The Beatles’ Indian spiritual retreat turned into tourist attraction

The transcendental meditation sanctuary is in Rishikesh

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The site of The Beatles‘ famous 1968 spiritual retreat in northern India has become a tourist attraction after being renovated and reopened to the public.

The Beatles visited a transcendental meditation sanctuary in the forest near Rishikesh during March and April of that year, seeking enlightenment with plans to write songs while there.

During their time there, the band reportedly wrote a number of songs, some of which were recorded on the White Album.


Among them was a song called “Maharishi”, later recorded as “Sexy Sadie“, and “Junk”, which eventually appeared on Paul McCartney‘s album, McCartney.

Discussing the provenance of the songs on the White Album in the issue of Melody Maker dated June 8, 1968, MCartney explained, “20 were written while we were with the Maharishi in India, the other 10 we’ve written in the time since we’ve come back to London.”

The band’s stay was ultimately cut short, after guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was accused of making sexual advances to fellow guest, actress Mia Farrow.


The forest has long become a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans but there were recent reports that it had become overgrown.

Reports now state that cleaning teams have revived the forest ready for visitors.

The January 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring Paul Weller, David Bowie, Best Of 2015, Roger Waters, Father John Misty, Pere Ubu, Robert Forster, Natalie Prass, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Sunn O))), Jonny Greenwood, Arthur Lee & Love, Neil Young, Janis Joplin and more.

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.


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