India has long been seen as a land of mystic exoticism, where the answers to life’s bigger questions lie in the back-alleys and bylanes (and where bhaang is basically legal). That’s the reason that many famous folks through the years have made the journey here to try and attain some form of enlightenment, such as these fine fellows. 

1. The Beatles

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison famously visited Rishikesh in the 1960s to study Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. However, they had a falling out with him and left in a few weeks. 


2. Steve Jobs

The founder of Apple’s adventures in India are also part of every entrepreneur’s lexicon. He visited India in 1974 to meet Guru Neem Karoli Baba, whom he wanted to study under and attain spiritual enlightenment, as most people will tell you.


3. Emilia Clarke

Queen Daenerys Targaryen also visited India, going to Rishikesh along with GoT co-star Rose Leslie to participate in some kind of spiritual retreat. She also visited Jaipur, as most foreigners are wont to do. 

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4. Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts actually has a real life connection to India, and it’s not just from Eat Pray Love. Post filming that movie, she actually converted to Hinduism and started taking her entire family on trips to India, where they would go to temples and ‘chant and dance and pray’.

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5. The Beach Boys

This iconic band had a close karmic connection with India. They also visited Rishikesh to practise Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi after a recommendation from The Beatles.


6. Russell Brand

The flamboyant actor and comedian is yet another student of Transcendental Meditation, despite being of a different generation from when it was most famous. He even got married to Katy Perry in India, and has log stated that meditation changed his life.

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7. Mick Jagger

After The Beatles visited Rishikesh, every other rockstar of the 60s joined the bandwagon. Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones also practised Transcendental Meditation, and still visits India once in a while.

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8. Madonna

The Queen of Pop has a song called Shanti-Ashtangi, so that should tell you all you need to know about her love affair with India and yoga in particular. She is also known to practise transcendental meditation, and has often visited the country.

9. Gwyneth Paltrow

The American actress has studied yogu under R. Sharath Jois, who teaches in Mysore, and is known to be a guru to several celebrities.


10. Sting

The popular mononymous musician Sting is also a practitioner of yoga, and his former band The Police famously performed in India in 1980. He’s well known for his love of India, meditation, and even embarked on a pilgrimage in the 90s.