12:51 PM PST, December 5, 2021
A bouquet of flowers is a romantic gesture for some, while others want their love to be almost as grand as the Taj Mahal.
Which is what Anand Prakash Chouksey did.
He spent 200 million Indian rupees, about $266,000 US, to recreate the famous Taj Mahal for his wife.
According to Chouksey’s son, Kabir, making the mini Taj Mahal took several tries.
“We wanted to make an exact miniature version of the Taj Mahal, perfectly to scale, to the centimeter,” he said. “So, we had to build and demolish and rebuild the walls multiple times to bring it to perfection.”
The original Taj Mahal was also a monument to love, but unfortunately, the subject of that love never got to see it.
It was commissioned in 1631 as a mausoleum for Emperor Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, who died after giving birth to the couple’s 14th child.
The UNESCO World Heritage site reportedly welcomes about three million people per year.
The scaled-down Taj Mahal will likely never welcome as many guests, though it is open for tours.
And rather than serve as a final resting place, Chouksey gets to live in this stately home with Manjusha, his wife of 27 years.
Chouksey hopes this house will be about more than simply loving his wife.
In a time of deep societal divisions, he told the BBC, “this house for me is a symbol of that love, one which goes beyond our social differences and the political noise.”