Chillai-Kalan begins in Kashmir

KL News Network

Srinagar

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

A domesticated cat warms herself near a traditional Kangri (fire pot) in Srinagar. File Photo: Bilal Bahadur

“Night temperatures have fallen below the freezing point in most places including Srinagar where minimum temperature fell to minus 5.5 Degree Celsius. The Chillai-Kalan this time may be dry but there is every possibility that it may rain or snow on December 26 this month,” MeT official said.

During this period, people brace up to face the bitter cold and expectantly look forward to heavy snowfall that would replenish rivers, streams, springs and lakes in Kashmir.

File Photo of snow. Kashmir this winter is waiting for snow as the valley is under dry spell.

“All perennial reservoirs of Kashmir in the mountains, those feed the local rivers, streams, lakes and springs during summer months are replenished by the snowfall during Chillai-Kalan. Any snowfall during this period lasts long as it snow gets frozen.”

The cold wave has gripped the valley

Icicles hanging from rooftops, frozen water bodies and snow games are a major tourist attraction during this season. Like any other winter this time too, people from Valley face acute shortage of power supply. “As the Darbar gets shifted to Jammu, the government leaves Kashmir at the mercy of God. There is no power and no water. After every six years the same politicians contest elections on water, roads and electricity,” said a trader.

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