The Club House which is more than 120 years old has been designed using a unique colonial and Kerala architecture (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@ArunaNambiar)
Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram boasts of a heritage site which also is very green and doubles up as a lung for the capital city. It is the 165-year-old Trivandrum Golf Club, which is located in the heart of the metropolis and is the second oldest golf course in the country, after Royal Calcutta Golf Club.
It was founded by Sree Moolam Thirunal, the Maharaja of Travancore in 1850. Interestingly, the first golf club in Europe and US was open only in the 1880s much after the Trivandrum one.
In the beginning it was a private golf club meant for the exclusive use of the royal family, their guests and other foreign dignitaries. In fact, the Golf Course land was carved out of Maharaja’s hunting grounds. Till 1950, the Travancore Royal Palace remained in control of the course and then the State Government took possession. In 1967, it was leased out to Trivandrum Golf Club headed by Col. G.V. Raja, by the State Government.
The entire club is spread out in 25.83 acres and it has more than 3,400 trees belonging to 1,000 species. It is considered one of the green lungs of the State Capital and the golfing area in it covers only 14 acres. The nine-hole golf course which was redesigned by Peter Thompson from Australia has remained unchanged since then.
Over the years, the Golf Club has become so popular not only nationally but also internationally that foreign tourists who are lovers of the game take time out to play here.
Not just the Club but also the Club House spread over 3,500 square feet is more than 120 years old. It has been certified as a heritage building by the Department of Archaeology and has been designed using a unique colonial and Kerala architecture.
The Club House includes a welcoming area and four rooms while its exterior is made of teak wood. In front of the structure there is a spacious stepped terrace and fountain area was also created by the Maharaja and remains a popular venue for Club functions and formal dinners to this day.
There is a 70-year-old annexe building which houses a small gymnasium, a snooker room, restaurant, meeting/party hall, rest rooms and four guest rooms. It covers about 4,000 square feet and is spread over two floors.
The Club at present has been leased out to Sports Authority of India for a period 33 years from 2014 onwards.