The Beatles’ Indian spiritual retreat turned into tourist attraction

The transcendental meditation sanctuary in Rishikesh inspired the band's 'White Album'

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 Fab Four 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. While their productivity was high – the band reportedly wrote 48 songs for ‘The White Album’ during this period – the 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.


Senior forestry official Rajendra Nautiyal told the BBC: “We have cleaned up the place and lined the pathways with flowers. We are making some gardens and putting some benches for visitors”.

“We are introducing a nature trial and bird walk. We also plan to set up a cafeteria and a souvenir shop at some point. We want to retain the place’s rustic look.”

The forest reopened to the public on Tuesday (December 8). Entry reportedly costs around £7.