By Ebi Kesiena
A lovestruck and historically minded Indian husband has emulated the world’s most famous display of marital devotion by building for his wife, a replica of the Taj Mahal.
The original “Monument to Love” was constructed on the orders of heartbroken Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz, in the 17th century.
Anand Prakash Chouksey’s beloved remains very much alive, and even helped consult on the project and his version of the marble wonder of the world, around one-third the size of the original.
Speaking to AFP, the 52-year-old businessman explained that his wife’s only demand was for a meditation room.
‘‘She’s a spiritual woman, she says the dome creates a different environment and there is a lot of positive energy,” He said.
About Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the right bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra.
It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, construction started in 1632, and the mausoleum was completed in 1648, while the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later.
It was built to house the tomb of Shah Jahan favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died on 17 June that year, while giving birth to their 14th child, Gauhara Begum.
It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. The tomb is the centrepiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.
The imperial court documenting Shah Jahan’s grief after the death of Mumtaz Mahal illustrates the love story held as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.