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#Om: Now you can find peace and love where The Beatles found peace and love. Hopefully.

Beatlesashram

An abandoned spiritual retreat in northern India where The Beatles famously learned to meditate has been opened to the public.

The ashram, located in the town of Rishikesh on the banks of the river Ganga, became derelict after its flamboyant guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi abandoned the place in the 1970s.

But authorities in the state of Uttarakhand began cleaning up the place several months ago for Tuesday’s opening, exactly 35 years after John Lennon was assassinated in New York.

Officials say they want to conserve the “original charm” of the place which drew the world’s biggest music band to India.

And they want to set up a yoga centre there as well.

Indian tourists are being charged an entry fee of 150 rupees (£1.50) and 700 rupees for foreigners.

Located on the edge of a reserve, the ashram remained a popular pilgrimage for hardcore Beatles fans despite becoming derelict and being taken over by the wildlife department in 2003.

Fans could sneak in by climbing over the perimeter walls, with a meditation hall decorated with colourful graffiti the main attraction.

Beatlesashram1

The Beatles with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

The Beatles stayed at the ashram, spread over nearly 18 acres and located in the Himalayan foothills, in 1968 to learn transcendental meditation from the guru Maharishi.

But the Fab Four and the guru fell out during their visit, for various reasons.

Ringo Starr reportedly objected to the vegetarian diet, while John Lennon felt that the Maharishi’s claim to celibacy was a lie.

However the group wrote many of their songs for their famous “White Album” during and immediately after their stint at the ashram.

The guru later moved to Europe where he died in 2008.


 

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