The Beatles Ashram, also known as 84 Kutiya, is a spiritual retreat located in Rishikesh, India. It gained worldwide attention in the late 1960s when the Beatles, one of the most popular rock bands in history, visited the ashram to study Transcendental Meditation (TM) under the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The ashram was established in 1961 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a spiritual leader who developed the technique of TM, which involves the repetition of a mantra to achieve a state of deep relaxation and spiritual awareness. The ashram was initially used as a training center for TM teachers, but it later became a popular destination for people seeking spiritual growth and enlightenment.
In 1968, the Beatles, along with their wives and girlfriends, traveled to Rishikesh to attend a TM course at the ashram. They spent almost two months there, during which they wrote and recorded dozens of songs that later appeared on their White Album, including "Dear Prudence," "Back in the USSR," and "Blackbird". The Beatles' stay at the ashram was marked by a sense of creativity, inspiration, and spiritual exploration. They immersed themselves in the study of TM, spent long hours meditating and reflecting on their lives, and found a sense of peace and inner fulfillment that had eluded them in their hectic lives as musicians.
The ashram itself is a sprawling complex of over 80 cottages, known as kutiyas, spread across a forested hillside overlooking the Ganges River. Each cottage has a unique design and layout, featuring simple furnishings and decor that create a peaceful and meditative atmosphere. In addition to the kutiyas, the ashram has several meditation halls, communal dining areas, and other facilities for yoga, lectures, and other spiritual activities. The grounds are also home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and deer, adding to the natural beauty and tranquility of the environment.
The Beatles' stay at the ashram drew attention from around the world and put Rishikesh on the map as a spiritual destination for seekers of all kinds. Today, the ashram continues to attract visitors from around the world who come to meditate, practice yoga, and learn about the teachings of TM and other spiritual practices. However, the ashram was abandoned in the 1990s and fell into disrepair, becoming overgrown and inaccessible to visitors. In recent years, efforts have been made to restore the ashram and open it up for public access once again. The Uttarakhand government has taken over the land and has opened the ashram for tourists.
In conclusion, the Beatles Ashram, also known as 84 Kutiya, is a unique and fascinating place that has played a significant role in the history of both music and spirituality. The ashram's connection to the Beatles has made it an iconic destination for music fans, while its peaceful and meditative atmosphere has made it a sanctuary for seekers of all kinds. It is a place of great cultural and historical significance, and one that continues to inspire and uplift people from all walks of life.