London, Jan 28 (PTI) A sitar used by late Pandit Ravi Shankar will be the centre of attraction at a new UK exhibition to celebrate 50 years since the Beatles tour of India to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in 1968. Also Read - Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa: Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial Goals Take Red Devils Level on Points With Premier League Leaders Liverpool

The sitar has been loaned to the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool by the Ravi Shankar Foundation for the showcase, which opens in the city on February 15 to run for two years. Also Read - FIFA Awards 2020 Winners: Robert Lewandowski Beats Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi to Win Best Men's Player Award, Jurgen Klopp Wins Best Coach For 2nd Straight Year

The members of the famous band John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison had arrived at the ashram in Rishikesh on February 15, 1968. The ‘Beatles in India’ exhibition will look at the relatively secretive part of the popular music group’s story, with never-before-seen memorabilia, imagery and personal accounts from the people who spent time with the band on their India visit. Also Read - LIV vs LEI Dream11 Team Tips And Predictions, Premier League: Football Prediction Tips For Today’s Liverpool vs Leicester City on November 23 Monday

“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,” said Diane Glover, manager at the Beatles Story museum, who visited Mahesh Yogi’s erstwhile ashram in Rishikesh last year.

“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,” she said.

The sitar belonging to Ravi Shankar had a profound influence on the musician’s protege and friend George Harrison, who then popularised the use of Indian instruments in 1960s pop music.

The exhibition will also include photography from Paul Saltzman, a sound engineer for the National Film Board of Canada at the time, who photographed The Beatles during their stay in India. He is responsible for some of the most iconic and intimate images of the Fab Four in India.

Pattie Boyd, George Harrison’s former wife, and her sister Jenny Boyd, who were among the star-studded list of attendees with The Beatles, will provide their insight into the time.

The exhibit will look at the group’s inspiration which encouraged them to go on the trip, their introduction to transcendental meditation as well as the songs they worked on in advance of the ‘White Album’.

Pattie Boyd said, “I am delighted to have been invited to be a part of The Beatles Story’s new ‘Beatles In India’ exhibition, marking the 50th anniversary of the trip to Rishikesh.

“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.”

This year also marks what would have been Harrison’s 75th birthday. The guitarist had celebrated his 25th birthday with his bandmates and friends at the ashram during their India tour.

Celebrations for this milestone will form a part of a year-long programme of unique Indian-inspired events, workshops and Q&A sessions.

The award-winning ‘The Beatles Story’ is the world’s largest permanent exhibition purely devoted to telling the story of The Beatles’ rise.

Located in the Fab Four’s hometown of Liverpool on the UNESCO World heritage waterfront at the Albert Dock, it takes visitors on a journey through the lives, times, culture and music of the world-famous band.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.