The rolling greens of Naldehra in Himachal Pradesh are par for the oldest golf course in India. This is an unusual course, perched at a height of 2044 metres, strewn with boulders, trees and little hillocks.
Considered one of the more challenging courses in the country, the nine-hole par-68 course has four new greens and a host of tree hazards in the back nine. Today Himachal Tourism maintains the links and it is possible to pay green fees for the day or take temporary, annual and life membership. The course is open through the year; the monsoon months between July and September are particularly good for golfing since the highly watered turf becomes springy and the yardage increases.
Naldehra got its name from the Nag temple (or Dehra of the god Nag) which lies bang in the centre of the course. Besides the glorious golfing, you can go for long walks through the woods and picnics in the valley. Drive off to the thick forests of Mashobra (12 km) or the hot sulphur springs of Tatapani (30 km). This is just the ideal mountain break to lift your spirits.
Tall deodars flank the links making Naldehra a wonderful sports venue in the midst of natural beauty. At the turn of the century, Naldehra was "discovered" by the British Viceroy, Lord Curzon who was fascinated by the deodar forests and green-carpeted slopes. Curzon spent many a happy hour romancing Naldehras cedar woods, communicating all the while with the British summer capital at Shimla, 23 km away. The idea of laying a golf course on the slopes of an enormous glade took root. The natural topography of the area was just right for a nine-hole golf course, surrounded by deodar woods and a view of the mountains.
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