The Chail Cricket Stadium is sited at an elevation of around 7,500 feet above sea-level in the beautiful and scenic state of Himachal Pradesh. Don’t take it as just another cricket ground in India, as this one is described to be the highest cricket ground across the globe. Now that’s a record, isn’t it? And this record is enough to make this cricket ground truly special.
Photo by generalising
Chail is a beautiful hill station placed in the picturesque Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Most of the credit to its fame goes to the Chail Cricket Stadium of course. One interesting thing to note about this hill station is that it is spread over three hills; i.e Rajgarh, Pandhawa and Sidh Tibba. Chail is a perfect place for some restful walks. This hill station is totally surrounded by the timberlands of Chir Pine and giant Deodars trees.
Chail is located at a distance of around 45 kilometers from the capital of Himachal Pradesh, i.e. Shimla. This little hill station is a true paradise for hikers. The beauty of this little hill station is very pure as it is still untouched from all the hustle and bustle.
The Chail Cricket Stadium: History And Origin
Photo by Abhishek_Kumar
During the British Raj, somewhere around 1891, Lord Kitchener was provoked to anger by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh who belonged to the royal family of Patiala. This incident led to Maharaja Bhupinder Singh getting banned from entering the city Shimla. Then Shimla was the summer capital. After getting banned from the summer capital, Maharaja chose Chail to be the summer capital and rebuilt it based on his requirements. In the year 1893 Maharaja built the Chail cricket ground flattening a hilltop.
According to history, Maharaja Bhupinder was a big cricket lover, he used the Chail Cricket Ground to play with his friends. Post the Indian Union was formed, Maharaja of Patiala donated the Chail Cricket Ground and all the other buildings to the Government of India and Chail Military School.
Currently, Chail Military School uses the cricket ground as the school playground. During vacations, it is also used to play polo. The Chail Cricket Ground also has a very well-maintained basketball court. Sporadically, the ground is also used to play football as it has a provision for goal posts there.
Does The Ground Host Major Cricket Games?
Photo by Abhishek_Kumar
Sadly, the answer is No! This iconic ground has never hosted any big matches. But some popular test match players do visit it for their practice sessions. Thinking why no first-class matches have been conducted here? Well reports say that the ground requires some renovation to be to match the standard required to host big matches. Another thing to add is that the Military School needs to grant permission to allow big matches to happen here.
One funny yet practical reason why matches are not held here could be because of the problem of the balls being lost on occasion of big sixes. There are fences available to stop the balls from rolling down the hill, but if the balls fly above the fences?
Popular Attractions To See In Chail
Along with the iconic Chail Cricket Ground here are some of the most popular attractions you can’t miss out in Chail–
1. Chail Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread across an area of 110 square kilometers the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is a huge sanctuary situated in Chail. The sanctuary is the domicile to many rich varieties of flora and fauna. It was established in the year 1976 and since then the government has declared it as a protected area.
2. Chail Gurudwara Sahib
The Chail Gurudwara Sahib was built in the year 1907 by the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh. The Gurudwara is located at a distance of around 200 m from the Chail bus stand. This building was taken over by the government of Himachal Pradesh after the partition of Punjab.
3. Sidh Baba ka Mandir (Temple)
This temple is located at a massive height of 8000 feet from downtown Chail. It is placed on a hill between Pandhawa and Rajgarh. According to the locals, the Sidh Baba ka Mandir is the protector of the success of this little hill station Chail.
4. Kali ka Tibba
Another temple that is located on top of a hill is the Kali Ka Tibba. It is one of the most popular and must visit places in Chail. As the name says the prime deity of this temple us Goddess Kali. Being a popular destination many pilgrims and tourists visit this temple from all across the world. On visiting this temple, you have to notice the breath-taking scenery of the Shivalik Range and the Choor Chandni.
As I said earlier don’t take this cricket ground to be just another one in India, remember its one of its kind across the globe. So, don’t you want to explore the beauty of Chail and visit this iconic cricket ground? If you have anything to add to this write-up, please feel free to share it with us as comments below.
Featured Photo by Abhishek_Kumar
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