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Mar 06 2013

Follow In The Beatles’ Footsteps

When I was in Rishikesh, I met an American guy who was a musician travelling around the world.  He was going in the anticlockwise while I was going clockwise around the world.  He was near the end of his travels and I was at the start of mine.  Anyway, he was on a mission to find the ashram The Beatles had stayed at when they were in Rishikesh, which was the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram.  I decided to join him and a local boy he had teamed up with.  We did find it eventually and, after paying the ‘gatekeeper’ a fee, we entered the grounds.

The Beatles, ashram, rishikesh

It was hard to believe that this abandoned place was where the Beatles had stayed 40 years previously.  It’s a large plot of land that has a number of unusual-looking structures such as these pods.  Apparently, they were used for meditation.

meditation, pods, meditation pods, The Beatles, ashram, rishikesh, india

Having seen the interior, I can kind of understand why they were used for meditation.  They were very basic.  I can’t imagine they would have been very comfortable although they must have had cushions or something soft to sit on.

meditation, pod, meditation pod, The Beatles, rishikesh, india

This unusual building, which is now in a state of disrepair, was some sort of accommodation for guests at the ashram.

guesthouse, accommodation, rishikesh, india, The Beatles, ashram

I don’t know what came over me in the Meditation Hall but I certainly couldn’t meditate in that position.  Having said that, it didn’t really feel like a place I would want to meditate.  Perhaps I would have felt differently if I had been there when it was open.

meditation, hall, ashram, The Beatles, rishikesh, india

Apart from the gatekeeper and plant life, the only other life I saw was a cluster of either wasps or bees.  I didn’t want to get any closer to find out which it was.

wasps, bees, window, ashram, rishikesh, india, The Beatles

This last photograph was taken in the grounds.  I’m sure I don’t need me to explain what the structure in the photograph represents, do I?

fertility, symbol, ashram, rishikest, india, The Beatles

Location

I don’t know the exact location of the ashram.  I just kind of followed without taking a blind bit of notice.  That’s what happens when I don’t need to find my own way back!  This is the general location of it.  It is by the river on the opposite to the town, if that helps.

Further information

If you are interested in visiting this former ashram, according to the Lonely Planet website, it’s possible to organise a tour with a former member of the ashram.

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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