A must do for anyone traveling to Rishikesh is a visit to the famous Beatles Ashram.
After being attracted to the meditation and teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in London, the fab four were invited for an 8 week pilgrimage during 1968, to immerse themselves in learning transcendental meditation and to become his disciples. The ashram closed it’s doors in 1997 and it was soon forgotten. Left to nature and the surrounding forest up until a couple of years ago, the Uttarakhand Forestry department opened it’s gates to tourism. It is hoped that monies raised from the entrance fee go toward restoring this beautiful and important site back to its former glory.
Wandering round the former ashram I felt like I was in a forgotten world. Beehive shaped meditation caves made from river rocks that have been taken over by the undergrowth, the sounds of the birds in the trees and the river Ganga flowing below, it felt almost magical. Amongst the ruins I stumbled upon stunning pieces of graffiti artwork, painted by a variety of invited street artists over the years. Many of the paintings were done in honour of the fab four and their time in Rishikesh.
Yes, it would be an amazing place to restore, but I kinda love it the way it is!
Here are some pics from my trek through the ruins…