Travelling on India’s extensive railway system is a great way to explore the country’s iconic cricket stadiums.
Using trains to get from one ground to the next is also worth looking into ahead of the next instalment of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Fans could soon be watching and betting on the IPL as the tournament works towards a restart.
Here we take a look at some of the trains that can whisk you across India and the iconic stadiums that await you at the end of each journey.
Visit the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi
We’re starting our route in the capital New Delhi. However, before heading for the station be sure to make a stop at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.
The stadium, which also goes by the name Arun Jaitley Stadium in honour of the former finance minister, is second oldest functioning cricket stadium in India after Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The ground plays host to the Delhi Capitals in the IPL and has hosted international Test cricket since the 1948/49 season.
New Delhi to Ahmedabad
There are regular trains between New Delhi and Ahmedabad Junction, the quickest being the NDLS RAJ SPL(02957).
While a direct journey is around 14 hours, the reward for cricket fans will be the sight of the largest cricket ground in the world.
The Motera Stadium, also known as the Sardar Patel Stadium, can hold 110,000 spectators, which also makes it the second-largest sports stadium on the planet.
It has a Test, ODI and T20I venue since it first opened in 1983 but was completely reconstructed by 2020 to reach its current capacity.
Check out Mumbai’s famous Wankhede Stadium
The IPL’s most successful team, the Mumbai Indians, play their games at Wankhede.
The ground was opened in 1975 and staged its first Test match that same year when the West Indies visited India.
Memorable cricketing moments at the stadium include India’s World Cup final win in 2011, Sunil Gavaskar’s brilliant 205 against the West Indies and Sachin Tendulkar’s final international appearance.
Travelling from Ahmedabad to Mumbai can take around 8-9 hours and is covered by trains including the Ahimsa Express, Lok Shakti Express and Ranakpur Express. The fastest, however, is the Shatabdi Express.
Next stop Bangalore
There is a huge choice of trains from Mumbai to Bangalore, with around 26 regularly running between the two cities.
Puducherry Express, Jaipur Yesvantpur Weekly Special, TPJ Humsafar Superfast, BME YPR Ac Express and the Coimbatore Express are just some of the top choices. The fastest is the Coimbatore Express at 20 hours and 35 minutes.
Here you can find the home of Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore, led by superstar Virat Kohli.
The M Chinnaswamy Stadium saw West Indies great Viv Richards make his Test debut and was also the sight of Sunil Gavaskar’s final Test.
Trains between Bangalore and Chennai
Visit the historic Chidambaram Stadium by making the short train journey from Bangalore to Chennai.
The Shatabdi Express is the fastest option. It departs Bangalore Central Railway Station at 6am and arrives at Chennai Central Railway Station at 11am.
Anyone wanting an early morning train between the two cities could look at the SMET MAS Express, which leaves at 5.25am and takes just over 6 hours.
Cricket fans travelling for the IPL will get to see the Chidambaram Stadium. It is the third oldest cricket stadium in India and held its first Test in 1934.
It is now the home of the famous Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and was also the site where Rahul Dravid passed 10,000 Test runs.
Don’t miss the brilliant Eden Gardens in Kolkata
It’s a journey that will take just over a day to make, but Eden Gardens is worth the wait.
There are eight trains that run between Chennai and Kolkata each week – the Aronai Express (12507), Howrah Express (12664), Cape Howrah Express (12666), MAS SRC AC Express (22808) and the MAS SHM Express (22826).
The 66,000 capacity Eden Gardens is the oldest cricket ground in India and is considered to be the home of cricket in India and one of the most iconic grounds in the world.
The ground held its first Test match in 1934 when England visited.
Eden Gardens has seen some memorable cricketing moments over the years. The ground hosted the 1987 World Cup Final between Australia and England. It was the first final ever to be held outside England and the first time Australia won the World Cup.
It now also plays host to the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL as well as the India national team.