During the 1960s and 1970s, as the International Academy of Meditation, it was the training center for students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who devised the Transcendental Meditation technique. The ashram gained international attention between February and April 1968 when the English rock band the Beatles studied meditation there. It was the setting for the band’s most productive period as songwriters, where they composed most of the songs for their self-titled double album, also known as the “White Album”.
The site was abandoned in the 1990s and reverted to the local forestry department in 2003, after which it became a popular visiting place for fans of the Beatles. Although derelict and overrun by the jungle, the site was officially opened to the public in December 2015. It has since become known as Beatles Ashram and held an exhibition in February 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in Rishikesh.
Photos Courtesy of Sybaris Collection