A stepped pool inspired by Gujarat stepped wells invites the visitor at Raga
Raga Svara Pool | © Vinay Panjwani

Raga Svara is a serene haven focusing on holistic well-being, ecological sustainability, and aesthetic appeal. The founders believe in the therapeutic benefits of being in harmony with nature and emphasize a conscious pause to reflect and rejuvenate. To preserve the existing landscape, the architects took a biophilic approach to design and created a space that blends seamlessly with the surroundings.

The property features meandering pathways, lush landscapes, and a natural site terrain. The reception, treatment rooms, community garden, and residences have been thoughtfully designed to ensure a tranquil and comfortable stay. The interiors of Raga Svara have a rustic charm with regionally sourced natural stones, customized furniture, and an asymmetrical mandala pattern as a central aesthetic branding identity. 

Raga Svara Technical Information

Meandering pathways amidst lush landscapes, delicious Gujarati cuisine with emphasis on wellbeing, a blur between the built and green spaces, a plethora of quiet corners to ruminate, and customized meaningful retreats are some offerings by Raga Svara.

– Shanmugam Associates Architects

Raga Svara Photographs

Amidst nature and a huge neem tree is the pool lobby
© Vinay Panjwani
The swimming pool is partitaly shaded with a interesting roof
© Vinay Panjwani
Treatment rooms have natural light coming in the from the openings given right below the roof to ensure privacy
© Vinay Panjwani
Built volumes are planned with a simple roof floor that blends to the ground and glass walls that enable to enjoy the nature around
© Vinay Panjwani
The yoga centre lobby
© Vinay Panjwani
The library at Raga sits under the big banyan for learning to happen all around
© Vinay Panjwani
Private cottages have their own private pool and swing
© Vinay Panjwani
Entry to the private cottages framed by Bougainvillea
© Vinay Panjwani
A large courtyard offers as a congregation space around the room of stay
© Vinay Panjwani
All rooms have either a green balcony or garden to walk into
© Vinay Panjwani
Four Raga have inspired the mood board of the room stays at Raga
© Vinay Panjwani

Raga Svara: A Biophilic Retreat Emphasizing Wellbeing and Sustainability

Text by the Architects

Raga Svara, as in the words of its founders, focuses on the therapeutic, aesthetic, philosophical, and ecological well-being of oneself in conjunction with the surroundings. Raga’s logo, “Pause,” indicates all those who enter this green haven consciously pause in time, reflect, listen to the body in synergy with nature, and get rejuvenated in an educational way. With such a clear vision for Raga, the onus on the architects was to make minimal interventions in the existing landscape and have nature take precedence.

The linearity of the site, old trees with huge canopies, agricultural land, location adjacent to Rajkot- Bhavnagar highway, and natural site terrain were primary factors that steered the architects to take a biophilic approach to design. Zoning was done with relevance to huge banyan and peepal trees at the site.

The architectural language was delineated by exploring fundamental roof, wall, and floor aspects. Floors interweaved inside and outside with landscape; walls with maximum transparency to enjoy lush vegetation; and roof being simple, horizontal exposed concrete slabs.

The reception at the entry welcomes with a landscape extending to the roof, inviting one to take a walk and glimpse the entire property. The whole roof is hidden with hanging curtain creepers, which is a green curtain, while entering the lobby, hoping to set the initial tone.

Gigantic trees encapsulate the restaurant, library, and pool by defining a space of congregation. The library is located right under the banyan (Ficus benghalensis), which is eponymous with learning. Inspiration from the stepped wells of Gujarat and the requirement for sufficient shaded areas aided in evolving the swimming pool area with symmetrically punctured ceilings and granite steps. Chamfered and cut roof slabs of the yoga center were planned around existing mango trees (Mangifera Indica), offering space for reflection.

Heart of Raga Svara, the treatment rooms have been tucked in at the property’s rear end to provide seclusion. An entry foyer and boutique with manila tamarind (Pithecellobium dulce) offering canopy, ravishing landscape-filled restrooms, and floating roofs allowing natural light to seep into large-sized therapy rooms welcome Raga’s patrons.

The luxurious 20-key Raga residences, built around a community garden and circumambulatory bridge, frames a vista of the western sun behind Moringa cultivation. Cottages have a private garden with a pool behind the zen gardens. All restrooms are naturally ventilated with large private gardens.

An asymmetrical mandala pattern created as a central aesthetic branding identity is subtly blended in the lookbook, signage, exposed concrete ceiling patterns, murals, and flooring.

Sourcing local materials and execution challenges were an integral part of construction for Raga, which went through three pandemic waves. A rustic mood board created around four Indian Ragas, regionally sourced natural stones, and customized furniture made from solid teak and rattan are Raga’s interior design characteristics.

Meandering pathways amidst lush landscapes, delicious Gujarati cuisine with emphasis on wellbeing, a blur between the built and green spaces, a plethora of quiet corners to ruminate, and customized meaningful retreats are some offerings by Raga Svara. Treading carefully with the landscape and existing bio-diversity of a 25-acre farm, the entire team worked in tandem to create Raga Svara, which is best experienced than read.

Raga Svara Plans

Raga Svara Masterplan
Site Plan | © Shanmugam Associates
Raga Svara Reception
Reception Floor Plan | © Shanmugam Associates
Raga Svara Cottages
Cottage Floor Plan | © Shanmugam Associates
Raga Svara Treatment
treatment Floor Plan | © Shanmugam Associates
Raga Svara Rooms
Typical Room Floor Plan | © Shanmugam Associates
Raga Svara Amenities
Amenities Floor Plan | © Shanmugam Associates

About Shanmugam Associates

Shanmugam Associates (SA) is a renowned 40-year-old architectural firm based in Trichy and Chennai, India, founded by Ar. A. Shanmugam. The firm’s growth is built on a strong foundation of diverse clientele and international experience. SA’s design philosophy emphasizes simplicity, rationality, and sustainability, with a focus on delivering minimal, timeless solutions that consider nature, economics, and client needs. The team includes Ar. Shanmugam, the founding chairman of the Trichy Chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects, and experienced architects Rajakrishnan, Ramya Raman, and Santhosh Shanmugam, who have studied and worked across the globe, bringing valuable insights to the firm.

Works from Shanmugam Associates 

  1. Lead Architects: Santhosh Shanmugam, Raja Krishnan D, Ramya Raman
  2. Design Team: Krishnah Priya, Ajith Kumar, Roshni Roy, Ramya Raman, Raja Krishnan, Santhosh Shanmugam
  3. Clients: Denish Patel, Mohit Patel, Nirav Talaviya,
  4. Engineering: Water Lilly PHE Consultant
  5. Landscape: Sandip Patil, Tapan Modi, Earthscapes Consultancy Private Ltd
  6. Consultants: Er.Balasubramanian, Structural (Shanmugam Associates)/ Nilesh
  7. Collaborators: Siddharth Kaneria, Art Collaborative