The Raj Bhavan or the Governor's House was built in 1899 and designed by F. W. Stevens in the traditional Victorian Gothic style of architecture also called the 'Domestic Gothic'. It was the summer residence of the Governor of the Northwest Province and now converted into an official guest house of Governor of Uttarakhand and state employees. It is a two-storied mansion with 113 rooms, a swimming pool, garden and a Golf Course.
Uttarakhand homes two Raj Bhavans as opposed to other states which has only one. The first one is in Dehradun and the second one in Nainital. Prior to the Independence of India, the foundation stone of this beautifully architecture mansion was laid on 27th April 1897 after which it took 2 whole years to complete it in March 1900 and served as a summer capital building of the Governor of the United Provinces [Now known as 'Uttar Pradesh']. Built and designed like a castle of Scotland in the typical European structure and Victorian Gothic style, it was named the 'Governor's House' and post Independence, the government of Uttaranchal [Now known as 'Uttarakhand'] renamed it as the 'Raj Bhavan'.
The architect Mr. Stevens, the executive Engineer of FOW Ortel designed this masterpiece in such style to invoke the feeling of a country side mansion that forms a centre of beauty and compliments the beautiful lakes amidst green laden mountains and lavish landscapes. Teak is the main wood used including the famous Burma teak and Stones from Nainital itself have been used in the construction with Ashler's finishing. Steps made of stone, High Pillars and Deodar Trees add to the Attraction of this building.
Before Independence, the former Governors of the United Provinces like Sir Antony MacDdonald, Sir John Misten and Sir James and also Sir Harcourt Butler used this Raj Bhavan as their residence and post Independence, Smt. Sarojini Naidu, who was the first Governor of Uttar Pradesh resided in this huge mansion.
The Raj Bhavan Golf Course spans over an area of 45 acres and adjoining this is a forest area of 160 acres. This Golf course was constructed in 1936 and is one of the few largest, beautiful and vintage courses in India. Earlier prior permission was required for visiting the premises and the house but now an entry fee of Rs. 30/- is all that is needed to be able to explore this beautiful castle style mansion and its surrounding area. Tourists are welcome to enjoy a small game of golf for a certain fee including cover charges.