Raj Bhawan- Governor’s House
Built by the British as a residence for the Governor of then North West Province of India, the Raj Bhawan is one of the most recommended places to visit in Nainital. Raj Bhawan was built as a replica of Buckingham Palace built in Victorian Gothic style designed by the architect F.W Stevens.
Spread over 200 acres of land, this place is famous for its Golf Course which is counted as one of the vintage golf courses of India and many golf tournaments are organized here. Some other great places in the complex include a swimming pool, garden, Jhandidhar Modi Heights and Munshi heights. The lush green area is decorated by Deodhar and oak trees which give the place a serene landscape. The charm of British architecture and the calm and splendid scenery around the place makes Raj Bhawan one of the most famous tourist attractions of Nainital.
The second Raj Bhavan or Governor’s House of Uttarakhand is located in Nainital, it is the summer retreat of the Governor of Uttarakhand. In the pre-Independence era, Nainital served as the summer capital of United Provinces and this building, built like a Scottish castle was christened as the “Government House”. Raj Bhavan was built by British as residence of Governor of then North-Western Provinces.The beginning of construction of Raj Bhavan was started in April 1897 and it took two years to complete. It is built on European pattern and based on Gothic architecture. The designers of Raj Bhavan at Nainital were Architect Stevens and the Executive Engineer F. O. W. Ortel. After Independence it was renamed as Raj Bhavan.
The Raj Bhavan estate is spread over 205 acre of area with a Golf Course in 45 acre of land. It has 75 rooms. The Golf Course of Raj Bhavan, built in 1936, is one of the vintage golf courses in India, and is affiliated to the Indian Golf Union. It also consists of a garden and swimming pool. In the post-Independence period, Sarojini Naidu, the first Governor of Uttar Pradesh, was the first occupant of this historic monument.
Entry Fee and Timings of Raj Bhawan
The entry fee for Raj Bhawan is Rs. 50 per head. There is a separate fee for the Golf course which is Rs. 450 per head.
The timings for visiting Raj Bhawan vary with different seasons.
March to April- 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
May to August 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
September to October 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
November to December 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Things to do at and around Raj Bhawan Nainital
1.The Raj Bhawan is a beautiful place to visit in Nainital. Guided tours are also available inside the Raj Bhawan. Take a stroll around the golf course which offers a splendid view of the Kumaoni landscape.
2. Visitors are allowed to play a game or two for a reasonable fee. You can also lounge in the clubhouse of the Golf Course or enjoy a meal at the restaurant inside.
3. Mall Road- Take a stroll at the Mall Road Nainital which is just 3 km away from Raj Bhawan and shop for the Local crafts and candles.
4. Naina Devi Temple- Visit the Naina Devi temple and take blessings of the goddess Naini which is just 4 km away. You can either walk to the temple or take a rickshaw. Naina Devi temple holds significant importance in the mythological history of Nainital city. Being one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, this temple draws hundreds of devotees daily.
5. Naini Lake- Just 4.5 km away is the most famous tourist attraction of Nainital, Naini Lake. Enjoy a boat ride across the length of majestic Naini lake.
6. Eco Cave Gardens- Experience the interaction between man and nature at the Eco Cave Gardens which are just 3.7 km away from the Raj Bhawan. The natural habitat of Kumaoni wildlife is beautifully depicted and preserved at the Eco Cave Gardens.
7. Snow View Point- Get mesmerized by the splendid view of the snow-covered peaks of the Great Himalayas from the Snow View Point just 4.7 km away.
How to Reach Raj Bhawan Nainital
Roadways– The Raj Bhawan is located only 3.5 km away from Roadways Bus Stand, Tallital, Nainital. You can hire an auto-rickshaw from the bus stand to reach Raj Bhawan. It is only 3 km away from the Tallital Mall Road area from where one can reach easily by walking or by hiring a cycle rickshaw.
Railways– If you are traveling by train, Kathgodam is the nearest railway station, 36 km away. One can easily hire a taxi cab or luxury bus from the railway station to Raj Bhawan.
Airway– If you are traveling by air, Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport, 56 km away. One can easily hire private and shared taxis from the airport to Raj Bhawan.