Real Kashmir’s stunning home in Srinagarhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/sports-gallery/real-kashmir-home-srinagar-trc-i-league-5460055/

Real Kashmir’s stunning home in Srinagar

The TRC Football Ground in Srinagar is the newest addition to the list of venues for I-League matches.

The TRC Football Ground in Srinagar is the newest addition to the list of venues for I-League matches. It may serve as the home for Real Kashmir in the league but football matches of all kinds have been played at the ground since decades. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

The ground, like the city it resides in, is located on the banks of the river Jhelum and is a stone's throw away from the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium where the Jammu and Kashmir Ranji team are currently playing Tripura. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

Two days before Real Kashmir's biggest home match of the season - against Mohun Bagan - one could be forgiven for not noticing a football ground. The Sunday market had taken over and a club banner that was put up beside the ground's gate was covered by the vendors' wares. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

The next day, however, the banner regained its ceded territory. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

A day before the match, a stall was setup outside the gate for selling passes to the big match. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

The first match of the season in Srinagar had come on the back of untimely snowfall. However, the weather on the day they played Mohun Bagan was as perfect as it could be for a football match. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

The stands are named after prominent players from the state who were active before during the late 1960's, 1970's and 1980's - the period that is regarded as the golden age for football in Srinagar. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

About three hours before the match started, people poured into the TRC chowk hoping to get last-minute tickets. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

It was a chaotic situation but not something that authorities weren't used to. A policeman said that this was not too different from the situation before previous matches. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

The atmosphere was an intimidating one with the home crowd ratcheting up the decibel levels whenever their team even entered the opposition box. Despite that, there were no shockers as the favoured Mohun Bagan won the match 1-0. Apart from the stands themselves, good vantage points included stairs of the TV tower and an under-construction bridge nearby. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

About an hour after the match, Abdul Majeed Kakroo and his charges took to the ground to go through their practice routines. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)

Kakroo, the first player from Kashmir to have captained the Indian team, had threatened self-immolation when he heard that then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad wanted to convert the TRC ground into a tulip garden. That was in 2007 and 10 years later, the ground hosted its first I-League match. (Express Photo by Rohit Mundayur)