Saturday, 2 January 2021

Amazing Governor's House (Raj Bhavan), Nainital, India - stunningly beautiful colonial building

Raj Bhavan, Nainital, Uttrakhandgovernoruk.gov.in

Raj Bhavan, Nainital, Uttrakhand.
en.wikipedia.org

Raj Bhavan, Nainital, Uttrakhand. hindustantimes.com

The  Raj Bhawan at Nainital,  one of the most iconic heritage structures of Uttarakhand,  was built by the British  to use it  as a  residence of the Governor of North West Province.  It is a two-story structure  with 113 rooms built in the midst of a huge plot of 220 acres dominated   by  tall  Deodar and Oak trees. Out of this huge plot in a serene place the Golf course.is set on a 43 acres  besides a beautiful garden and swimming pool. The historical colonial building  is on  a plateau  (altitude 1932.37 meters  from the MSL)

In this partly  mountainous state in the lower part of the Himalayas, two  important structures that got the attention of the government are the 145-year-old Almora Jail where India’s first Prime Minister late Jawaharlal Nehru spent two jail  terms  for his activities  against the British in India's  freedom struggle. The other  heritage site is  the Raj Bhavan. Used to be called the Government House  in the colonial period,  it served as the summer retreat of the state governor and summer capital of the United Province state.  Architect Frederick William  Stevens  and  Executive Engineer F. O. W  Ortel  were responsible for the construction of this  Scottish type  castle, an unusual design for a residence in an Asian land. The golf course  within its  confines, is  one of the oldest in this country that came up in 1935.The foundation stone in the base of  the Nainital  Government House, which is believed to have been modelled after  Buckingham Palace, was laid on April 27, 1897. By 1900, the construction work was over.

Raj Bhavan, Nainital, Uttrakhand ebuild.in

Raj Bhavan, Nainital, Uttrakhand ebuild.in

The architect carefully incorporated  the early domestic Gothic style with the façade  features  six castellated turrets instead of   steep pinnacles which  were dominant features of  previously crowned  structures. The  chosen site dominated by greenery gives the effect of an English village and the  back part of the structure suggests English country house. Yet another feature is the careful handling of the stones available locally for interior and exterior parts. The construction stones include  dark grey marble stones of various shades, dolomitic limestone and  partial use of   Agra red sandstone in selected place  to give extra look to the grandeur building. Teak wood was carefully used in the stairway, door frames, doors, windows, dinning room ,etc. The glass   tiles, brass fittings and iron pipes that were used in specific parts were specially imported from England. However, the work was done by local skilled workers. The contractors who did the interior furnishing were Messrs.' Lazarus and Co. of Calcutta and Messrs Maple and Co. of London.

Raj Bhavan, Nainital, Uttrakhand ebuild.in

Raj Bhavan, Nainital, Uttrakhand ebuild.in

This heritage site is slated for restoration and preservation  under the state's Heritage Act.  In this respect, the state government introduced a legislation in the middle of 2017  covering  preservation as well as restoration of historical sites, buildings, or natural bodies that are crucial to the state’s culture, but are not yet covered under any other government policy. two  important structures that got the attention of the government.

Raj Bhavan, Nainital, Uttrakhand.nainitalcorbetttourism.com

 Besides these two, there are several  historic buildings that  are  aesthetically, culturally or environmentally  important  sites  in   the Himalayan state which  are marked out  to get an official heritage identity. The advantage is much emphasis would be placed on the conservation aspect as suggested by the proposed legislation. under  the Uttarakhand Heritage Act. The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act  protects  around 71 monuments  and the Central Govt. ASI), 42 monuments under  the RCA. (ASI).

The first occupant of this building was Ms. Sarojini Naidu, a poet, a freedom fighter and a Gandhian   was the first governor of  UP  after  independence.

 https://www.nainitalcorbetttourism.com/raj-bhawan.html

https://www.hindustantimes.com/dehradun/hope-floats-for-himalayan-heritage-sites-as-uttarakhand-plans-own-law/story-f8zM3n1EymEvHEUUmpB5oO.html

https://www.nainitalcorbetttourism.com/raj-bhawan.html