The Iconic 'Beatles Ashram' In Rishikesh Is All Set For A Makeover

Through this ashram, The Beatles played a significant role in establishing Rishikesh as a sought-after destination for those seeking nirvana
Inside view of 'The Beatles' Ashram
Inside view of 'The Beatles' Ashram Uttarakhand Tourism

World-renowned Rock Band The Beatles has a huge fanbase in India. One of the places that reconnect Indians with their favourite band is the Beatles Ashram (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Ashram) in Uttarakhand's Rishikesh, where the group stayed in 1968 as part of their spiritual retreat. This iconic place is now all set for a makeover to offer travellers worldwide an enhanced experience of this heritage-rich place. 

Meditation caves at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram
Meditation caves at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi AshramShutterstock

Also known as Chaurasi Kutiya (84 huts), the Beatles Ashram will be renovated by the Uttarakhand Tourism Department in collaboration with the Department of Forests. The project aims to transform it into a modern heritage destination encompassing wellness, hospitality, arts, and culture.

The goal is to revive the site's former prominence and kindle interest among the public, both locally and internationally. The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) has enlisted the services of HCP Design, Planning, and Management Pvt. Ltd (HCP), a prominent design consultancy firm, to create a Vision Document, Master Plan, and Architectural and Engineering Designs for the ashram.

A glimpse of the ashram
A glimpse of the ashramAlexander Gafarro / Shutterstock

The Rock Band played a significant role in establishing Rishikesh as a sought-after destination for those searching for nirvana. Band members, namely John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, spent nearly three months there in 1968.

During their meditation at the ashram, they composed 48 songs, with 20 being recorded. Their time at the ashram was a pivotal period in their career, as they practised Transcendental Meditation and wrote songs that would feature in iconic albums such as The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be.

What To Expect?

This renovated facility will offer a glimpse into the original complex's history and provide visitors with a comprehensive wellness experience that Rishikesh is renowned for. Once redeveloped, the centre is expected to attract the followers of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation. Not just that, musicians, researchers, and wellness enthusiasts worldwide can also come to this place. It will also be a focal point for cultural and artistic events, showcasing various dance forms, music, and other arts.

History Of The Spiritual Complex

Kutiya (Huts) at the ashram
Kutiya (Huts) at the ashramUttarakhand Tourism

Earlier, the complex featured a practical design, offering essential comforts for global travellers while merging with the natural elements needed for meditation. The huts, of varying sizes, allowed natural airflow.

It attracted many prominent international individuals during its peak, including the Beatles, Beach Boys, Mia Farrow, and Donovan. The centre remained a popular meditation spot from the 1970s through the 1980s but fell into disrepair after the lease expired. Over time, the huts were decorated with graffiti from Beatles enthusiasts.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi & The Ashram

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Wikipedia

In 1963, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi leased the land from the Department of Forests, Uttar Pradesh, and transformed it into the International Academy of Meditation, also known as Shankaracharya Nagar by some devotees. Later, in 2003, local forest authorities reportedly took control of the ashram.

Yogi's Transcendental Meditation technique is taught globally. He also introduced "Yogic Flying" to the world, known as "From Meditation to Levitation," a heightened state of consciousness where practitioners can elevate themselves while seated.

Address: 4876+4V3, Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249304

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