*Supplementary Payment:Should the official tour schedule change, we may be subject to cancellation fees and higher pricing by our suppliers, which we may not be able to absorb. If so, we must pass this cost on to you. If the schedule changes, cancellation fees still apply. We hate to impose the above, but this is India, sorry.
From the day Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, Dharamsala, hosted its first T20 International match on October 2, 2015, it has been the wont of many to see a game at this beautiful stadium in the Dhauladhar Ranges. As exciting as IPL cricket is, a test match is top of the list with up to 5-days spent looking at the snowcapped wonder backdropping our great game.
Our Australian Cricket Tour To India 2017 had the fortune of seeing Dharamsala's first Test Match. Ever since, more people have contacted us wanting to see a Test Match in Dharamsala, more than seeing one at Kolkata's Eden Gardens, a venue Australia has not played Test Cricket at since 2001.
Preparing Dharamsala is the most difficult in India with limited hotels and limited flights (ex-New Delhi) to this remote northern state. Indian Railways do not even service this cool mountain retreat; the nearest station 85km. Thus, being on the ball to enjoy Test Cricket in this much-desired venue is imperative.
When we say limited hotels, we mean near the venue. Dozens of guesthouses, small hotels, and B&B's are scattered up the hill between Dharamsala and McCleod Ganj 8km north. 4-star and 5-star hotels are buried in remote forests even further away, from which can take up to 45mins to drive to the game. This is why we have opted for four 3-star hotels in Dharamsala, allowing you to walk to/from the game.
If you want to join us in Dharamsala we are flying from New Delhi on Feb 27, two days before the Test, if you wanted to book the same flights. There are only 3 flights per day to Dharamsala the latest leaving at 1215pm.
If you are flying into India to start your time in Dharamsala you may need one extra night at a hotel at Indira Gandhi International Airport New Delhi before flying the following morning to Dharamsala. In Dharamsala, we will transfer you to the hotel.
It is not terribly hot in Dharamsala being so far north, but two of our hotels has a pool, which we are all allowed to use if you feel inclined. (Optional) payment will be by way of refreshment at their rooftop bar apres-play.
If there is a positive to being isolated, along with breakfast each morning, dinner is also included each night, so no need to worry about where to dine. Play finishes at 5pm each day (90 Overs In One Day won't be bowled by 4.30pm), so you will have plenty of time to get home for debrief and cocktails before dinner.
Isolation brings another new positive with taxis included in your tour. You will have vehicles at the hotel (to share) to take you up and down the mountain, to the game each day, to the wine shop, and places of interest scattered about the hillsides, including Dharamsala Skyway (above).
Opened in January 2022, the cablecar takes you from Kotwali Bazaar (Dharamsala North) to McCleod Ganj, where much of the area's sightseeing, shops, cafes, markets, and the Dalai Lama are. The first car is at 10am so staying in McCleod Ganj and 'commuting' to Dharamsala for cricket is kiboshed by poor scheduling.
If you are enjoying our match ticket and drinks party we recommend staying no further north than Kotwali Bazaar. There are plenty of hotels in the area along with the taxi rank, from where cars can run you down to the game. There are no rickshaws in Dharamsala, and why we include local area taxis.
We have a drinks party the night before the Test when you will receive your match tickets and awesome apparel, and another on the night of Day 5 to help wash down ample kormas, rogans, biryanis, and masalas.
Should the game end early, take your taxis to visit waterfalls, parks, viewpoints, and St John in the Wilderness; a remarkable church in the middle of the definition of 'nowhere'. Speaking of, this gorgeous mountain area has a web of hiking trails, which we already know many are staying on after the tour to enjoy.
All in all, a wonderful experience is sure to be had by everyone that we look forward to welcoming to the very unique Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala; the highest and 114th Test Cricket Venue.