The state tourism department will celebrate 50 years of Beatles group at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh for the first three consecutive evenings during the International Yoga Festival starting from March 1- 7.
Forest minister Harak Singh Rawat also announced free entry to the ashram during the festival. He has also cut down the entry fee from Rs 150 to 100 for Indians and Rs 300 from 600 for foreign nationals for the ashram, which is situated in the Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
Tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said, “With lesser fee, more tourists will visit the ashram. We have asked the tourism department to renovate some rooms, including the meditation centre.” While tourism officials are keen on permitting around 250 visitors during the festival, Rajaji director Sanatan Sonkar appealed to allow only 30 visitors as the ashram is located in the core area of the tiger reserve.
When the world-famous band came to Rishikesh in 1968, they desperately needed the calm and quite. Yoko Ono had entered John Lennon’s life and Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison had begun protesting her interference in the group’s affairs. Arguments were a regular scene and Starr wanted to leave the band forever — which he did briefly in August that year.