Monday, 4 January 2021

The ''Raj Bhavan Golf Course'', Nainital, India - one of the oldest/ highest in the world - a British legacy

Raj Bhavan Golf Course, Nainital,Uttrakhand.India  justdial.com

Raj Bhavan (Govt. House),Nainital UK,India. nainitaltourism.org.in


Hill station Nainital, Uttrakhand, India.tourmyindia.com

'Raj Bhavan  Golf Course'', in the well-known hill station of Nainital (Uttrakhand State) of the Kumaon hills of the ''Outer Himalayas''  is  set  within the Governor's  vast residential campus   and is an interesting place to relax and have fun if you are on a visit to this place in the summer period. One of the oldest and highest Golf courses in Asia or perhaps in the world, it was founded in 1926 by the British during the Raj Era (meaning directly under the British Crown administration, London)  and it is part of the 220 acre Raj Bhavan estate, also known  commonly  in the by-gone era  as  the Government House.  It was built by the British for the comfortable stay of the Governor of United Province during the summer time to escape from the summer heat and hot air on the plains.  In Nov. 2000, after the creation of Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand), the golf Course became a part of residence of the Governor of  the new state

Raj Bhavan Golf Course, Nainital,Uttrakhand. justdial.com

As  the golf course  is located within the premises of the Raj Bhavan,  prior permit is a necessity to play in tis 18 - hole  sprawling course that is dotted with many hurdles. Ii is open to  both professional and armature players. People who have been there say that it's  being well maintained by the authorities. Prior to 1994,  the golf course  was not accessible to the public, subsequently 'Uttar Pradesh Raj Bhavan Golf Club'  was formed and one of its  objectives was  to promote golf among  the officers and staff of Raj Bhawan and to periodically maintain and develop the golf course and surrounding areas.  The other objective being organizing periodic golf tournaments to promote golf among the youngsters. 

Raj Bhavan Golf Club  along with a Club House (formerly forest guard house)  is actually in the  Reserve Forest area. The forest guard house ,previously called "Van Chetna Kendra"  was renamed as "Vora Pavilion".  The two other  Pavilions Governor's Pavilion & Healy's Pavilion  located in a soothing and picturesque places  are meant  for the players to take a brief respite  between long walks and plays

A vintage image of Govt. House (Raj Bhavan), Nainital, India.tripadvisor.in

It is a challenge for good  golf players to play on the high altitude golf course  where  the cool weather  and air-density may impact the  movement of  golf ball while in the air.  Set in the midst of a lush green wooded area offering serene atmosphere, the course is provided with a short par 61 course  with 18 holes and 18 tees, it covers a distance of 3.2 km of uneven  terrains with  normal fairway, lots of tall trees near-by. The course is  a combination of greens and brows, the former includes 13 obligatory holes and challenging holes in the brown. As the course is on  a sort of rolling terrain with ups and downs, one has to drive the ball carefully either on uphill side or down hill side  with poor sighting of the hole at the distance. Yet another challenge is striking the ball into the holes set at uneven places in the green.   

Raj Bhavan Golf Course, Nainital,Uttrakhandjustdial.com

Until 1956, the Golf  Course  was under the control of the United Province, later UP government  was in charge of it. The Utrrakhand  (once part of UP) government  is taking care of the Raj Bhavan and the estate within which is located this historical golf Course. 

Raj Bhavan Golf Course was developed in the year 1926, during 'RAJ' days as a part of the 220 acre was the exclusive preserve of the erstwhile  Colonial rulers, Maharajahs and other dignitaries. Now, a part of the Governor's residence, far removed from the urban mess, the most challenging aspect of this colonial golf course is  to get  the golf ball to the edge of the green patch,  and, from there, driving it into the hole set on an uneven ground. The gradient or gentle slope may give a good player a tough time Both  Raj Bhavan and the Golf Course within its estate are a symbol of  still remains  a fine symbol of British heritage and legacy, though 73 years have gone by since the British had left the shores of India in 1947. 

https://governoruk.gov.in/pages/display/338-rajbhawan-golf-course

https://uttarakhandtourism.gov.in/destination/nainital