“No doubt Chillai Kalan is harshest part of winter season, But at the same time it comes with so many utilities for the people of Kashmir” Says locals
The 40 day long coldest and severe part of the winter in Kashmir, Chillai Kalan begins from tomorrow. This part of the winter witnesses sub-zero temperatures and freezes water bodies and water taps across the region.
People are all set to brace the gruelling months of harsh winter and they have already piled up the winter stockings in order to counter the vagaries of harshest part of the winter season.
Chillai Kalan arrives on the scene on December 21 and leaves on January 29 after completing the spell of 40 days. This is considered to be the most bone-chilling phase of the winter season in the Kashmir valley. People become somewhat perplexed as Chillai Kalan arrives on the scene.
“The advent of Chillai Kalan is synonymous with chill and freezing temperatures. People feel shivery when they get to know that the Chillai Kalan is around. During the last winter season Chillai Kalan was at its best as people were left to shiver in the freezing temperatures with no respite,” said Mohammad Ibrahim, a resident of Barzulla.
There is a general feeling in the Valley that Chillai Kalan is accompanied by heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. Chillai Kalan creates a phobia among the Valley residents so much so that they heave a sigh of relief once Chillai Kalan leaves the scene.
“There is no doubt that Chillai Kalan is the harshest part of the winter season. But at the same time it comes with so many utilities for the people of Kashmir. The snowfall during this phase gets accumulated in the higher reaches and glaciers. This serves as a bank for the summer season ahead and we can have better facilities for drinking water as well as irrigation,” said Abdul Khaliq, a resident of Qamarwari.
Snowfall during the Chillai Kalan especially on Christmas and New Year eve attracts people to Kashmir. Groups of tourists’ mostly domestic tourists visit tourist spots during the Chillai Kalan and enjoy their stay by playing with snow and enjoying the Gondola ride. Some of the tourists visit the other places of tourist attraction in Kashmir.
Unprecedented freezing temperatures during day and night were witnessed in Kashmir valley during the Chillai Kalan period in the last winter as taps got frozen and people were devoid of clean drinking water. The snowfall on January 14 and 15 paralyzed the normal life in Kashmir valley as all the communication facilities were snapped.
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