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Our Family History & Heritage

I, Abhimanyu the youngest son of Rama & Ranjit Rattan Mehra, take this opportunity to share with you my family's History and Heritage through my eyes.

The below is a compilation of stories and tales, documented and undocumented gathered from family members over generations. We are humbled and proud to have such a lineage and to be able to carry it forward in our little boutique manor, Ranjit's SVAASA, for guests to relive and cherish along with us.

18th c. (1700-1800)

Ancestors of Sahib Raja Singh

The parents of Sahib Raja Singh parents hailed from Peshawar holding 53 Sqr. Miles of Kingdom and one of the Misls of the Sovereign States of Punjab in North Western Frontier Province known for their benevolence and strength in cavalry and armoury. Story goes that they had around 800-900 cavalry and manufactured weapons and shields and traded in carpets, dry fruits, tea, weapons which were unique commodities traded on the Silk Route.

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19th c.(1800-1900)

Sahib Raja Singh
& Sahib Kalyan Singh

Samadhi of Sahib Raja Singh who hailed from Peshawar,ancient Panjab and who was a Misl in Amritsar; the sovereign states of the Sikh Confederacy.The misls formed a commonwealth that was described by Antoine Polier as an "aristocratic republic".

In olden days, early 1800s ones wealth was measured by number of cavalry and land for their people under their ruled sovereign states or princely states.

Sahib Kalyan Singh was the son of Sahib Raja Singh, my great great great Grandfather. Rai Bahdur Kalyan singh ji was the Sarvara i.e sole Custodian of Sri Harminder Sahib popularly know as Golden Temple from 1860-1875 . He was the one who completed the Gold Gilding work at the Golden Temple along with the Ahluwalia Misl and Majithia Misl. Maharaja Ranjit Singh in his time had donated over 160kg of Gold for the gilding work at the Temple. Sardar Kalyan Singh ji's Tombstone in 1886 reads "Ek Omkar Chinta Taki Kijiye jo anhoni hoye aye marg sansar ko Nanak phir na koi".

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Rai Bahadur

Lala Ratan Chand

Samadhi of Rai Bahadur Lala Ratan Chand O.B.E, M.L.C., born on 23 January 1872 to 8th December 1931.

He was honored with the title of O.B.E.; The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British Order of Chivalry, rewarding contributions to Arts & Sciences, work with Welfare & Charitable Organisations, and Public Service outside the Civil Service.

He was a member of the Legislative Council and an Honorary Magistrate of the Amritsar District and a Founding member of the Municipal Corporation of the City.

A just and noble man known for the welfare of people of Amritsar he opened the citys first charitable TB Hospital, a charitable blind school a Gaushala with over 500 cows and a Temple at Ram Talai all of which are running till date under a trusr. Our curated SVAASA Experiences take you within these walls as a guided immersion.

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Rai Bahadur Lal Chand Mehra

Samadhi of Rai Bahadur Lal Chand Mehra. Born 8th Feb 1897 to 11th June 1973. He was the third son and one of eight children born to Lala Ratan Chand Mehra & Amravati.

Lal Chand Mehra was honored with the Rai Bahadur title by the British. This title of honour bestowed during British rule in India to individuals for their service to the Empire, Translated, Rai means "prince", and Bahadur means "brave" or "most honourable".

He unfortunately lost a leg due to gangerine and travelled by ship twice to London for his surgery and to get a prosthetic leg which was not available in India in those times. It was during his second visit that World War - I had broken out and with no communication to his whereabouts for months except the evening news on the radio, the entire family would gather in pin drop silence to gather the update and conditions of the war. Luckily the day he returned his youngest daughter Indu recounts a large wooden box bigger than the size of a coffin placed in the porch and when it was opened so many toys were brought for all the families children.

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20th c.(1900-2000)

Devinder Chand Mehra

Devinder Chand Mehra, my Grandfather, was the oldest surviving son to Lal Chand and Amravati,born on 8th Jan 1927 and died on 26th Aug 1991. Standing at a strapping 6feet 1inch tall he went by the affectionate moniker of Tiny Mehra.

He was a visionary and made the Amritsar airport an International one by bringing Ariana Afghan Airlines to Amritsar in mid 1900s, passenger and cargo both. He also established the first centrally air-conditioned hotel in Amritsar, Ritz Hotel and the first private Golf course designed by golfer Dave Thomas in NCR to his credit.

Known for joie de vivre, he was a noted gourmand and he loved hosting family and friends at his table. He enjoyed Gourmet cuisine and was a big gentlemen due to this passion for food and cooking . Some of his best recepies Have been Curated in our Royal Family receipe menu.

His deep passion and flair for Arts and Music saw him celebrating the Festival of Basant in all its grandeur and pomp. The evening of live music and lavish dinner was a private gathering of the city's elite and noble along with extended family and friends. He invited artists from across Pakistan and India like Begam Aktar , Gulam Ali, Rita Ganguli, Anjali Banerjee, Mehndi Hassan among more to perform on the yearly Music Fest.

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Rama Ranjit Mehra

Rama remembers her first step. The 250-year old manor in the heart of Amritsar that she had inherited was where it would all begin. In the sprawling lawns and the backyard there lived squirrels and fireflies, the hibiscus grew wantonly and the lilies looked elegant. Rama needed space, but she knew she would not intefere with nature, the squirrels, the fireflies and the hibiscus could live happily ever after with her.

"This quest to do something for others gave a new meaning to my life, it became my raison d etre." But Rama who was born on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces did not want to do anything half-heartedly. I turned to my little patch of a farmhouse in Gurgaon and took to farming that would at least cater to the needs of the spa." But that was just one chunk of the conundrum - she needed Ayurveda masseurs, yoga teachers and a dedicated retinue. By then, perhaps, Fate too had gotten jaded against Rama's will and everything fell into place. Ranjit’s SVAASA – A Heritage Boutique Spa Haveli saw its first guest in 2003, then came another, then another, then another…

When Rama returned to India, there was nothing. She had gotten married into a family that had many firsts for Amritsar: The Mehra’s were instrumental in bringing the first international flight into Amritsar (it was a Kabul-Amritsar flight), had built the first centrally air-conditioned hotel and also had a private golf course. But with Ranjit gone, Rama felt like a little girl lost in a crowd of strangers. And she was not alone, there were three growing up boys to take care of. She signed on a piece of paper that gave her share of the property and she then decided to pull life by its ears.

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21st c. (2000-Till Date)

Ranjit's SVAASA - A Heritage Boutique Spa Haveli sees the light of day as it reopens its doors in early 21st century. The SVAASA Team is blessed to be able to create memories for their guests visiting this Holy City of Amritsar.

Our SVAASA Experiences have been curated by the Mehra Twins and is offered to both resident and non-resident guests. They are a personalised cultural, gastronimical, social immersion and a beautiful serene way to experience lifestyles in Amritsar.

Our Wellness; Spa and Yoga along with healing music offers an oasis in the city of Amritsar as said by many guests.

We welcome you to our home; a luxury boutique Guesthouse for your sojourn to Amritsar in Punjab, the Land of 5 Rivers.