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India: Man builds Taj Mahal copy for his wife

2021-11-29T11:59:56.378Z

As a token of his love, an entrepreneur rebuilt what is probably the most famous grave in the world for his wife - and she is still alive. But the construction also has a serious background.



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Two bedrooms, a library and a meditation room: the Taj Mahal copy

Photo:

UMA SHANKAR MISHRA / AFP

An Indian businessman made an unusual gift for his wife: he had a copy of the Taj Mahal built.

The copy is one third the size of the original.

"It was a present for my wife, but also for the city and its people," businessman Anand Prakash Chouksey told the BBC.

The building is in the city of Burhanpur, around 800 kilometers south of Agra, where the original is.

The original is a grave, but Chouksey's wife is still alive

The Taj Mahal is probably one of the most famous monuments of India: It is a mausoleum and was built in the 17th century by the then great mogul Shah Jahan from white marble for his late wife Mumtaz Mahal - as a token of his love.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

However, Chouksey's wife is still alive.

According to Chouksey, the copy cost 20 million rupees, the equivalent of around 236,000 euros.

It took three years to build, and he and his wife traveled to Agra several times to be inspired by the original.

The small version of the Taj Mahal stands on the approximately 20 hectare property of Chouksey, which also houses a hospital.

Instead of a grave, the copy is suitable for living: Among other things, it has two bedrooms, a library and a meditation room.

A building against the division of society

In contrast to the original, the interior is not strictly Islamic, says Chouksey.

The building should have something in common: »There is a lot of hatred in our country these days.

People are divided in the name of faith and caste. "

For years there have been allegations against the Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi of wanting to turn India into a "Hindu state" and to exclude Muslims.

About 1.4 billion people live in India, around 200 million of them are Muslims.

80 percent of the Indian population are Hindus.

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Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-11-29

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