Kashmir gets season’s first snowfall, early winter chill

Friday, October 22, 2010

SRINAGAR - The Kashmir Valley received the season’s first snowfall in the tourist resort of Pahalgam Friday. As the minimum temperature in Srinagar dropped all of a sudden, the early winter chill took people by surprise and caused many to scamper for the warmth of the all-enveloping phiran.

“The first snowfall of the season was witnessed Friday morning by Pahalgam, Kokernag, Qazigund and Pir Panchal mountains. The minimum temperature, which had remained around 10 degrees Celsius during the last week, fell to 3.6 degrees Celsius in Srinagar city in the morning,” said an official of the weather department here.

Even though it is still autumn in the valley, the early winter chill caused people to start wearing their phirans, the tweed overcoat like calf-length garment that is their best bet against the cold.

“There is no substitute for a nice phiran and a kangri (earthen firepot woven in willow wicker) in winter,” said Bashir Ahmad War, a senior veterinarian here.

“Despite affluence and many well-to-do families now shifting to central heating to keep their homes warm during winter, for common Kashmiris like me, the kangri and phiran continue to hold the same promise they did when I was young and walked miles daily to reach school,” Bashir said.

He has already got new phirans for himself and the family.

Schoolchildren taking their annual exams here these days wore jerseys and coats to keep themselves warm inside exam halls where no heating arrangements have been made as the mid-October chill took most locals by surprise.

Filed under: Environment

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