In India, cricket reigns supreme and is played everywhere, from smart cricket clubs
to the grassy spaces of New Delhi and street corners. The national side is followed
with a devotion that borders on the fanatic. India is a consistently strong team,
ably doing battle with its mighty antipodean, South African and UK rivals. In Delhi,
Test Matches are played at Ferozshah Kotla Stadium, located on Bahadur Shah Zhafar
Marg, between September and March. Attending a Test Match here is quite an experience
and is not for the faint-hearted.
Other popular Indian games include kabbadi, a team sport combining the characteristics
of wrestling and rugby, and kho kho, an evolved game of catch and hockey, in which
the Indians regularly produce sides that challenge the best in the world. More mundanely,
there are facilities in Delhi catering to the city's elite, for a good selection
of sports, including gyms, tennis, golf and
swimming.Bowling: Indians, like many Asians, seem to enjoy bowling and there is a
popular bowling alley at the Qutb Hotel, off Sri Aurobindo Marg (tel: (011) 652 1234).Fitness
centres: In Delhi, fitness centres mean status and the well groomed keep in shape
at Arya Vaidya Sala, South Extension
(tel: (011) 462 1790), and Nelson Health Club, Hotel Samrat, Chanakyapuri (tel: (011)
611 0606). Many of the five-star hotels also provide exercise facilities for their
guests. Golf: Delhi's best-known golf course is the Delhi Golf and Country Club,
Dr Zakir Hussein Marg (tel: (011) 436 2768). It boasts a nine-hole and an 18-hole
course, both of which are dotted with Mughal mausolea. The timid should note that
cobras supposedly lurk in the rough. The 18-hole course is open to the public on
weekdays but restricted to members and their guests at weekends.
The nine-hole course is open to all throughout the week. Green fees are Rs1950 (US$40)
and a set of clubs can be hired for Rs20 Caddies and ball-spotters are available.
Horseracing: Delhi Racecourse, off Safdarjang Road (tel: (011) 301 2943), has regular
meetings during the racing season, which runs from October until the end of April.
Delhi's racecourse is an informal, almost provincial course, in marked contrast to
Mumbai's grand stands and spacious lawns. There is a large covered shed, which contains
the bookies' pitches. Admission to the Members'
Enclosure costs Rs50.Horseriding and polo: The Delhi Riding Club, Safdarjung Road
(tel: (011) 301 1891), and the Polo Club, Cavalry Cariappa Marg, both provide equestrian
sporting opportunities and facilities. The polo season is from October to March.Swimming:
The safest swimming is at hotel pools, including Hotel Imperial, Janpath (tel: (011)
334 1234), Hotel Samrat, Chanakyapuri (tel: (011) 611 0606), and Ashok Hotel, Chanakyapuri
(tel: (011) 611 0101). All hotels are likely to charge non-residents. Public swimming
baths are located at NDMC Pools, Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri, National Stadium Complex,
opposite India Gate, and Talkatora Pool, Talkatora Road.
Tennis: Another sport thought to have originated in India, there are tennis facilities
at Delhi Lawn Tennis Association, Africa Avenue; Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Bhishama
Pitamah Road, and the National Sports Club of India, Mathura Road (tel: (011) 338
5564).Watersports: Watersports at Bhaleswa Lake, as well as other adventure activities
- local and further afield - are available through
Delhi Tourism's Adventure Tourism Division (tel: (011) 336 3607).Yoga: Sivananda
Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Center, Community Centre, East of Kailash (tel: (011) 648 0869)
offers yoga classes.