Srinagar: The 40-day harshest winter period in Kashmir, known as Chillai Kalan has commenced from today( Thursday) and interestingly the night temperature across the Valley dips several degrees below the freezing point.
Chilla-i- Kalan is a 40-day period when Kashmir faces its harshest winter. This period begins on 21 December and ends on 31 January of the next year. It is followed by a 20-day long Chillai-Khurd (small cold) that occurs between January 31 and February 19 and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold) which begins from February 20 to March 2.
Pertinently, Chillai Kalan is a Persian word which means “Major Cold”.
A day ahead of the harshest winter period, the mercury has settled below freezing point at almost all the stations across the Valley with Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir shivering at minus 4.4 degree Celsius.
Pahalgam was, however, the coldest place in Kashmir where mercury settled at minus 6.3 degree Celsius while Gulmarg, a famous ski-resort, recorded a low of minus 4.4 degree Celsius.
In Qazigund, the mercury settled at minus 4.0 degree Celsius while Kupwara and Kokernag recorded a low of minus 3.5 degree Celsius and 3.3 degree Celsius respectively. Amidst the bone-chilling cold, the weatherman here has predicted dry weather conditions till December 28. The weather is expected to remain generally dry till December 22nd while generally cloudy with possibility of light snow over isolated higher reaches is expected on December 23. Furthermore, from December 24-28, the weather is expected to remain generally dry, adding that overall no significant weather activity is expected till December 28, the weatherman had predicted.