Indian man builds one-third sized Taj Mahal for his wife

Couple to live in duplicate of mausoleum made from the same marble as original

A husband in India has built a one-third sized replica of the Taj Mahal for his wife.

But unlike the original — a mausoleum in the Indian city of Agra — this one will be used as a home, with the pair living in the structure.

Constructed with white marble from the same city in Rajasthan state that provided the Taj Mahal’s stone, the imitation includes the real monument’s large dome, intricate minarets and even some of its artwork.

The 17th century Taj Mahal, often called a monument to love, was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the northern city in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz. She died in Burhanpur, the site of the newly-built replica, while giving birth to their 14th child.

Her body was temporarily buried in the city and later exhumed and taken to Agra, according to Anand Prakash Chouksey, 52, who built the replica.

A house resembling India’s Taj Mahal monument built by Indian businessman Anand Prakash Chouksey. AP

“I jokingly told my wife, if you pass over, then I will build a Taj Mahal,” said Mr Chouksey, 52, a hospital owner who lives in Burhanpur. “She obviously refused and said she doesn’t want to die. Then I said, not a problem, I will make a Taj Mahal you can live in.”

The replica took three years to build and artisans from Agra were hired to recreate the artwork on the marble.

The grand staircase inside the Taj Mahal replica

Emperor Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal built between 1632 and 1654 after Mumtaz died. The complex houses both of their graves and a mosque, as well as several graves of lesser Mogul royalty.

The monument, acclaimed for its delicate lattice work, is India’s biggest tourist draw, attracting millions of visitors every year. The tourism keep hundreds of thousands employed and Agra’s economy moving.

The real Taj Mahal. Wikimedia Commons
Updated: December 1st 2021, 2:41 PM