"The minimum temperature dropped below the freezing point in Sonamarg and Pahalgam tourist resorts in the valley while Leh and Kargil towns also recorded below freezing point temperatures," Sonam Lotus, director of the local meteorological office, said.

"The minimum was minus 2.0 degrees in Gulmarg on Monday. It was minus 3.6 in Pahalgam, minus 7.6 in Leh and minus 4.6 in Kargil towns. Jammu city recorded a minimum temperature of 11.5 degrees during the night, "Lotus said.

"The early snowfall in the mountains this season has been caused due to unprecedented rainfall witnessed by the valley during autumn. Snowfall in the higher reaches has also caused temperatures to drop in the plains,"  Lotus added.

"We are expecting the weather to remain dry for another five to six days, but during this period due to clear night skies, there would be marginal drop in the minimum temperatures in the valley," the official said.

Locals wearing woollens, including the traditional tweed over-garment called the 'pheran', are a common sight in cities, towns and villages in the valley these days.

Also, earthen fire-pots woven in willow wicker baskets called the 'kngris' are also in great demand.

Lit with charcoal and dry Chinar leaves, dried cow dung or firewood, Kashmiris keep the kangri inside the pheran to keep body warm during the harsh winter months.

Because of its history, availability, and dependence on it, the Kangri has been dubbed the one-man central heating arrangement for the poor in Kashmir.

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