Winter chill engulfed North India after fresh snowfall if parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
Trikuta hills housing the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Jammu today received the season’s first snowfall even as pilgrims continued their journey to pay obeisance.
Trikuta hills and nearby areas received few inches of seasons’ first snow, shrine board officials said.
Despite snowfall, over 14,000 pilgrims are on their way to the cave shrine to pay their obeisance, they said. Braving the chill, the pilgrims were seen shouting hymns and moving towards the Bhawan from Katra, the base camp of the shrine, they said.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region continued to be gripped by a cold wave.
MET Director Sonam Lotus predicted that weather said that a feeble western disturbance could trigger the light to moderate rains at many places in the plains and snowfall on the higher reaches of Jammu region and at a few places of the Valley till Wednesday.
"The weather will start improving thereafter," Lotus said.
The day temperatures were likely to hover around 12 degrees Celsius in the Valley while nights would remain several notches below the freezing point till Thursday.
The night's lowest temperature in Srinagar was minus 3.7 Celsius while in Pahalgam it was minus 5 and minus 5.2 degrees Celsius in Gulmarg.
At minus 19.2 degrees, Kargil was the coldest town in the state followed by Leh at minus 14.
Jammu city recorded 7.2, Katra 6.7, Batote 2.7, Banihal minus 1.5 and Udhampur was at 1 degree Celsius.
In Himachal Pradesh, hill station Shimla and surrounding areas like Narkanda and Kufri recieved fresh snowfall.
Several parts of Punjab and Haryana today received light rains. Ludhiana, Hisar, Patiala, Mohali, Bhiwani, Faridkot, Amritsar, Jind and Ambala were among the places that received rains.
Rains at this stage could be beneficial for wheat crop, experts said.
Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, braved cold weather at 8.5 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal, said an official of the MeT department.
Among other places in Punjab, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala experienced cold weather at 6.7, 6.4 and 9.6 degrees Celsius respectively, upto four degrees above normal. Minimum temperatures of Bathinda and Faridkot were recorded at 4.8 and 8.5 degrees Celsius.
In Haryana, Ambala’ s minimum settled at 10.2 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal while Hisar, Karnal and Narnaul recorded their lows at 11.3, 8.5 and 8 degrees Celsius respectively.
Minimum temperatures in Rohtak and Bhiwani settled at 11.6 and 11.4 degrees Celsius.
(With inputs from PTI