Fifty years ago the Beatles travelled to India to meditate with the Maharishi – and write a host of songs for what would become their ‘White Album’.
Now half-a-century on that visit, captured in candid photographs by fellow traveller Paul Saltzman (including the one above), has become the subject of a new exhibition opening at The Beatles Story this month.
Beatles In India promises never-before-seen images and memorabilia, as well as first hand accounts from some of the people who were there, including George Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd, her sister Jenny, and photographer Saltzman - a sound engineer for the National Film Board of Canada at the time.
Pattie Boyd, who has previously enjoyed her own photographic show at the waterfront attraction, said: “It really was a special, magical time; forming many memories and, of course, an abundance of great Beatles music. I look forward to sharing thoughts and memories of India as part of the exhibition.”
The Beatles and their wives and girfriends travelled to Rishikesh in February 1967 to join a transcendental meditation course at the Maharishi’s ‘ashram’.
Among other well-known faces there were Donovan – who was inspired to write Jennifer Juniper by Jenny Boyd, actress Mia Farrow, and Mike Love of the Beach Boys.
Ringo Starr left after 10 days, and McCartney after a month, but John Lennon and George Harrison stayed for six weeks.
Beatles Story marketing manager Diane Glover, who visited the ashram in 2017, said: “It’s a magical place, to be honest, and as we walked through the remains of the Maharishi’s Ashram, it is clearly a place of peace and seclusion.
“The 1968 visit was an important time of reflection for The Beatles as their manager, Brian Epstein had sadly passed away in the summer of 1967, and they escaped away from their fans and the media in search of spirituality.”
Beatles in India will open at the Beatles Story on February 16.