Weather :

Timings : 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : Less than 1 hour

Entry Fee : No entry fee (fee applicable during matches)

Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, Dharamshala Overview

Nestled in the lap of the majestic Himalayan mountain range lies the quaint little Dharamshala Cricket Stadium. Located at the height of 1,457 meters above sea level, it is one of the highest sports grounds in the world. Visiting a cricket stadium while in Dharamshala may sound like a strange thing to add to one’s itinerary, but the magnificent natural backdrop and the cool winds constantly drifting across the grounds is what makes a trip to HPCA Stadium (as it is also known) worth it. Indigo skies, an eternal stream of the fresh mountain breeze, and the vast expanse of lush green field offer a sensory experience like no other. With a view comparable to the Adelaide Oval or Newlands, this stadium competes with the best in terms of its magnificence.

Operated under the auspices of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, the Cricket Stadium of Dharamshala situated amidst the Dhauladhar mountain range in Kangra valley often serves as the practice ground for the Indian Cricket Team, Himachal Pradesh state-level cricket team, as well as Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kings XI Punjab. It has several modern-day amenities for hosting national and international level cricket matches, with the capacity to seat a crowd of approximately 23,000. The atmosphere is fused with a serene Tibetan aura, as seen in the architectural style of the main stand. This would be an expected scenario, considering the stadium has been set up in Dharamshala, the Indian home of Dalai Lama.

Perhaps the best part of attending a match at the majestic Dharamshala Cricket Stadium would be that there is no fence in front of the seating area, providing an unobstructed view of the match. The administration is polite, and the area is quite well-maintained, which makes for a pleasant, hassle-free visit. A constant internal battle is what will tear you apart – shall I look at the mountains or the match? If you are simply visiting the attraction as part of an extended tour, you are in luck! The stadium is open for tourists even when no matches are scheduled, so do make sure to stop by and soak in the beauty.

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Who Should Visit Dharamshala Cricket Stadium?

Although it may seem like an attraction only for cricket fanatics, the Cricket Stadium in Dharamshala is a charming place to spend an afternoon. The majesty of the surrounding mountains and a gentle breeze constantly blowing across the grounds makes it a pleasurable outing for one and all. The crowd is relatively small at this stadium, so going to visit during a match has its advantages.

Facilities at Dharamshala Cricket Stadium

Nowadays, more commonly known as the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, the ground was established with bold ambitions of encouraging the sport in the northern state. Several state-of-the-art facilities were integrated into the stadium, including distinct indoor and outdoor practice areas, large dressing rooms, latest irrigation facilities, a well-equipped gym, press gallery, TV and Radio Commentator Boxes, clubhouse, recreational centre and post-match conference hall. The total cost of the project was approximately INR 60 crores.

The small-sized stands at the stadium are best suited to host a select crowd, with people pouring in from all over the country to enjoy not just the cricket match, but the peaceful city of Dharamshala. The cricket players themselves often venture out into the vicinity, exploring the rich culture and splendour of the environment. The lovely location is the reason why an International Cricket Council (ICC) commentator once remarked that playing at Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is akin to "playing cricket in heaven".

Architecture of Dharamshala Cricket Stadium

Constructed in Tibetan style, the vivid architecture of this cricket stadium is reflective of the history and culture of Dharamshala. Vibrant colours that contrast sharply with the stark cloudy background add a unique aesthetic quality to the stadium. All in all, the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is a symbol of how sports, culture and natural beauty can define a country.

History of Dharamshala Cricket Stadium

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has been associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for 17 years. When Mr Anurag Singh Thakur was elected as the fourth President of HPCA on 2nd July 2000, he was confronted with a lacklustre scenario - a severe lack of infrastructure and exposure, which was proving to be a setback for the promotion of cricket in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The only stadium in the state at that time was the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Una, established in 1995.

Therefore, after being affiliated to BCCI for nearly two decades, Mr Thakur took the initiative to build a magnificent cricket ground in the lap of nature at Dharamshala. The city is already well-known as a trekkers' paradise and home to His Holiness Dalai Lama, who spent the better part of his exile in this Himalayan range. Spread over an area of 16 acres, the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium was established in 2003 with many ultra-modern facilities.

It is the first cricket ground in India to be covered in ryegrass, necessary for maintaining the ground during harsh winters when temperatures fall to sub-zero levels blanketing the area with snow. Due to its extreme weather, it is difficult to schedule regular matches at this stadium. This is why even though the stadium was established in 2003, the first One day International (ODI) between India and England was hosted here only in January 2013, in spite of continuous snowfall in the weeks preceding the match. Till date, the Dharamshala cricket ground has hosted 1 Test Match, and 8 ODIs. The constant winds often provide assistance to the bowlers during a match.

Tips for Visiting Dharamshala Cricket Stadium

1. Since this stadium lies at a very high altitude, the low-pressure conditions may aggravate health problems for some and care must be taken against the same.
2. Plan to visit well before 5:00 PM to ensure sufficient time for enjoying the beauty of the stadium

How To Reach Dharamshala Cricket Stadium

The Cricket Stadium in Dharamshala is located about 11 km northeast of Kangra Airport in Gaggal. Taxis are easily available to commute within the city and are the most convenient way to travel in the hilly terrain.

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