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?