Beatles Ashram in India Reopens to Tourists


What was once known as the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram, but now better known as the “Beatles Ashram,” is being reopened to tourists.

The ashram, located in the serene foothills of the Himalayas in Rishikesh, on the banks of the holy river Ganges, has been closed for more than 40 years.

In 1968, the Beatles went to India for a meditation training session conducted by the spiritual guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The first encounter the fab four (George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr) had with India was when George, during filming of the movie “Help,” heard Indian classical music being performed. A short time later he bought his first sitar; and a few months later he attended a private dinner where he met Ravi Shankar, the maestro of modern day sitar music. They quickly became very good friends.

On Aug 24, 1967 the Beatles attended a lecture given by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in London. The following day they joined him for a 10-day seminar on meditation, which, due to the sudden death of their manager, Brian Epstein, could not be completed.
In February 1968, the Beatles travelled to India to join a meditation session the Maharishi was conducting for a group of western celebrities including actress Mia Farrow, Scottish folk singer, Donovan and Mike Love of the Beach Boys.

Some 230 kms north of Delhi, the “Beatles Ashram” in Rishikesh is situated in a guarded compound in the foothills of the Himalayas, 150 feet above River Ganges and surrounded by mountainous jungles on the other three sides.

Ringo stayed for 11 days; Paul for five weeks; John and George for seven weeks, and in that time they had what is likely their single most creative period of time – they wrote 48 songs at the ashram. The Beatles’ time there was documented by a young 24-year-old Canadian traveller and amateur photographer, Paul Saltzman.

The opening of the ashram to the public is of great interest not only to Beatles fans, but to Indian and foreign travellers too. Though the ashram was officially closed some private tours occasionally did take place. One such tour was escorted by Saltzman, who is now a celebrated, two-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker. He will be leading his fourth journey to India on Sept. 22, 2016 with details available at