Srinagar 20 Dec: Chilai- Kalan, the harshest period of winter in Kashmir valley begins from today mid- night. Chilai -kalan is the 40 day period harsh winters beginning from the December of the 21 and ends on the ending January. During the chilai-kalan climate of the valley usually remain cold with the minimum temperature remaining below the freezing point and the chances of the snowfall are maximum during this period
With the sub-zero temperature Kashmiris usually turn towards the traditional methods of warming using the pheran and the kangris to protect themselves from the severe cold. The onset of the chilai-kalan effects the daily life of the residents with different challenges as the roads usually remains closed to most of parts of the valley especially the jammu –Srinagar highway is frequently closed, and even the air flights become no operative due to harsh climate resulting in the severe shortage of the eatables and people shift towards the Dried vegetables which are stored usually in the summer months
The freezing of the taps and water pipelines results in disrupted water supply in the valley besides the frequent power cuts adding to the discomfort of the people.
Ghulam Mohidin Mir, a farmer from Ganderbal talking to KNB said “Chilai- kalan has the effect on the production of the agriculture as the snowfall during the winters replenishes the glaciers on the mountains and enhance the water availability in the coming summer.”
During the chilai-kalan period the residents of the Kashmir valley prefer to do the handicraft works like shawl embroidery, wood carving, paper machie…. To earn their livelihood as most of the outdoor works stop with the onset of the chilai-kalan.
‘’The tourists will start to come the valley with the onset of the chilai –kalan as most of the visitors have wishes to witness the snowfall, during the last few year the valley is seeing the decrease in snowfall , hope that this chilai –kalan will receive the fair snowfall and increase in the influx of the tourists ‘’ a Cab driver said.
The 40 days of the chilai-kalan is followed by the 20 days of the Chillai-khurd which simply means small cold and 10 days of the chille –bachee (bay cold ). (KNB)