SRINAGAR — The end of the 40-day Chilai Kalaan marked the onset of the 20-day Chillai Khurd in Kashmir, bringing a wet entry with widespread snowfall that covered Srinagar and various other regions, providing much-needed relief to the valley.
Snow Blankets Region
Snowfall was observed in Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam, and other central and south Kashmir areas. The snowflakes not only ended the two-month-long dry spell but also brought smiles to the faces of Srinagarites who eagerly awaited the natural white cover.
According to a local news agency, several places experienced significant snowfall in the initial two days of Chillai Khurd. Sadhna Top received over 4 ft of snowfall, Gurez received 3 ft, and other areas recorded varying amounts, creating picturesque landscapes.
The change in weather patterns led to the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway due to landslides in Ramban district, stranding over 200 vehicles. Sherbibi area witnessed landslides, closing the highway, the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country.
Officials reported damage near Sherbibi on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, with restoration work underway. The closure affected the stranded vehicles, prompting traffic police to initiate measures for assistance.
Director of the Meteorological Department, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, stated that generally dry weather with the possibility of very light snow is expected at isolated higher reaches. The forecast predicts light to moderate snow and rain across Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday and Sunday. However, the weather is expected to turn dry from February 5 to 12.
The local Meteorological department issued an advisory, urging travellers to plan accordingly due to intermittent moderate to heavy snow leading to temporary road closures in higher reaches and important passes. They advised following administration and traffic police advisories for a safe journey.
Closure of Jammu-Srinagar Highway
Over 200 vehicles remain stranded on different points of the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar highway, highlighting the challenges posed by the weather conditions. The closure emphasizes the need for caution and preparedness among travellers during this winter season in Kashmir.