Undeterred by the intense cold wave sweeping through the valley, scores of adventure sport lovers and new year enthusiasts have been rushing to Kashmir as minimum temperatures across Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh remained below the freezing point on Friday.
Among these New Year enthusiasts are also honeymoon couples who are thronging the famous ski resort of Gulmarg as the minimum temperature dipped to minus 5.6 degrees Celsius.
Hotels, huts and other accommodations are all sold out at the ski resort as authorities are engaged in ensuring comfort for the arriving tourists.
The weather office has not forecast any significant snowfall till the end of December, but the ski resort is already covered with a thick blanket of snow.
In Pahalgam hill station also tourist arrivals have enlivened the otherwise sleepy meadow.
Minimum temperature in Pahalgam was minus 5.9 on the day, while Srinagar recorded a minus 4.3.
Leh town of Ladakh was at minus 12.6, Kargil minus 16.4 and Drass minus 25.3 as the night’s lowest temperatures.
The 40-day long harsh winter period of ‘Chillai Kalan’ is passing through the valley and Ladakh. Locals actually look forward to a good snowfall during this period that replenishes the water reservoirs up in the mountains to ensure steady flow in rivers, streams, springs and lakes during the summer months.
Jammu city recorded 6.3, Katra 6.2, Batote 1.7, Bannihal minus 0.2 and Bhaderwah minus 0.8 as the day’s minimum temperatures.