Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh has become a major site of attraction for the tourists visiting Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. The age-old practice of yoga and meditation, which has thrived in Rishikesh for centuries, is the fundamental reason why so many people from all over the globe like visiting this peaceful and beautiful town. When the legendary band ‘The Beatles’ stepped foot onto the hallowed location of Rishikesh, it was an eye-opener for the world, inspired by the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was skilled in the practice of yoga and meditation. As a result of this legendary visit, Rishikesh was dubbed the “Yoga Capital of the World” and has remained in the spotlight ever since.
The Beatles Ashram, also known as Chaurasi Kutia ( 84 huts), is situated on the Ganges river’s eastern bank, near Rishikesh’s Muni Ki Reti region, in the Himalayan foothills. It occupies 14 acres of land surrounded by forest on a 150-foot high cliff overlooking the Ganges river on a hill known as Manikoot.
It served as a training for students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation, in the 1960s and 1970s as the International Academy of Meditation. In 1961, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi leased the land from Uttar Pradesh’s state forestry department.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES THAT VISITED THE BEATLES ASHRAM?
Between February and April 1968, the English rock band the Beatles, as well as personalities such as Donovan, Mia Farrow, and Mike Love, learned meditation at the ashram, which attracted international notice. It was where the band wrote the majority of the songs for their self-titled double album, commonly known as the “White Album,” during their most productive era as composers.
George Harrison and George Lenon, with their wives, also visited this Ashram and stayed here. They were the most devout followers of meditation among the Beatles, and they were the last to leave the ashram.
WHEN AND WHY THE BEATLES ASHRAM WAS LEFT ABANDONED?
During the 1970s, the Maharishi ceased utilizing the ashram. ] After the lease expired in 1981, the government regained the property in the mid-1990s as part of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve. As a consequence of vandalism and the invasion of the bush, the erstwhile ashram fell into ruin.
INn 2000, when the supreme court asked the forest department to evacuate all the illegal occupants from the reserved area, this ashram, which once remained flocked with tourists, was abandoned.
REOPENING OF THE BEATLES ASHRAM
The reopening of this lost center of meditation was surely an overjoying one. The ashram was formally opened to the public in early December 2015. The Beatles Ashram Mural Project was revived as the Cathedral Gallery project in February 2016, when four artists, were asked to create a series of murals for the hall.
WHY SHOULD ONE VISIT BEATLES ASHRAM?
This rich spiritual area has much more than the “Beatles connection”. It has its own special energy and uplifting aura, which helps visitors understand the true power and significance of spirituality. The ashram’s main attractions include its gorgeous dome-shaped structure, incredible graffiti works, and a lovely painting of members of the Beatles band painted on one of Ved Bhavan’s interior walls. The place’s peaceful and renewing atmosphere calms the body from inside and restores the mind, infusing you with optimism. Apart from just watching the ashram’s ruins, you get a serene environment for a quiet nature walk along with bird watching.
Also, it’s the best place for all the photographers. The wall art can act as a perfect backdrop. The Beatles Ashram land is densely forested, so there is plenty of shelter and adequate light during most times of the day, with the exception of high noon. The ideal time to visit is late afternoon when the sun sets over the river and you can take some great sunset shots from the cliff.
BEATLES ASHRAM CONTROVERSY
According to reports, Maharishi was accused of sexual misconduct by a female devotee. Although, there has never been an official and final description of the charges surrounding the Maharishi that drove Harrison and Lennon to depart the ashram, fifty years after the Beatles’. But, eventually in the 1990s, Harrison and McCartney apologized to the yogi. Harrison subsequently stated in The Beatles Anthology that the notion was based on jealousy of Maharishi.
BEATLES ASHRAM TICKET PRICE
Since Ashram is located within the premises of Rajaji National park, An entry fee is charged.
FOREIGNER- 600 INR
INDIAN- 150 INR
INDIAN SENIOR CITIZEN- 75 INR
STUDENTS (UP TO 18 YEARS)-40 INR
STUDENTS ( MORE THAN 18 YEARS)-75 INR
BEATLES ASHRAM TIMING
You can visit Beatles Ashram from 10 am to 4 pm.
BEATLES ASHRAM LOCATION
The ashram lies in Rishikesh’s Muni Ki Reti, on the city’s northwestern outskirts, on the other bank of the river. The Lakshman Jhula footbridge, located 5 kilometers northeast of Rishikesh at the village of Tapovan, provides access to the ashram.
The Ram Jhula suspension bridge, which was erected in 1986, is just 1 km away from this ashram.
With the Janki Setu bridge opening to the public in November 2020. The 274-meter bridge provides access for two-wheelers and pedestrians, reducing the distance to the ashram even more.
BEST TIME TO VISIT BEATLES ASHRAM
It is best to visit Beatles Ashram during the Spring season.
HOW TO REACH BEATLES ASHRAM?
By Air: The Jollygrant Airport situated, 30 km away from here, is the nearest airport. Then you can book a cab or taxi to reach Beatles Ashram.
By Rail: Situated at a distance of 13km, the
Rishikesh railway station is the nearest one. You can book a cab to reach here.
By Road: Located on the Swargashram road in Rishikesh, If you plan to come from Lakshman Jhula: after crossing the bridge, you need to walk around 5 km towards toward Parmarth Niketan, at the end of the road, you’ll find the gates of The Beatles Ashram. You can also come from the Ram Jhula or Janki Setu, which are even closer to this ashram.
PLACES NEARBY BEATLES ASHRAM
Being situated in the most loved tourism city- Rishikesh, you can find numerable temples and the rippling sounds of the Ganges. You can walk around the small shops, a walk along the beaches and also visit these places.
- LAKSHMAN JHULA
- RAM JHULA
- PARMARTH NIKETAN
- TRIVENI GHAT