Trying to write your own White Album? Looks like you may have your Beatlesesque Transcendental Meditation experience yet. The ashram where the Fab Four studied TM with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 60s is finally opening back up. Having been shut down and overrun by nature’s decay since 1981, the ashram is set to get a fresh coat of paint and a whole host of zealous tourists.
The storied retreat center became famous when John, Paul, George, and Ringo set out to immerse themselves in Transcendental Meditation in the spring of 1968 and emerged with arguably one of the best albums ever. But it was also all of the rumors and scandals and arguments during and subsequently following their visit that brought the ashram, Maharishi and TM to new popularity heights. We won’t get into details, and there’s more to it, but the Beatles broke up in 1970, so their spiritual journey to India sort of marked the beginning of the end.
With all that said, those 40 songs they wrote during their time there are pretty darn fantastic.
Located in Rishikesh in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, the site has been in disrepair and largely abandoned for decades, save for some Beatles fans sneaking in here and there. In 2012, a group of artists actually came in and painted murals of the quartet on the walls, which officials say will remain, which is nice.
Doors opened last week to the public, but updates and upgrades will continue to be made - a nature trail and bird walk will be added as well as a cafeteria and souvenir shop (naturally).
“We want musicians from all over the world to come here to learn meditation,” forest minister Dinesh Aggarwal told the Times of India. ”Chaurasi Kutia Ashram will be known the world over for its spiritualism. There is no parallel to it.”
And now you can get your own Beatles-infused spiritualism on for just 700 rupees ($10.49) – the cost of admission. Or you could just listen to the White Album at home.