Swami Vivekananda had always been attracted by the Himalayas, the land of tyaga (renunciation) and yoga, the domain of Lord Shiva. During his tour of the Swiss Alps the idea to found an ashrama in similar conditions in India took shape. When Swamiji returned from the West in 1897 and roused India by his tremendous personality and message, comatose religion too was rejuvenated. In Almora, he inspired Captain Sevier and Mrs. Sevier along with Swami Swarupananda, his disciple, to commence looking for a place to house an ashrama ‘dedicated to advaita’. They found it in Mayavati, 6,400 ft. above sea level, surrounded by mountains on three sides, one side opening to a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Himalayan range. The Mayavati Ashrama was inaugurated in March 1899. Belur Math, established earlier, approved of its objects and principles and recognized Mayavati Ashrama as its branch. Swamiji paid the Ashrama a visit in January 1901 and stayed for a fortnight.