50 years of the Beatles’ visit to Rishikesh—rare photos exhibit at Mahesh Yogi Ashram

Rare Beatles exhibition at Chaurasi Kutia Ashram, formerly famous as the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ashram, kick starts celebrations of 50 years of the band’s visit to Rishikesh

NH Photo
NH Photo
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SMA Kazmi

A rare photo gallery dedicated to the 50 year anniversary of the visit of the famous Beatles band to Rishikesh was inaugurated at the Chaurasi Kutia Ashram on February 19. Uttarakhand Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat inaugurated the photo gallery as part of the celebrations.

The Beatles band group members stayed at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi known as “Chaurasi Kutia” near Rishikesh town in 1968. The ‘Chaurasi Kutia’ ashram, which was in a dilapidated condition, was taken care off by forest department which took it over three years ago. The ashram attracts Beatle fans from across the globe.

The galley, set up at the erstwhile camp of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi where the Beatles stayed in 1968 to learn meditation, contains 23 rare photographs of the boys from Liverpool. The galley has been set up with the support of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Foundation and two times Emmy Award winner Canadian film maker Paul Saltzman. Paul Saltzman, a sound engineer for the National Film Board of Canada, had photographed The Beatles during their stay. He is responsible for some of the most iconic and intimate images of the ‘Fab Four’ in India, which are on display. A sitar known as ‘Shyama’ used by Ravi Shankar, loaned to The Beatles Story by the Ravi Shankar Foundation, also finds space in the display.

The Beatles 1968 visit had created a huge craze amongst their fans across the globe for learning transcendental meditation from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

NH Photo
NH Photo
Rare photographs of the Beatles’ stay at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ashram—now the Chaurasi Kutia Ashram—at Rishikesh

Annually, over 10,000 tourists visit the place, famous as the Beatles Ashram. Speaking on the occasion, Rawat said, “Tourism holds the key and it opens big avenues for employment for local people. Our plan is to link livelihood of local villagers with the Ashram.”

Besides the Beatles exhibits, a separate gallery has been established for Mahesh Yogi and Rajaji National Park. New toilets and a cafeteria have been established. Signboards have been placed in every building and among all the house of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Beatles’ bungalow. The forest department reopened the Ashram two year back.

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