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Snowfall in Kashmir brings back smiles

Last updated on: January 4, 2010 11:15 IST

Image: Tourists enjoy the season's second snowfall
Photographs: Umar Ganie Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

The two-month-long dry spell in Jammu and Kashmir came to an end on Sunday after most parts of the Valley experienced the season's second snowfall.

Though the snowfall was mild in capital Srinagar, towns in south Kashmir received good snowfall since early Sunday morning.

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Snowfall in Kashmir brings back smiles

Image: A cable car trip in Gulmarg

Jawahar tunnel, connecting Kashmir Valley with the Jammu region, received heavy snow forcing the authorities to suspend vehicular traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

Domestic tourists, who arrived in the Valley in thousands on the New Year's Eve, were overjoyed at seeing the swirling snowflakes fall.

Snowfall in Kashmir brings back smiles

Image: A couple hurls snow balls on each other

"I was here for ten days and was dying to see the snow fall. Today, finally, God has heard my voice and fulfilled my request. I am seeing snow fall for the first time," said Shahid Gul, a tourist from Mumbai.

Gulmarg, the famous north Kashmir tourist resort, also experienced good snowfall, bringing cheer to the visiting tourists and providing better conditions for winter sports activities.


Snowfall in Kashmir brings back smiles

Image: A snow rugby game in progress

Gulmarg is known for its ski slopes, which attracts expert skiers and amateurs during the peak winter season. A three-day snow carnival was held in the resort last week, which attracted winter sports lovers.

The event also saw introduction of a new sport -- snow baseball -- into the spectrum of event, which includes skiing, snow cycling, snow rugby, ice skating, alpine skiing and cross-country skiing.

Snowfall in Kashmir brings back smiles

Image: A skier takes a hike

The locals, looking to escape the preceding dry spell and severe cold conditions, welcomed Sunday's snowfall.

Night temperatures touched a low of minus 4.6 degree Celsius.


Snowfall in Kashmir brings back smiles

Image: A houseboat operator on the lookout for tourists

Shabir Ahmad, a local resident, said that the snowfall would lead to decrease in the cases of diseases caused due to dry winters.

"Thank God, there was a snowfall after a long time in our Kashmir Valley and as you know due to the dry weather there were a lot of diseases spreading here and due to this snowfall, the number of cases will also drop," he said.

Snowfall in Kashmir brings back smiles

Image: Sliding through the snow

Locals are also hopeful that the snowfall will increase the winter tourism in the state.