Jammu and Kashmir, India's northern most state, is covered with a white blanket of snow after receiving fresh snowfall on Friday. Kashmir received this season's first heavy snowfall bringing life to a standstill in the valley.

The Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for the third consecutive day due to landslides at various places. There was heavy rain and snowfall, which covered the Jawahar Tunnel that connects Jammu with the Kashmir valley.

Chief Engineer Beacon T P S Rawat told Prasar Bharti that "the Border Roads Organisation is working round the clock to restore traffic on the highway."

Authorities have also dispatched police teams in the avalanche prone Waltingo Nar area of south Kashmir Kulgam district to rescue villagers.

"We have dispatched a team of 30 policemen to rescue 60 villagers from Waltingo Nar area which is avalanche prone," a senior police officer said, according to IANS.

Aamir Ali, head of Kashmir disaster management, has said that the department has issued a "high danger" avalanche warning for the higher reaches of Naugam, Kaiyan and Gurez sector for Saturday and "medium danger" warnings for higher reaches of Chowkibal, Tangdhar, Keran, Machil, Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Uri.

Disaster management officials have also asked people staying in the snow bound areas to not venture into places that are avalanche prone.

The 40-day period, from December 21 to January 31, is the harshest period of winter in the Himalayan region. This period is called "Chillai Kalan" when the temperature falls considerably and the chances of receiving snowfall are also maximum and frequent.

Check out the photos of Kashmir covered in a white blanket:

Snowfall in Kashmir
A Kashmiri man catches fish in the waters of Dal Lake on a cold winter morning in Srinagar
Snowfall in Kashmir
A man rows his boat on the frozen interiors of the Dal Lake on a cold winter morning in Srinagar January 8, 2013.