Chilai-Kalan starts in Kashmir, Gulmarg freezes at minus 9.6


The traditional 40-day period of extreme cold, known as ‘Chilai-Kalan’, begins on Saturday, December 21. The period will mostly remain wet, said an official from MeT office here in Srinagar.

Long icicles hanging from the roof of a hotel in Gulmarg.
KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Chilai-Kalan is the 40-day period of harsh winter. Chillai-Kalan begins from December 21 and ends on January 31 next year. It is followed by a 20-day long Chillai-Khurd that occurs between January 31 and February 19 and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha which is from February 20 to March 2.

“These 40 days are when the chances of snowfall are the highest and the maximum temperature drops considerably,” MeT official said.

He said that weather to remain dry during next week.

Chillai-Kalan began on a wet note as the upper reaches of the valley received snowfall. The snowfall began early on Friday and continued through the night, he said.

Famous tourist destinations of Kashmir Gulmarg recorded minimum temperature of minus 9.6 degree Celsius and Pahalgam recorded minus 3.0 degrees Celsius, and Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 0.4 degrees Celsius.

Kokernag town recorded minus 1.0 degree Celsius while Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius last night. Jammu recorded 6.8, Katra 7.0, Batote 0.2, Bannihal minus 0.5 and Bhaderwah 0.6 as the minimum temperature.

In Kashmir “Chillai Kalan” is considered to be the severest part of the winter for which people brace up in advance.


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