If You Are Starting Your Australian Cricket Tour To India 2023 In New Delhi, Your First Night Is Feb 14, And Your Last Night Is Feb 21
NEW DELHI last hosted an Australian Test Cricket Tour To India in 2013 during the controversial 'homework gate' series. It will be 9 years gone by the time we tour New Delhi in 2023 so it will be a pleasure to return to the ancient city of the Mughal Empire; its history visible in the grand architecture and monuments throughout this huge city.
Although Arun Jaitley Stadium (formerly Feroz Shah Kotla) is one of our least favourite test cricket grounds, playing in New Delhi is good for all. It has the best tourism infrastructure of any Indian city, great sights, top restaurants, a wealth of hotels, and an Airport Express Line from Indira Gandhi International Airport; only 4 stops to New Delhi Railway Station.
Our hotel will get you from the airport for 8 nights including breakfast, 2 drinks parties, match tickets, and more. If you arrive before your tour starts or you're taking our Match Ticket & Drinks Party, and booking your own hotel, Connaught Place and Paharganj, opposite New Delhi Railway Station are the places to stay, pending your budget.
Connaught Place is 3 ring roads of hotels, designer stores, bars & restaurants, cool cafes, hip lounges, souvenir and crafts stores, cinemas, and takeaway joints. In the middle is an enormous park that gives an escape from the wonderment of Old Delhi spice bazaars, textile havens and food heaven, the congestion of Karol Bagh markets, and the unmissable mayhem of Paharganj.
Our swish hotel is 10mins walk off Connaught Place, close to Shivaji Stadium Metro Station on the Airport Line. It's a little further to RK Ashram Metro, but from here you can take the metro 5 stops (changing at Mandi House) to Delhi Gate and Arun Jaitley Stadium.
Away from the game, the Red Fort served as the residence for Mughal Emperors, and is one metro stop past the cricket ground that used to be called Feroz Shah Kotla after the small fort next to the stadium.
Red Fort is only open during test match hours (9.30am - 4.30pm) so you need to visit this landmark before the game. You can arrive late in the day / evening on Feb 14 and have 2 full days (Feb 15 & 16) exploring this monumental capital. We have 3 nights before the test because the day after the Test we venture to Rajasthan for 5 nights.
If you are not enjoying our 5 night Rajasthan Tour after the 2nd Test, you may want to use one of your days to visit the Taj Mahal. The Gatimaan Express from New Delhi will get to Agra in 100mins, leaving plenty of time to visit the Taj and other signature attractions, before express train gets you back by 8pm.
Adjacent to Red Fort is Old Delhi, where lanes wend off Chandni Chowk filled with colour, cows, tailors, bargains, and heaps of 'greasy spoons' serving the must-have masala dosa (crisp paper-thin crepe filled with spiced potato). Chandi Chowk is a great place to enjoy Delhi without the noise as motor vehicles are banned from 6am until 9pm.
In Old Delhi, and the street cafes opposite New Delhi Railway Station, sample the hot milk only served in the evening in a single-use terracotta cup.
For a more 'spacious' walk, close to our hotel is famous India Gate. This giant arch sits with the National War Memorial, High Court, National Museum and India's most popular museum, National Rail Museum (one of 6 in India), along broad, lawned, tree-lined roads, and canals. The area is home to the more glamourous hotels and residences presenting a more modern side of this huge city.
There is much to see and do in India's capital, which is infinitely easier with Delhi Metrorail than it was when we first saw cricket here in 2001 when walking was the best way to get about; not even rickshaw drivers knew where Arun Jaitley Stadium was.
The stadium then was but a local club ground with one pavilion that still stands today and around which the 'new stadium' was built. Redeveloped in 2005 to re-host international cricket, we would love to join us at Arun Jaitley Stadium, cricket's 28th Test Venue!