Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr arrive in Rishikesh

The arrival of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in Delhi was quite different from the journey taken by John Lennon and George Harrison a few days earlier.

The world’s press was now aware of The Beatles’ presence in India, and cameramen and reporters were on hand as they disembarked. The flight from London had lasted 20 hours, and the group was understandably exhausted upon their arrival.

They were met in Delhi by their assistant Mal Evans, and Raghvendra from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi‘s ashram in Rishikesh. Garlands of red and yellow flowers were placed around the visitors’ necks.

Starr was suffering pain in his arm following inoculation injections, and the party set off for a hospital. Their driver, however, lost his way and drove down a dead end in a field, along with the press convoy. One local reporter eventually led them to the hospital.

Afterwards they began the 150-mile journey to Rishikesh. The Academy of Transcendental Meditation was situated 150 feet above the Ganges, and was surrounded by mountainous jungles.

There was an Indian driver and Raghvendra from the camp in front and me and Jane Asher in the back and it was long and it was dusty and it was not a very good car and it was one of those journeys, but great and exciting. I remember these Indian guys talking in what was obviously an Indian language and I was starting to doze off in the car in the back because once you were two hours into the journey the tourism had worn off a little. It was fascinating seeing naked holy men and the kind of thing you just don’t see unless it’s late-night Soho, and the ones you tend to see in Soho tend to be covered in shit and very drunk. I slipped into sleep, a fitful back-of-the-car sort of sleep. It was quite bumpy, and the guys were chattering away, but in my twilight zone of sleeping it sounded like they were talking Liverpool. If you listened closely, it so nearly slid into it. There was like a little segue into very fast colloquial Liverpool. And I was thinking, Uh, where the fuck am I? What? Oh, it’s Bengali, and I would just drop off again. ‘Yabba yabba, are yer comin’ oot then, lad?’ It was a strange little twilight experience. It was a long journey.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
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