Madhya Pradesh: A magnificent house like Taj Mahal built by an Indian businessman to give as a gift to his wife

A businessman in India has gifted his wife a magnificent house resembling a world-famous monument, the Taj Mahal.

Ananda Prakash Chowkse, 52, of Madhya Pradesh has taken three years to build the house in Burhanpur.

“It’s a gift for my wife and for the city and the townspeople,” he told the BBC.

The 17th century Taj Mahal in Agra is considered a ‘monument of love’. It is said that the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz.

Mumtaz died while giving birth to her 14th child.

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The architecture of the marble Taj Mahal is talked about all over the world. The Taj Mahal is also a major tourist destination in India.

Before the outbreak of the Kovid epidemic, 70,000 tourists visited the Taj Mahal every day.

People are also flocking to see the replica of the Taj Mahal built by Chowkse.

“A lot of people take pictures here before the wedding,” he said.

“I will not stop them because we live together in our city and everyone knows each other. So my house is open to everyone.”

But visitors to the house are not allowed to enter.

The house has one main bedroom on two floors. The house also has a library and meditation room. The living room of the house has marble columns, revolving staircases and gold-plated ceilings.

Ananda Prakash Chowkse and wife Manjusha
Although the building was inspired by the Taj Mahal, the interior is carefully decorated without any trace of Islamic tradition, he said.

On the contrary, it seems to have had a contemporary effect.

It took him three years to build a world-famous monument. During that time, the couple had visited Agra several times to see the various aspects of the Taj Mahal.

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“We used a lot of 3D images available on the internet to make our own [Taj Mahal],” he said.

The new structure was reduced by one-third the size of the Taj Mahal because the engineers intended to build a building similar to the Taj Mahal.

Inspired by the Taj Mahal, he is not the only one to build a house for himself.

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A man who retired from government service in Uttar Pradesh, India, built a replica of the Taj Mahal in 2013 in memory of his wife.

But Chaukse said his house was not dedicated only to his wife.

“There is a lot of hatred in our country today. People are divided because of religion and caste,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has been accused of increasing religious polarization and intolerance in the country. The Taj Mahal has also been involved in religious disputes from time to time.

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In 2017, a BJP lawmaker called the Taj Mahal a “disgrace to Indian culture”, saying it was built by “traitors”.

Chaukse said that he was trying to spread love.

“And for me, this house is a symbol of love beyond social strife and political turmoil,” he said.

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