An Oasis of Serenity amidst the Mighty Himalayas
Dharamsala, a quaint hill station cradled in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, is renowned not only for its spiritual ambiance but also for its stunning natural beauty. Amidst this picturesque landscape lies a cricketing gem that has become synonymous with tranquility and cricketing excellence – the HPCA Cricket Stadium in Dharamsala ( Himachal) North India.
Nestled at an altitude of 1,457 meters above sea level, the HPCA Cricket Stadium is a unique sporting arena that offers an unparalleled experience. Set against the backdrop of the snow-capped Dhauladhar Range, the stadium provides a breathtaking panorama that leaves spectators in awe. The majestic mountains, clad in snow, serve as a majestic amphitheater for the cricketing battles that unfold on the field.
This stadium was taking shape in 2003 when then state government transferred this land to the cricket association of the state, this stadium is a testimony to architectural brilliance that seamlessly blends with the natural grandeur surrounding it. The structure is designed in such a way that it complements the landscape rather than dominating it. The pavilion and the Media centre created facing each other, with their sloping roofs, echo the traditional architectural style of the region.
One of the unique features of this Stadium is its high altitude practice facilities which makes it an ideal training ground for cricketers preparing for international matches in almost similar high-altitude locations or cold weather surroundings.
The stadium has become a busy international cricket stadium in India, hosting numerous domestic matches too. It gained international recognition when it became the home ground for the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The crisp mountain air and the lush green outfield provide a refreshing change for players and fans alike.
The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association has worked tirelessly to ensure that the facilities at Dharamsala are world-class. The stadium boasts state-of-the-art dressing rooms, media facilities, and a clubhouse. The seating arrangements are designed to offer a clear view of the ground and the stunning mountainous backdrop.
For cricket enthusiasts making a pilgrimage to this unique stadium, the experience goes beyond the game. It is about breathing in the crisp mountain air, absorbing the serenity, and being part of an environment where the love for cricket and nature converges.
The international Cricket Stadium in Dharamsala stands not just as a venue for sporting contests but as a symbol of harmonious coexistence between sport and nature. As the sun rises up the grand Himalayas, casting its golden glow on the field, one can’t help but appreciate the poetic beauty of this cricketing haven. It’s more than just a stadium; it’s a celebration of the sublime marriage between the spirit of cricket and the majesty of the mountains.
The stadium successfully organized 5 world cut ODI matches a few months back and now awaiting a Test match between India and England in March .
Here is the brief history of International matches in Dharamsala
- First Test 25–29 March 2017: India v Australia
- Second Test 07-11 March 2024: India vs England, 5th Test (awaiting)
- First ODI 27 January 2013: India v England
- Last ODI 28 October 2023: New Zealand v Australia
- First T20I 02 October 2015: India v South Africa
- Last T20I 27 February 2022: India v Sri Lanka
- First WT20I 22 March 2016: India v England
- Last WT20I 24 March 2016: West Indies v England
- First Wc ODI 07 October 2023 Bangladesh vs Afghanistan
- Last Wc ODI 28 October 2023: New Zealand v Australia
Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience.
He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI.
In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.