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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Ranjit Svaasa: a historic family haveli in Amritsar

This is a heritage property in the heart of Amritsar that dates back over 250 years to the British Raj era, built by my great grandfather…

By Abhimanyu Mehra
Owner of Ranjit Svaasa

What makes our haveli in Amritsar unique is its rich history and our warm family welcome. This is a heritage property that dates back over 250 years to the British Raj era and was built by my great grandfather, who was a businessman, magistrate and humanitarian in Amritsar. After the British left India, the haveli was passed down through the generations to my mother, who decided to refurbish the house and open it to the public. You can trace the history and renovation of Ranjit Svaasa in our time corridor of photos.

There are now 15 guest rooms, plus gardens and lounges, an exercise area and café. During the renovation, my mother’s main aim was to keep the heritage of the haveli intact, preserving the original structure with its high arches and Art Deco flooring, while adding luxury elements like clawfoot tubs and private terraces. The haveli is a traditional square design with an internal courtyard; there’s even a spa in the converted horse stables where you can enjoy a sauna, Jacuzzi and Ayurvedic treatments with homemade oils.

We were also keen to make the haveli as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible, adding solar power, rainwater harvesting and reclaimed wood. Our fabrics are handmade to support Indian artisans and we employ a lot of local people, such as a woman who comes in to do cooking demos for guests – some have been with us for 10 years.  Our food is a highlight, as we serve Punjabi dishes with seasonal, homegrown ingredients.

Although Ranjit Svaasa is set in the heart of Amritsar, it lies in a peaceful gated area with greenery. At the moment the mango trees are flowering and our blue mulberry trees and organic vegetable garden attracts birds, squirrels and butterflies. You can soak all of this in from our terraces and rooftop garden which looks out over the city. Guests often tell us they love the historic feel of Ranjit Svaasa and wish they could stay longer. They relish the personal touches like the chance to take a cooking class with our chef and meet our family dogs – we’re proud to be the first pet-friendly property in Punjab.

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Alfred & Abhimanyu Mehra

Abhimanyu Mehra is the third generation of his family to work in hospitality and has 20 years’ experience in the field. Career highlights include graduating from the prestigious Les Roches hospitality school in Switzerland and receiving India’s FHRAI Young Hotel Entrepreneur 2012 award. Abhimanyu is now the manager of Ranjit Svaasa and is passionate about interior design, immersive local experiences, history and his pet dogs.
Abhimanyu Mehra, general manager of Ranjit Svaasa