The Beatles' Indian Retreat Is Open to the Public for $10

1209_Maharishi funeral
Family members attend the funeral of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the northern Indian city of Allahabad February 11, 2008. The self-styled guru was the Beatles' spiritual advisor at an ashram in Rishikesh, where the band stayed for a period in 1968. Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

The Beatles wrote an estimated 48 songs during a stay at a spiritual retreat in the Indian town of Rishikesh, according to the Guardian. Now, the retreat has been opened for fans and aspiring songwriters to walk in the footsteps of the iconic British band.

The band visited the ashram in Rishikesh, a city in the northern state of Uttarakhand, in 1968 for a proposed three-month visit. None of the band members managed to stay the intended course: Ringo Starr left after 10 days, Paul McCartney after four weeks with John Lennon and George Harrison outlasting them at six weeks. The retreat proved fruitful with several of the songs written there appearing on the Beatles' 1968 album, titled White Album.

The ashram was run by a guru named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi during the 1960s, but he and his followers abandoned the site in the 1970s.

The BBC reported that the retreat was opened to visitors on Tuesday, with Indian visitors being charged 150 rupees ($2.24) and foreign tourists paying 700 rupees ($10.49) to visit. The ashram was run by a self-proclaimed guru named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi during the 1960s, but he and his followers abandoned the site in the 1970s. It was reclaimed by the local forestry department in 2003, and Beatles fans have been known to sneak in by climbing over the walls or bribing the gatekeepers.

The retreat resides on the edge of a tiger reserve and contains a meditation hall covered with graffiti, including a picture of the Beatles. Rajendra Nautiyal, a senior forest official, told the BBC that gardens and benches were being introduced for visitors, and that there were plans to build a cafeteria and souvenir shop, though the authorities wished to "retain the place's rustic look."

The Beatles are one of the most successful bands ever and have reportedly sold more than 600 million records since they came to prominence in the 1960s. 2015 also marked the 25th anniversary of the murder of Lennon, who was shot on December 8, 1980.

The Beatles' Indian Retreat Is Open to the Public for $10 | World