Dharamsala all set for IPL carnival
The Himachal Pradesh hospitality industry is gearing up to welcome fans at Kings XI Punjab's last two home matches at a stadium in Dharamsala, the abode of Dalai Lama, plus a galaxy of stars in the extended cricket season.
The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium, one of the newest venues in the country, is situated nearly 4,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by majestic Dhauladhar ranges that make it one of the most beautiful grounds in the world.
Over 20,000 tourists, mainly from the plains of north India are expected to visit Dharamsala during the five-day cricket bonanza that starts with the season’s first match here today and ends with a T20 charity match between MPs’ XI and Mumbai Heroes on May 20, tourism industry experts said.
“Almost all our hotels are full from Wednesday to next Monday. Of course, the cricket craze is always a holiday hit,” Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) general manager Yogesh Behl said.
He said even the nearby tourist destinations are packed to capacity. Match organisers said the HPCA stadium’s popularity soared with the success of seven IPL matches in the past three seasons.
“This time we have got matches allocated in such a way that a cricket fan can mix game with the leisure and pleasure in the hills,” Anurag Thakur, HPCA president and Lok Sabha member, told IANS.
The first match is between Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab today, while Mumbai Indians take on Kings XI Punjab on May 18.