Beatles' spiritual retreat in India opens to the public

(Dehradun, India) - An abandoned spiritual retreat in northern India where The Beatles famously learned to meditate has been opened to the public, with plans to turn it into a touristy yoga centre.

See Full Article

The ashram, located in the town of Rishikesh on the banks of the holy Ganges River, 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.

"We want to conserve the place and retain its original charm," D.V.S. Khati, Uttarakhand's chief wildlife warden, told AFP on Wednesday.

"We plan to have a yoga centre here as well soon. We hope the ashram in its new avatar will give a major boost to tourism in the region."

Indian tourists are being charged an entry fee of 150 rupees ($2.24) and 700 rupees ($10.50) 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.

The Beatles stayed at the ashram, spread over nearly 18 acres (7.2 hectares) 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.


Latest Entertainment News

  • Tom Hanks sees U.S. election warning in thriller 'Inferno'

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON -- Embedded within the manic action of "Inferno," the latest big-screen adaptation of a Dan Brown thriller, is a warning about the dangers of seeking simple solutions to complex problems. Star Tom Hanks says it's a theme with echoes in the current U.S. Source
  • John K. Samson, Tanya Tagaq and Colin James top this week's new music

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Colin James Blue Highways All roads lead to the blues. Or in James’ case, back to the blues. The veteran singer-guitarist pays homage to his favourite 12-bar classics on his unvarnished umpteenth release, authentically covering everyone from Muddy and Wolf to Robert and Tommy Johnson — while cutting loose with plenty of fretboard fireworks. Source
  • New Prince music to be released next year

    Entertainment CTV News
    Prince's label on Friday announced it will release the first posthumous music from the pop icon including an entire second album to accompany "Purple Rain." The announcement, made a week after a tribute concert in Prince's native Minnesota meant to offer closure after his sudden death on April 21, comes as his estate steadily moves forward on a business plan for his vast holdings. Source
  • Giant nude statue in California is stirring controversy

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN LEANDRO, Calif. - There have long been complaints about the lack of women in the tech industry. Now there's a towering female figure, in a tech park across the bay from San Francisco, although not quite what some people had in mind. Source
  • Hugh Jackman is back as Wolverine in the first trailer for 'Logan'

    Entertainment CTV News
    The official trailer has been released for upcoming Wolverine movie, "Logan." Set in the future after the loss of the X-Men, the film sees Hugh Jackman return for the third time as Wolverine, also known as Logan, while Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Professor Charles Xavier. Source
  • Movie reviews: Latest 'Jack Reacher' action-packed, with dose of sentimentality

    Entertainment CTV News
    JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK: 3 STARS Who exactly is Jack Reacher? If you are a reader, he’s the protagonist of 20 books by British author Lee Child. If you’re a moviegoer, he’s a bone-crunching former major in the U.S. Source
  • Lady Gaga returns to bar where she launched career

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Lady Gaga returned to the New York City bar where she performed years ago as an unsigned act on the eve of her new album's release, singing rock and pop songs for an audience including Robert De Niro, Helen Mirren, die-hard fans and music industry insiders. Source
  • Kanye West blasts Jay-Z for not reaching out after Kim Kardashian robbery

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kanye West has taken aim at his mentor Jay Z for failing to personally visit him and wife Kim Kardashian following her terrifying armed robbery ordeal. The Stronger hitmaker got his start as a producer for Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records before embarking on his own rap career, but relations between the longtime pals have been particularly strained in recent years after Jay and his wife Beyonce decided against attending Kanye’s European wedding to reality star Kim in 2014. Source
  • Lady Gaga: 'I'm nothing like Madonna, I write my own songs'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Lady Gaga’s ongoing feud with Madonna has stirred up again after the Poker Face singer accused the veteran of not writing her own tunes or playing her instruments. The divas first fell out when critics compared Gaga’s Born This Way to Madonna’s Express Yourself and the pop icon accused the younger star of ripping off her tune. Source
  • 'I saw an obnoxious erratic individual:' RZA breaks silence on Azealia Banks-Russell Crowe drama

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Hip hop legend RZA has publicly addressed the scandalous fall-out between Azealia Banks and Russell Crowe for the first time. The Wu-Tang Clan star broke his silence on the matter in a lengthy Facebook post on Thursday, dismissing Banks’ claims she was the victim of the Gladiator star’s unprovoked violent and racist attack at a party he threw at the Beverly Hills Hotel last weekend. Source