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A man spent $260,000 to build a replica of the Taj Mahal complete with marble columns, and dedicated the monument to his wife

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  • Shah Jahan
    17th century Mughal Emperor
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal in Agra was built by Shah Jahan as a lasting symbol of his love for his wife Mumtaz.Shutterstock.com
  • Indian businessman Anand Prakash Chouksey spent $260,000 building a replica of the Taj Mahal.

  • Chouksey's wife is still alive, unlike the empress for whom the mausoleum was built for.

  • The replica is around a third of the size of the real Taj Mahal, but is also made of marble.

A man in India has gone to great lengths to demonstrate his love for his wife by building a replica of the famed Taj Mahal for her.

Anand Prakash Chouksey, a businessman in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, spent 200 million rupees (around $266,000) to build a replica of the "Monument to Love," complete with pristine marble columns.

The original Taj Mahal, located in Agra, south of Delhi, was built by 17th-century emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, Mumtaz. It is known as one of the new seven wonders of the world and was described by writer Rabindranath Tagore as a "teardrop on the cheek of time."

Chouksey, 52, dedicated the replica to his still-alive wife of 27 years, Manjusha.

Speaking to the AFP, Chouksey said that his replica is around a third of the original Taj Mahal's size and was constructed from the same marble used to make the Taj.

"My wife's only demand was for a meditation room (on the property). She's a spiritual woman," Chouksey told the AFP. "She says the dome creates a different environment, and there is a lot of positive energy."

Speaking to the BBC, Chouksey said that the interior of the replica consists of two bedrooms, with a library and meditation room. He constructed it after making multiple trips to Agra to take a look at the Taj Mahal, and built the interior of the replica based on his notes.

"We also used a lot of 3D images of the Taj Mahal on the internet to build our own," Chouksey said.

The replica, which sits on Chouksey's 50-acre property, is also open to neighbors and tourists alike to visit.

"A lot of people have also started to do their pre-wedding shoots here," 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. People are being divided in the name of religion and caste," he continued, adding that he wanted to spread love in times of distress. "And this house for me is a symbol of that love, one which goes beyond our social differences and the political noise."

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