-day long Chillai-Khurd (small cold) and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).
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