Dal Lake freezes partially as mercury dips in Kashmir

Srinagar: Srinagar recorded the coldest night in 11 years as mercury dipped to minus 6.8 degrees Celsius, partially freezing the world famous Dal Lake and other water bodies.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir.

The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).

As the areas near the lake were engulfed in snow, residents were seen battling with intense fog and chillwave.

According to India Meteorological Department department (IMD), “Srinagar city registered a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius on Monday, which is the coldest recorded temperature in the city in almost 11 years. The city had recorded a low of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius on December 31, 2007.”

“This wasn’t expected that temperature will dip so early here, we are facing problems like lack of water supply but people are still coming to the city to enjoy winters,” a local Pir Gulam Nabi told ANI.

As per the IMD, the temperature in the region will further plummet during the nights. The minimum temperatures in Pahalgam (One of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir), Kargil and Gulmarg were minus 8 degrees Celsius, minus 17 and minus 10, respectively. Meanwhile, Katra recorded minus 6 degrees Celsius and Bannihal minus 2.