chillai kalan

Kashmir lying in the northern part of india is a valley that can only be described as heaven on earth. A tourist destination, Kashmir has also  been extensively captured by indian film industry as well.

Chillai kalan, a persian word that means intense cold, is what kashmiris call their winters.
Frozen lake in Srinagar Kashmir during Chillai Kalan
The period of Chillai Kalan remains for 40 days i.e. 21st December – 29th January.
People prefer to stay in the warmth of their homes. The affluent kashmiris also have facilities of Hammam – a hollow floor that has firewood burning below it The burning firewood keeps the entire room warm.
Kashmiris also adore Kangri. It’s a wooden bracket that has an earthen pot placed inside. Lit coals are kept in the pot that provide warmth.
Kashmiris also use Bukhari during the winters. It’s a metallic cylindrical container that can be used to burn wood. There is a upward tube attached to it that takes the exhaust out.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Water in the pipelines starts freezing resulting in pipelines bursting.
A boat making it’s way through the frozen Dal lake.
During Chillai Kalan, there are increased cases of heart strokes. Life comes to a halt with such harsh climatic conditions.
People are desperate to get a respite from such harsh conditions. A local weatherman, Mr. Sonam Lotus, is the most sought after person during this time of the year. Director of meteorological department Jammu & Kashmir, he is also known as Saint Lotus as his predictions are quite accurate. Image Courtesy: Reach Ladakh Bulletin
The period of Chillai Kalan is followed by 20 days of Chillai Khurd(small cold). This is from 30th January to 18th February.
After a hiatus of 40 days, things change a little and life starts moving… the temperatures show a slight increase encouraging people to step out.
Chillian Khurd is followed by Chillian Bachcha(baby cold). This period goes on for 10 days from 19th Febraury until 28th Febraury.
Sunlight brightens the green to make the landscape appealing !
With the lakes defrosting, boats start plying…
One can see people peeping out of their windows…
And as the valley gets comfortable after a severe cold season…
It welcomes the tourists to visit the heaven on earth  🙂

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