New Delhi: Cold wave gripped large parts of North India on Thursday claiming nine more lives as dense fog disrupted road and rail traffic at several places.

Nine more people died in cold-related incidents in Uttar Pradesh taking the state-wide toll to 20 as temperatures fell appreciably in Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Lucknow.

Three people died each in Azamgarh and Pratapgarh, two in Ballia and one in Balrampur as thick fog hit road and rail traffic at many places in the state.

Agra with a minimum of 2.5 degrees Celsius was the coldest place in the state, the Met office said.

Cold wave tightened its grip in Punjab and Haryana with mercury dipping up to five degrees Celisius below normal at many places.

Ambala turned out to be the coldest place in the region with the minimum temperature settling at 2.3 deg C, down by five notches.

Hisar and Karnal in Haryana had lows of 2.6 deg C and 4 deg C respectively, witnessing a fall of four degrees each.

In Punjab, Amritsar settled at 2.4 deg C, two notches below normal. Ludhiana and Patiala had lows of 4.1 deg C and 5.2 deg C respectively.

In Rajasthan, mercury dipped further at many places with Churu recording a minimum of one degree Celsius.

Sriganganagar recorded a low of 2.7 degrees Celsius, Pilani 3.2, Vanasthali 4.8 and state capital Jaipur 6.8, the Met office said.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the cold intensified with the minimum temperature in capital Srinagar plunging to minus 4.3 degrees Celsius.

The drop in night temperature resulted in freezing of water supply lines in many areas in the summer capital.

Gulmarg hill resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 8.2 deg C while Pahalgam shivered at minus 6.6 deg C.

In the remote Leh district in Ladakh region, mercury plummeted to a low of minus 14 deg C.

A moderate cold wave is sweeping north and western districts of West Bengal with Kolkata feeling the pinch as mercury slid to 12.2 degrees Celsius, the lowest this season.