Beatles Ashram

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Admit it! Whenever we are on the way to work, or we workout, or we hear a symphony in film, Music brings up our moods, tell us a story or even bring us down. But music is not just that’s it. Music is just parallel to the meditation. As meditation shares similar traits with music and both improves the visual and verbal skills, reduces stress, increases creativity and provides peace to the mind. From easing pain to motivate one’s performance, both are equally beneficial. Music and meditation have touched cultures all over the world since very early times in human history.

Besides travelling, if you are a die-hard fan of the English rock band of the 60’s-The Beatles and also follows the meditation too, you are at right place. The tale starts from the Swinging Sixties, when Rishikesh was an obscure little place, quite unknown to most of the world outside. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi-The founder of Transcendental Meditation, had built an ashram along the bank of the river Ganga. He had also started to gather a devoted string of celebrity followers on his many world tours to teach TM. During one such tour in London, in 1967, seated amongst the Maharishi’s audience were the four Beatles-George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. The Beatles were all still going strong on LSD to tap into the cosmic subconscious or eternity, and the maharishi’s techniques promised to get them there without the chemicals.

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And so in 1968, brimming with that expectation, the Beatles, along with their wives and girlfriends, arrived in Rishikesh for a three month-long course on TM. This whole time of the group at Rishikesh Ashram was their most productive time period. It’s where The Beatles penned around 48 songs, including Back In The USSR, Dear Prudence, I’m So Tired and learned how to meditate. After The Beatles visit, Rishikesh came into the limelight and became one of a popular overseas destinations. Their visit also changed the opinion of the western world about Indian spirituality. Yoga and Meditation become the new trend & Rishikesh becomes its hub.

Government reclaimed the land after the expiration of 20-years lease, which was provided to Maharishi by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department.The property was allowed to go unsafe, but now the Uttarakhand government is planning to renovate the rundown ashram. To showcase the photographs of Beatles’ 1968 visit, this project will include a small museum too. It makes complete sense to promote eco-friendly tourism in the area, as well as to honor the Beatles’ visit and the impact they had on spreading more news of the value of meditation and yoga to the West. The property known as ‘Beatles ashram’ amongst fans and  ‘Mahesh Yogi’s ashram’ amongst locals, is part of the Rajaji National Park that extends from Haridwar to Dehradun and beyond.

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