Imagine there’s no heaven !! No hell below us !! Above us only sky !!
Imagine there’s no countries !! Nothing to kill or die for !! And no religion too
Imagine no possessions !! No need for greed or hunger !! Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say I’m a dreamer !! But I’m not the only one !! I hope someday you’ll join us !! And the world will live as one !!
In the year of 1968, small place Rishikesh hit the world news headline and became a most significant place for the foreigners. But why? the answer my friend blowing in the wind !! Four of “The BeatlesMania” came to Rishikesh, India to attend a session of transcendental Meditation at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
It was February 1968, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr along with his wife stepped into Rishikesh to stay, following an interest and earlier visit by George Harrison. They came here for rehabilitation from LSD abuse, as that time, all four members from The Beatles were suffering. They lived in the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, not for a very long period of time. Ringo Starr and his wife didn’t like vegetarian foods and also missed their children, so they left early but others stayed for month or two. They wrote many famous songs during their stay at this Ashram and afterward published those songs in “Abbey Road” and “White Album”.
The ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is still there but it was abandoned in 1997. Recently it is opened for the visitors. The Ashram is situated in the Shiwalik ranges of the Himalayas in Rajaji Tiger Reserve forest, which is 7.5 hectors, 46 meters above the river and surrounded by jungles, present condition is too poor. I have noticed some restoration works in progress during my visit.
I went there after my Summit to Kedar Kantha Trekking and was completely exhausted and extremely tired. When I entered the jungle where it is situated, I was thrilled and my tiredness went completely after some time. I went there alone to explore the place and didn’t notice many visitors for the place. At the beginning, I was little fearful, because couldn’t notice any visitor there and it is in the jungle and also abandoned. Imagine there’s no heaven, that much is okay but just imagine my situation walking down in jungle to explore a abandoned place but couldn’t trace anybody around. Rajaji Tiger Reserve is famous for Wild Elephants and Tigers, So Initially in my imagination all the tigers and Wild Wild Elephants were coming. When I started witnessing the impressions of the presence of Beatles all around that took away all negativity from me. Believe me, I heard the footsteps of all great four and if you concentrate even you can hear them sing.
Places to See:-
Ashramas (Hermitages) :- On the front side after the entrance there is an Ashram which is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram. But on the back side of this Ashram, there are three Ashramas where the Beatles stayed there. Every Ashram has separate names as Anand Puri, Janak Puri, and Siddha Puri. Where ever you look you will see many Graffiti and it’s hard to find the originals what Beatles made during their stay. All the buildings are abandoned and the condition is too poor, so be careful before you enter. Some domes are made on the roofs of those Ashramas and you can notice much meaningful graffiti. Each stone bungalows contained 5/6 rooms which were equipped with electric heaters, running water, toilets, and English style furniture. But all those things are abandoned now.
Lecture Halls:- There are many lecture halls but I have noticed only two, others may exist but it is hard to understand as many buildings are run down. One lecture hall on the left-hand side just after few minutes walk from Ashram entrance is very interesting. As this lecture hall popular as “The Beatles Cathedral Gallery” and this hall is full of graffiti. I have shot a small video for you all and during that time I was very tired and also running out of my mobile battery, as I had the only choice to capture videos with my cell phone. Hope it will give an impression of The Beatles footsteps here in India. Another Lecture hall is attached with meditation chambers.
84 Meditation Chambers:- At the end of the Ashram there are 84 chambers meditation center and attached with a lecture hall. All those meditation chambers are made of local rocks which represent different types of Yoga postures and together they represent the whole life of human being. I have also shot a video of meditation chambers. It was difficult for me to shot properly with my cell phone as the place was too dark because the entire place was without of electricity.
Meditation Chambers :- There are many others small sized meditation chambers equipped with a modern electric point, water provision and toilet in each meditation hall. Each hall has a small partition from above which made a doom type closed roof. All those small sized meditation chambers are situated along the side of the ashram. You can see meditation chamber architecture in my video.
Controversy:- Rumors of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi demands money which was the main reason behind they leave the ashram early. Also, his behavior towards some female disciples eventually disillusioned them all. Now everything become history or you can say myths.
Entry Timing:- Rajaji National Park entry time is 9 am to 4pm
Indian – 150 INR
Senior Citizen – 75 INR
Students (up to 18) – 40 INR
Students (above 18) – 75 INR
Foreigners – 600 INR
How to reach
Take an auto to reach Rishikesh Center, which is near to Ram Jhula. Just cross the bridge and take right. After 10/15 minutes walk road will end and after few minutes of you will be at the gate of Rajaji National Park.
Rishikesh is very well connected to Haridwar and Dehradun. You will get Auto/Car/Bus from Haridwar and Dehradun. Bus fare is around 30 INR from Haridwar and 40 INR from Dehradun. Auto charges 35 INR from Haridwar and 50 INR from Rishikesh. Private cars also available and cost you for a day trip around 1000 INR to 1500INR.
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest airport to Rishikesh and the distance from Dehradun to Rishikesh is 35KM.
One can get down at Rishikesh railway station and then take an auto ride to Center.
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