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Harshest winter time is over in Kashmir

Last updated on: February 1, 2011 08:39 IST

Harshest winter time is over in Kashmir

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

Kashmir Valley continues to reel under intense cold conditions but people are hoping for warmer days to dawn with the end of 'Chillai Kalan' (winter core) in Kashmir.

The severity of 'Chillai Kalan' has already started to diminish with the night temperature moving upwards from a drop of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius to minus 1.4 degrees Celsius last night.

The day temperature has started improving rising from 5.6 degrees Celsius to 11.3 degree Celsius on Monday with mild snowfall in the higher reaches and rain in capital Srinagar on Sunday.

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Photographs: Reuters
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This year's winter, said to bitterest in many years, took the people by surprise, as the locals were unprepared for its harshness. Kashmir winters had softened up over past decade.

The snowfall, which would come at the end of February or beginning March, made its appearance this year in December and January.



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The icicles, which people had not seen for many years, were everywhere hanging from rooftops to the delight of small children.

The snow, however, was nature's bonanza to the Valley, as it has not only replenished the diminished glacier resources, but also refilled the ground water resources.


Image: The snow-covered Pir Panjal mountain range in Kashmir is seen from the window of a passenger airplane January 9, 2011
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters
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Experts say that horticulture and agriculture will benefit from this year's heavy snowfall.

The snowfall also improved the inflow of winter tourists to the Valley with the north Kashmir's resort of Gulmarg buzzing with activity.


Image: A picture taken from inside the cabin of a gondola shows the snow-covered trees in Gulmarg, 55km west of Srinagar
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters
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