By Suzie Dundas for Frommer’s
The long-abandoned retreat, which famously hosted the Fab Four in 1968, is now a rough tourist attraction in the jungle outside Rishikesh, India. If you can brave the ruins, it’s a rock ‘n’ roll pilgrimage.
Under dense vines and fallen leaves, a decaying relic from the 1960s lies on the outskirts of Rishikesh, in northern India.
Here, you can still find the former International Academy of Meditation ashram once led by transcendental meditation guru Maharishi Mahesh. It was here, as the world press covered every move, that the Beatles (plus their girlfriends, wives, and an entourage including actress Mia Farrow) stayed in 1968 and found inspiration for more than 50 songs, from “Rocky Raccoon” to “Sexy Sadie.”
Lyrically, it was one of the Beatles’ most prolific periods, but their time was plagued with infighting and rumours of impropriety. Though they were scheduled to study for longer, they arrived late, and then tensions led them to depart early—and separately.
Our property is an oasis surrounded by Reserved Forest, and it is a thorough privilege to be so close to nature. If you book, come with the purpose of living in the valley of India’s holiest life force, the Ganga, for the call of the barking deer, or the midnight roar of the leopard ; and for that lovely dull ache after a busy day in the great outdoors. 80% of the property is built on a hillside, and you will have to walk a series of steps to reach your cottage. If your group includes infants, small kids and infirm elders, do request for cottages closer to the Cafe´.
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