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A dome like small room where the exterior is covered with rocks from riverbed

Wild Wild Country is what everyone is currently talking about. Wasn’t our timing to visit Beatles Ashram just perfect. Am writing this as I make lunch for myself.

When you visit a historical site, one is immediately transported to those times and that life. And Beatles Ashram is a mixture of pop-culture and mysticism of the 60s. I have never been to a place any more other-worldly than this. Even if you are slightly interested in meditation, the meditation rooms will highly entice you. You will be drawn to them like a child to a candy shop, sorry for the cliché. These were the personal meditation rooms am talking about (see pic). And I haven’t yet begun talking about the huge meditation hall called Chaurasi Kutiya. I hope I do justice to this mystical corner and architectural work-of-art while describing it. Sadly we don't have photos that give the whole picture of this part of the Ashram. These are 84 small rooms lying adjacent to each other in rows. The walls are covered with rocks from local riverbed. Each room has a small opening instead of a door, just wide enough for one person to slip in. Each room has just one small window near the ceiling for ventilation. The rooms are shaped like small domes. The whole place is cool, quiet, and dark even at 2 in the afternoon. We were overwhelmed by imagining what the atmosphere would have been with people meditating in all 84 rooms at a given point of time. Such energy the place must have emanated. The chants would have echoed in the low ceiling domes. The collective energy would have surely created the transcendental experience most people vie for all their lives.

The Beatles composed 48 songs while they lived in the ashram. These mostly featured in their landmark albums The White Album, Abbey Road and Yellow Submarine. Their visit to the Ashram inspired a global interest in meditation and yoga. And helped Rishikesh become a popular tourist destination, especially for foreign tourists. Remembering their visit to the ashram is the Artisits’ Studio, with huge graffiti featuring them with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In fact, you will see artistic graffiti throughout the ashram. And they have been made by practiced hands.

If you are going to Rishikesh, don’t miss to visit Beatles Ashram. Thankfully, not many people know about it. So the crowd is minimal as compared to tourist spots in India. In fact, you can totally make a trip to Rishikesh just to visit the Beatles Ashram and spend some me-time there. Do carry your meditation mat.

Dal-chawal and fried bhindi anyone?

Have a look at our photos from the Rishikesh Trip here
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Working for your own company is different from working on your boss’ idea. One, the cribbing is none. But the anxiety levels shoot through the roof when friends who had confirmed participation cancel it few days later. So days begin on a good note, end on a bad one and at midnight it might take a turn for the better. Unpredictable it is. Just like your boss’ mood. But we make the most of the days. Doing our own thing between drawing itineraries and calling people.

Doing our own thing ranges from cooking something we have been fancying for some time. Or trying our hand at a board game. Is Jenga a board game? There’s no board. Well, it’s just a game. Try your hand at it after you are a few drinks down. At this point I would like to re-iterate, Bat Travels doesn’t encourage drinking. In fact, drinking is injurious to health. One should not do it. Even if you are bogged down by the vagaries of life and it seems like there’s no respite. A drink should not be touched. Just believe in yourself and the higher powers to untangle your life. Even if you are an atheist. And sing some karaoke instead. What if you don’t know the song? Don’t you think it is unnecessary when people remember the words of so many songs? These are the same people who won’t remember important things. Important things like they owe you money. And then they won’t take subtle hints either. But start humming a song and they will fill in the words. Without being asked for and with the correct pronunciations. Such a waste of being a human being. Hey, someone increase the volume of the radio. I can’t hear the words.

Click on images to see the video.
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Artist on the boat playing santoor. Ganges and the rising sun can be seen in the background.

Try being on a boat, on the Ganges early in the morning when the sun is rising. Sitting at a distance of 3-4 feet from the musician, you will appreciate how delicate the instrument is. It has more than 100 strings running crisscross over the wooden body. And the music it makes is soulful and serene. If you keep looking at the Ganges with the santoor music in the background, something will shift gears in

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Break a leg and other happenings at Bat Travels

  Well, I actually broke a leg. And then we had a great show. So there, the headline has been explained. What follows is the drama around it and lots of detail. In my line of vision is the right foot shoe lying alone where it has been discarded when I walked in in my house from my tour. It is covered in dust, and is looking miserably alone. So it the right foot chappal

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Panoramic view of Rome

The visually impaired also need a holiday. A holiday that treats them like equals. Disability tour or disability travel may not be the answer. Inclusive travel, most likely, may be. The lesser conversation we have about how different the disabled people are from able-bodied, the better it is. In fact, the conversation should be, how alike we all are, disabled or able-bodied. And therefore the need to go to a new destination, unwind in the

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