DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai
One of the most talked about sporting facilities in India, the DY Patil Stadium is situated right outside the metropolis of Mumbai.
The ground has been voted as the sixth best cricket arena in the world by the Architects’ Journal of Britain in 2009. Amongst the grounds the journal considered, the legendary Lord’s in London won the top honour while the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore was adjudged second-best.
The other three grounds that got better rankings than the 55,000-seater DY Patil Stadium, which hosted the final of the inaugural edition of Indian Premier League in 2008, were Newlands in Cape Town (South Africa), Kensington Oval in Barbados and the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.
The venue could not host its first-ever and the seventh and last One-Day International between India and Australia in 2009-10 owing to heavy rain. The game was originally scheduled to be held at the Brabourne Stadium, but that venue was eventually picked to host the Test between India and Sri Lanka in December instead.
While the India-Australia game would have been the first international game played at the ground, the ground did host a few games of the first and third editions of the Indian Premier League including the final. In fact, it was at this ground that Adam Gilchrist blasted the fastest century of IPL off just 42 balls against Mumbai Indians in the first edition.
“A lot has changed since the IPL. We now have the cantilever roof which will provide the spectators with an unrestricted view of the match,” says Vijay Patil, President, DY Patil Sports Academy. The DY Patil stadium will host some of the home games of the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2011.
Navi Mumbai is one of the largest planned cities in the world. This satellite town is separated from Mumbai by the Arabian Sea. The beautiful city lies between the Sahyadri mountains, the sea coast and the Thane creek and has many interesting places to see.
This satellite town has a new landmark, Central Park. Built on the lines of London’s Hyde Park and New York’s Central Park, this public park is the perfect place to unwind. Close to Nerul one can find the Balaji, Swaminarayan, Amritandamayi and Narayanguru temples.
Some of the tourist attractions around Navi Mumbai are the Khargar and Parsik hills, the Rain Tree Marg at Belapur and the Pandavpada waterfalls in Khargar. Kharghar is a nature lovers’ delight, having lots of open space and greenery everywhere. An enormous fountain adorns the area, and a stroll in the evening refreshes you. The waterfall at Pandavpada is ideal for a picnic.
The beautiful hill stations of Lonavla and Khandala are also less than an hour’s drive from Navi Mumbai.
There are a lot of shopping options for visitors to Navi Mumbai. The town is home to some of the best and largest shopping malls in the region. These malls are usually located close to the railway stations. Navi Mumbai also is a great jewellery hub, with various national and international brands setting up store here. If these don’t catch your fancy then there are numerous street stalls selling a variety of exotic items to customers.
Culture and Entertainment
While in Navi Mumbai be sure to visit the Urban Haat in CBD Belapur. This is a permanent fair for crafts, food and cultural activities. Craftsmen from various areas and eclectic cultural happenings provide a panoramic view of richness and diversity of handicrafts and artifacts.
The gastronomic experience in Navi Mumbai is in keeping with its upcoming stature. You can find a wide variety of restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines. There is Chenab in Vashi for lovers of North Indian cuisine. For Bengali foodies, Pet Pujo in CBD Belapur is recommended. For kebab lovers there’s Hilton Kababs. There is also Moti Mahal Grand in CBD Belapur for connoisseurs of Mughlai. Located in the corporate hub of the Navi Mumbai, Four Points in Vashi has all kinds of cuisines to meet the needs of today’s discerning traveler.