In 2009 I was visiting Rishikesh high up on the Ganges for a few days. The old Maharishi ashram was a short walk down the river. At the time it had been taken back by the Indian Forestry department (from whom it was leased) and there was a guard on the entrance to prevent people from vandalising what remained. But for a small fee this was overlooked and genuine tourists could walk around and see the remains for themselves. The Ashram consisted of several office blocks, a main hall, sleeping quarters, small private beehive huts, and so on, and all was in decay having been largely reclaimed by the forest. Small narrow paths with scratching bushes joined the buildings and in some places it was difficult to push through from one building to another. It had been abandoned for some thirty years.
The roof of the hall had fallen in and trees were growing up through the floor. In one of the administration offices, thousands of papers lay around in piles on the floor. As the windows had long since broken, rain had caused these piles to rot. But I found some dry papers and include them here.
There was a small invitation booklet probably to advertise the ashram. This claims to be from the “Academy of Meditation”.
The ashram sold books and I looked through a whole pile of receipts hoping to find a purchase made by one of the Beatles who spent some time at the ashram and drew the world’s attention to the place. I put one in here and the date of this purchase was July, 1977. Unfortunately I didn’t find any from the Beatles. The ashram must have been abandoned in a hurry to leave books of receipts behind.
Other pamphlets were lying around including this registration card which would have been necessary to fill out when arriving – all worth preserving before going to decay. On the back of this card were the goals of the Institute.
Next was what looks like the articles of the association with its rules and regulations.
So this was my trip and I hope this small preservation of documents tells the reader something of the Maharishi’s Institute of Creative Intelligence. I believe today some of these buildings are under repair and the place is being redeveloped as a tourist attraction.