November 16, 2020

Snowfall continues in Gulmarg, other upper reaches, rain in plains in Kashmir

People warm themselves while standing around bonfire in Srinagar following rains and snow in Kashmir on Sunday. UNI SRN PHOTO 1.

Srinagar: Intermittent snowfall continued for the second successive day on Sunday in world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, tourist resort of Sonamarg and other upper reaches while rain lashed plains in Kashmir valley.
A Met department spokesperson said that widespread moderate rain and snow would continue during the next 24 hours in Kashmir valley under the influence of a Western Disturbance (WD), which is active in the region. “Rain and snow would occur on Monday at several places, particularly in the upper reaches, in the valley,” he said.
However, he said the weather will improve from Tuesday onwards though a fresh WD, which originated from the Arabian Sea is approaching the region, through Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Tree and hotel and house tops besides open fields have turned white intermittent snowfall since Saturday morning in Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, much to the delight of tourists. About a foot of snow has accumulated in the ski resort, which was the only place in the valley with below freezing night temperature. Khilanmarg and Affarwat, the highest skiing point connected by Gandola Cable Car (GCC) from base camp, have received about 2 feet of snow since Saturday. “Despite chilly weather conditions and incessant snowfall, tourists are out on the ski slopes, enjoying themselves. Hopefully, more tourists will throng to Gulmarg due to early snowfall,” a hotelier told UNI.
Tourist could be seen enjoying snow fight and other activities, including ATV and horse riding in the ski resort. “Witnessing snowfall for the first time was the best Diwali gift I have received in my entire life. When we decided to visit Kashmir, we were a bit skeptical, but since we have arrived here everyone (locals) has been very kind and helpful,” a tourist from Mumbai told UNI.
Similar views were expressed by other tourists.
The other upper heights in north Kashmir, including border areas of Keran, Karnah, Gurez, Tangdhar and Machil also experienced snowfall since Friday night.
Intermittent snowfall was also witnessed in the world famous health resort of Sonamarg on Srinagar-Leh national highway, which remained closed for second successive day for traffic due to acumination of snow. The upper reaches in Ganderbal and Kangan in central Kashmir district of Ganderbal also experienced snowfall since Saturday.
World famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, also received snowfall for the second successive day on Sunday.
The holy Amarnath cave shrine and its periphery besides Panjterni, Sheshnag, Mahaguns, Pisso top and Chandanwari on traditional yatra route from base camp Pahalgam also experienced snowfall. This year annual yatra to Amarnath cave shrine was suspended due to COVID-19. Last year it was cut short after centre abrogated Article 370 and 35 A and directed yatris to leave the Kashmir valley for security reasons on August 5.
Barring the summer capital, Srinagar, many areas in plains received intermittent incessant rain, resulting in dip in the maximum temperature.


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