A decision of Uttarakhand government will make millions of Beatles’ fans happy around the globe.
The state forest department on Tuesday opened the gates of ‘Chaurasi Kutia’ in Rishikesh - the place where the members of English band stayed during their visit to India.
‘Chaurashi Kutia’ popularly known as ‘Beatles Ashram’ will remain open for six months in a year as it is located inside Rajaji National Park (RNP), said DVS Khati, chief wildlife warden, while announcing the decision in the presence of forest minister Dinesh Agarwal.
The RNP remains open for the tourists from November 15 to June 15.
“We hope the ashram will be a treat to the Beatles fans. It will also emerge as a major attraction for the visitors,” Khati said.
Earlier this year, Uttarakhand Wildlife Board decided to start eco-tourism activities at the place which is literally worshipped by the fans of ‘Fab Four’.
Ringo Star, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon visited Mahesh Yogi’s ashram here in February 1968 to learn transcendental meditation. They stayed here at the igloo shaped huts for nearly two months. During their stay, they penned more than 40 popular numbers.
Few of them figures in the two collections - The White Album and Yellow submarines.
The two members of Beatles - Ringo Star and Paul McCartney are alive and have a big fan following. Such was the popularity of their Rishikesh tour that a star hotel in Liverpool (UK) has a separate section showcasing Beatles’ Rishikesh stay.
Mahesh Yogi had obtained 20-year lease of 15 acres area from Uttar Pradesh forest department to set up ashram where igloo type huts were erected. The lease expired in 1981 and in 2003 this area came under the jurisdiction of Rajaji National Park (now RTR).
In the last three decades, the place was in a state of complete neglect.
In 2010, the Uttarakhand government tried to renovate the entire area as ‘Ayush Gram’ (ayurveda village) but the idea did not work out.