In India, a man has gone to great lengths to demonstrate his love for his wife by building a replica of the Taj Mahal for her. The ‘Monument to Love’ replica in central India was built by Anand Prakash Chouksey, a successful businessman from Madhya Pradesh who spent around $266,000 on it.
Agra, south of Delhi, is home to the original Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz in the 17th century. In the words of author Rabindranath Tagore, it was a ‘teardrop on the cheek of time’. Chouksey, 52, dedicated the replica to his still-living wife, Manjusha, whom he has been married to for 27 years.
Madhya Pradesh: In a unique gesture, Burhanpur's Anand Prakash Chouksey gifts a replica of Taj Mahal to his wife Manjusha. "This 4-bedroom house symbolizes the 'monument of love' and it's for my wife. There is peace and positivity in this house," he said (27.11) pic.twitter.com/7vcqa3EaPK
— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2021
Chouksey told the AFP that his replica is about a third the size of the original Taj Mahal and was made from the same marble as the original. ‘My wife’s only demand was for a meditation room (on the property). She’s a spiritual woman. She says the dome creates a different environment, and there is a lot of positive energy’, Chouksey told the AFP.
According to Chouksey, the replica consists of two bedrooms, a library, and a meditation room. The interior of the replica was built based on notes he took during multiple trips to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Chouksey also used 3D images of the Taj Mahal from the internet to construct his. In addition to the replica, which is located on Chouksey’s 50-acre property, visitors are also welcome to visit it.
The area has also become a popular spot for pre-wedding photo shoots, Chouksey told the BBC. ‘I don’t stop them because, in our town, we are a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone. So, my house is open for all. Today, there is a lot of hate in our country. Religious and caste divisions are dividing people.And this house for me is a symbol of that love, one which goes beyond our social differences and the political noise’, he said, adding that he wanted to spread love in these hard times.