Photography : Nature and beyond

Rishikesh, Haridwar, Uttarakhand (May 2012) : Spectacular views, Meditation and The Beatles

Lakshman Jhula – the Suspension Bridge 

What do you get when you add up  Spectacular views of Ganga (Ganges) river touching down on plains from the mountains, authentic Hindu Spiritualism, Meditation turned into a pop culture reference, Music and humongous crowd of people (both Indian and foreigners), monkeys, cows and dogs?

  Its called Rishikesh… and the place see in Rishikesh is Lakshman Jhula

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play, Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day

The sun is up, the sky is blue, It’s beautiful and so are you

Dear Prudence won’t you come out to play

Dear Prudence open up your eyes, Dear Prudence see the sunny skies

The wind is low the birds will sing, That you are part of everything

Dear Prudence won’t you open up your eyes?

Look around round, Look around round round, Look around

Dear Prudence let me see you smile, Dear Prudence like a little child

The clouds will be a daisy chain, So let me see you smile again

Dear Prudence won’t you let me see you smile?

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play, Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day

The sun is up, the sky is blue, It’s beautiful and so are you

Dear Prudence won’t you come out to play

Dear Prudence : The Beatles, from The White Album – 1968

beatles at rishikesh4

Beatles at Rishikesh3

Bealtes at Rishikesh

Beatles at rishikesh2

Beatles at Rishikesh

The song was written by John Lenon outside the door of Prudence Farrow during the Beatles stay in a Rishikesh Ashram during 1968. As the story goes, John Lennon was trying to  lure Prudence Farrow out of her intense meditation. Lennon later said “She’d been locked in for three weeks and was trying to reach God Quicker than anyone else. Donovan taught Lennon a guitar finger-picking technique that he passed on to Harrison and the same was used in this song.

The British Indian Govt. built an iron suspension bridge in 1939 to bring two parts of the town Rishikesh together, over the river Ganga who flows with the unmatched energy and beauty of youth at this place, and why not, she just touches down on the plains of India, completing the first part of her journey from the beautiful Himalayan mountains

Initially the bridge was built for convenience, once completed it not only made it easier for people to travel across the river from one Temple to another , it offered such a magnificent view which was not seen before. The flow of visitors both domestic and foreigner continues across the year. There is no season or month all through the year when you will find this place empty…

Its is quiet a popular place for tourism in North India, while the Indians visitors throng the place in large groups of family & friends mostly as a the normal Hindu religious tourism, the foreigner are young and not so young people biking their way from New Delhi to Rishikesh in search of Internal Peace, Love, Health, Yoga or just another adventure – river rafting, bungee jumping, mountain tracking, or just chilling at  river side camps. The Ganga water here is still unpolluted and quiet clean, so one can actually dip into it without the fear of getting ill.

Rishikesh is full of Hindu Temples & Ashrams, the Beatles were here at the peak of their career to gain some spiritual wisdom. The Beatles visited India in 1968 to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation training session at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at Rishikesh. The ashram still exist, numerous other similar ashrams have also cropped up now.  Beatles stay in Rishikesh was covered by media across the world as they were the Top of the Pops at that time, the world was going crazy about their music, lifestyle, anything & everything that they were doing. 

Beatles stay at the ashram is also considered as a highly productive period for the band, they wrote a lot of songs here which were recorded and released in their later albums. The ashram is still there, located in the holy “Valley of the Saints” in the foothills of the Himalayas, among a cluster of many such ashrams.

They also popularized the pop culture version Indian spirituality,  quick fix meditation trips, Yoga, Indian fabrics in dazzling colors and designs converted into western wear – shirt, t-shirt, skirt, pajama, cap, etc… Aum/Om/ ॐ – is the most sacred syllable in Hindu religion became and continues to remain an pop icon, it is still getting printed in all kinds of clothes and accessories.

Lakshman Jhula - Suspension Bridge

Lakshman Jhula – Suspension Bridge

Bustling Masses : Lakshman Jhula Suspension Bridge

Bustling Masses : Lakshman Jhula Suspension Bridge

Lakshman Jhula : Center of Attraction at Rishikesh

Lakshman Jhula : Center of Attraction at Rishikesh

Lakshman Jhula : It also connects the two parts of town across the Ganga river

Lakshman Jhula : It also connects the two parts of town across the Ganga river

Keep Walking... Lakshman Jhula

Keep Walking… Lakshman Jhula

Temple and Yoga Training Center at Rishikesh

Temple and Yoga Training Center at Rishikesh

2 thoughts on “Rishikesh, Haridwar, Uttarakhand (May 2012) : Spectacular views, Meditation and The Beatles

  1. Pingback: #Ganga… more than a river : #Rishikesh #Haridwar #Uttarakhand – May 2012 « For Whatever It's Worth…

  2. Thanks for the link! I knew The Beatles helped put Rishikesh on the map, but I didn’t know the story behind it – so fascinating. It’s such a beautiful place, it’s no wonder tourists and locals find whatever they’re looking for there. I unfortunately got really sick during my time there and didn’t get to participate in some things I wanted to, but I would go back in a heart beat.

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