Chillai Kalan offers complex experience for Kashmir

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Chillai Kalan offers complex experience for Kashmir

Heaven Mail Global Bureau

Chillai Kalan has arrived with a chilly note. This striking feature of winter is synonym of harsh cold, snow, short days and long nights in Kashmir. This has defined ethos of Kashmir since centuries.
As a matter of fact, Celebrating Chillai Kalan with sumptuous and world famous Harisa is a quintessential part of Kashmiri tradition.
The first day of ‘Chillai kalan’ on 21 December rightly from few years is being celebrated as ‘World Pheran Day’.

Chillai Kalan or Chillia Kalan (Kashmiri pronunciation: [t͡ʃilaj kalaːn] , Translation : forty days of intense cold). Itis the local name given to 40 day period of harsh winter in Kashmir. It is the coldest part of winter, starting from 21 December to January 29 every year. Chillai-Kalan is followed by 20-day long Chillai Khurd (Kashmiri pronunciation: [t͡ʃilaj kʰɔrɨd] , Translation : small cold) that occurs between January 30 and February 18 and a 10-days long Chillai Bachha (Kashmiri pronunciation: [t͡ʃilɨ bat͡ʃi] , Translation : baby cold) which is from February 19 to February 28.
Chillai Kalan affects the daily life of Kashmiris. Use of Pheran (Kashmiri dress) and a traditional firing pot called Kanger increases. Due to subzero temperatures, tap water pipelines freeze partially during this period and the Dal Lake also freezes. Tourist resorts like Sonamarg and Gulmarg receive heavy snow .
The meteorological (MeT) department said the Chillai Kalan will start on a dry note. “The weather is mainly clear to partly cloudy. Dry weather is expected till December 25 evening,” MeT said in an update.

Residents have reported that the water layers of Dal Lake had frozen in certain areas during the night owing to temperature dropping to minus 3.4 degrees Celsius in Srinagar.

The residents living in Dal Lake have observed that interiors of the lake froze and we expect the lake to freeze fully in the coming days as the cold is getting harsher by every day.
Today as Chillai Kalan arrived the valley of Kashmir experienced its coldest night of the season. Dal Lake’s shores became ice-cold. Srinagar recorded the coldest temperature of the season, minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, but Drass remained the coldest in the country, with a temperature of minus 19.8 degrees Celsius. Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day hard winter period, began with the valley’s minimum temperature plunging to the season’s lowest in Kashmir and Ladakh Valley, with Srinagar recording a year’s low of minus 4.2°C. “The minimum temperature in Srinagar mercury was 2.7°C below average and temperatures settled at minus 4.2°C, which is the lowest of the season,” according to the meteorological bureau.
Chillai Kalan 40 days give the Kashmir valley often unique looks in forms of beautiful snow-covered mountains, plains, and white-outlined trees, like those of Chinar, look beautiful and the area emanates an entirely new majestic aura that is sound substitute of the beauty of the colourful gardens. There are no words that can completely describe the beauty of sitting by a fire and taking in a glimpse of a countryside covered with snow in the chill of the Kashmir Chillai Kalan.
From few years rightly so the World Pehran Day is being celebrated in Kashmir on the eve of arrival of Chillai Kalan.
Last year, the Popular Bollywood actor of Kashmiri origin Anupam Kher had joined the ‘World Pheran Day’ celebrations by posting his picture in the traditional attire.

It was awesome to note, ‘World Pheran Day’ was celebrated on December 21 to welcome ‘Chillai Kalaan’ Kashmir’s harshest 40 day winter period.

Ever since, Kashmiris living across the globe have been seen posting their pictures in pheran.

Kher posted his photograph in the form of a short video on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram handles. He can also be seen holding a ‘kangri’ – a traditional Kashmiri fire pot used by the people to keep themselves warm in the winters.
The Need of the hour is that during entire period of Chillai Kalan we ensure round the clock power supply. The harsh cold weather makes it difficult for elderly and children people to go out, thus round the clock electricity supply is must . From warming to bathing, studying for students the electricity is much needed during the Chillai Kalan. Some areas facing long power cuts is a matter of concern and should be looked .
One needs to look that problem of frozen taps should not hit Kashmir during Chillai Kalan. In many areas the Water supply lines and storage tanks have often completely frozen due to sub-zero temperatures. One hopes creative solutions would be found this year if the problem hits again. Laste year too ,
people were seen using different methods to melt the freeze in taps and pipelines.
Over the years, many villages of North and South Kashmir, the frozen taps and overground water pipes have forced residents to travel huge distance to fetch drinking water.
The hope on ground zero is that the Government takes multiple steps to make Chillai Kalan a pleasurable experience for the people of Kashmir.

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