Twitter turns white as people share images of snow in Kashmir

Winter Postcard from Kashmir! This is Aparwhat Peak looming large on Gulmarg valley, Kashmir. Image by Rajarshi Mitra via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Winter Postcard from Kashmir. This is Aparwhat Peak looming large on Gulmarg valley, Kashmir. Image by Rajarshi Mitra via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Snow-clad mountains, scenic valleys, houses draped in white and silent puffs of falling flurries from the pale grey sky—these are glimpses of winter in northwest India's Kashmir region, as the valley experiences the 40-day winter period known as Chillai Kalan (major cold), which began on December 21.

Heavy snowfall started in early January throughout most of Kashmir, resulting in the cancellation of dozens of flights. Temperatures in many parts of Kashmir were either at or below freezing point, with certain locations recording up to minus four degrees Celsius (24.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Though Chillai Kalan can be harsh, many Twitter users have also been appreciating and sharing photographs and videos of its beauty.

Activist Abdul Hameed Lone posted an image of heavy snowfall:

Twitter user Mir Kamran shared:

Researcher Arhan Bagati, meanwhile, noted that winter in Kashmir attracts a lot of tourists:

Journalist Ieshan Wani shared a video that captured the peacefulness of winter mornings:

Photojournalist Umar Ganie, meanwhile, shared footage of Kashmir at night:

Not everyone, however, was pleased with the amount of snow. Journalist Majid Hyderi (Jimmy) complained that the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) didn't clear the snow as expected:

In fact, Shehryar Khanum made the point that romanticising snow is a privilege:

Winter brings many challenges to local residents, as in this instance—shared by Kashmiri journalist Irfan Amin Malik—when people carried a pregnant woman on snow-covered roads:

Journalist Tabeenah Anjum also spared a thought for the region's birds, which have been having a difficult time collecting food during the heavy snowfall:

Nevertheless, Kashmiri student Falak Qureshi looked on the bright side:

Akhtar Ahmed also chose to show how people are enjoying the snow in Kashmir:

On January 7, the weather department sounded fresh alerts for heavy rain and snowfall, as well as possible avalanches and landslides, warning people to expect flight disruptions as a result. A landslide triggered by heavy rains has already blocked the Jammu-Srinagar highway, leaving a few thousand vehicles stranded.

According to the authorities, there is still an adequate supply of essential commodities for residents in far-off snowbound areas in the Kashmir valley, as people were given a four-month advance of food supplies. In these areas, people adhere to old customs during the winter to survive—including stocking up on sun-dried vegetables and fish.

Mohsin Hussain War explained:

Twenty days of Chillai Khurd (small cold) typically follow the 40 days of Chillai Kalan. Winter in Kashmir will officially end after the expected ten days of Chillai Bachha (baby cold), which comes on the heels of Chillai Khurd.

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