ON THE ROOFTOP – Dharamshala Cricket Stadium

This is one stadium where more than the cricket match people go to see the stadium. Yes, we are talking about the most colourful and picturesque stadium of our country – The famous Dharamshala cricketstadium. A stadium whic*h has become a tourist attraction where people enjoy the scenic beauty around even without a match being played in the stadium….

WORDS: SANGEETA S

DHARAMSHALA, a city in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, is not only popular for its picturesque surroundings and the presence of Dalai Lama, it is also known for its cricket stadium. Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCA) is a picturesque cricket stadium located in the city known to be a perfect getaway to the mountains and serves as a trekkers’ paradise. Surrounded by huge mountain ranges and endless views all around, it is one of the most beautiful grounds in India. Dharamshala is also famous for its Tibetan culture,

handicrafts and temples. The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamsala, is widely regarded as the most picturesque cricket stadium in the world. Especially when the beautiful Dhauladhar mountain peaks are blanketed in snow, the view gets most stunning and can leave the viewers absolutely happy. The stadium built as per the standards of remarkable stadiums like the Lords in England and Newlands in South Africa, stands as a competition to internationally acknowledged cricket stadiums in the world.

The stadium adds glory to Dharamshala.
Cricket lovers love to visit this stadium, but even for non-cricket lovers it is a place worth visiting. Surrounded by mountains the place is more than a cricket stadium. Established in 2003 with a capacity of 23000 and situated at an altitude of 1,457 m above the sea level, the stadium looks heavenly with snow-capped Himalayan Mountains in the background. Through most of the seats you have a great view of the pitch and of the Himalayas in the background.

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The openness and small-sized stands, allows for winds to sweep across, giving fast bowlers assistance in the air.

The venue is the first in India to use winter rye grass scattered around the outfield, which prevents the grass from dying when temperatures fall below 10 degrees. The use of rye grass helps in the maintenance of the stadium. The stadium was also in news when the Cricket Stadium was chosen as Center of Excellence by Asian Cricket Council

(ACC) in December 2015. People who have visited this place find it heavenly. Such type of view from a cricket stadium is unique and it has to be seen to experience the divine beauty around the place; sit on the stands to get a feel of the fascinating atmosphere there. The stadium is visited by thousands of cricket fans from all over India. You can even click pictures there, snacks are available and the stadium is open to the public at all times.

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The stadium served as the home ground for the Himachal Pradesh cricket team for Ranji Trophy matches and other domestic matches. The stadium also hosted some IPL matches. Pakistan was the first international team to play here in 2005 when they played a warm-up match against India. The first One Day International (ODI) at this stadium was played between India and England in 2013 and the first Test at this stadium was played between India and Australia in 2017.

Since the ground is located at a high altitude, the ball travels faster. The pitch here usually offers a lot of runs. In addition, the dew becomes a major factor in the evening if you’re playing during the September-March period. That’s the reason why teams prefer to chase at this venue.
The best time to visit this stadium is during the winter season from December to February as you can view the snow-clad Dhauladhar peaks. Dharamshala cricket stadium gives one more reason for you to visit this beautiful city. So pack your bags and get ready to visit this beautiful stadium and the beautiful place called Dharamshala.

HOW TO REACH DHARAMSHALA
The nearest airport is at Gaggal, about 13 kilometres away from Dharamshala.
Dharamshala is well-connected to Delhi and other parts of North India via a network of state operated buses as well as private tour operators. The journey is almost 520 kilometres from Delhi.
An overnight train journey is a good option to reach Dharamshala. The nearest major railway station is at Pathankot, 85 kilometres away.
You can take a taxi or bus from Pathankot to reach Dharamshala. There are taxis available at the Gaggal airport as well as the Pathankot railway station for Dharamshala.

PLACES TO VISIT IN DHARAMSHALA APART FROM HPCA STADIUM
» Dalai Lama Temple Complex
» Bhagsu Nag Temple
» Kangra Valley
» Norbulingka Institute
» Tibet Museum
» St. John in the Wilderness Church
» War Memorial
» Gyuto Monastery
» Dal lake and Nadi
» Tea Gardens
» Jwalamukhi Devi Temple
» Triund
» Kangra Art Museum