BHOPAL: Centuries ago, the Burhanpur town of Central India was originally supposed to be the home to the Taj Mahal, which couldn’t be built there by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan, possibly due to technical reasons.
In the 21st year of the 21st century, a man in the same town of modern Madhya Pradesh has built a Taj Mahal-look-alike house as a gift for his wife.
Anand Prakash Chouksey, a Burhanpur-based educationist, who also owns a hospital and a school, has built the replica of the Taj Mahal near his school premises and gifted it to his wife Manjusha Chouksey.
“The house resembling the Taj Mahal is just 1/3rd of the world-famous historical monument of Agra, which was visited by me and my wife three years back for inspiration before starting this house. We studied architecture closely and asked engineers to take note of the structural details. After work of two and half years by teams of artisans from Burhanpur and outside, the house looking like Taj Mahal is finally ready and has become a major draw for low budget tourists who cannot afford travelling to Agra as well as young couples hunting for the ideal location for pre-wedding shoots,” Chouksey said.
The 55-60 ft high (originally planned 80 ft high, but permission not granted by local authorities) has a big hall, four bedrooms, a spacious kitchen and a dedicated hall for Dhyan (meditation).
According to Praveen Chouksey, the consulting engineer of the Taj Mahal replica house, “it took around a month for our team for a detailed design study of the Taj Mahal, followed by a planning of a few weeks, guided by experienced contractor Mushtaq Bhai, artisans from Burhanpur and outside accomplished this dream project in two and half years.”
While the cemented carving was done by teams from Indore and West Bengal, exquisite work on white stone sourced from Makrana was done by artisans from Rajasthan only, the inlay on flooring was performed by artisans from Agra. The furniture and interior work were done by teams from Mumbai and Surat.”
“When we started the work, we were sceptical about its completion, but Anand Prakash Chouksey said only one line, it was humans only who built the historical monument of love centuries ago, now why can’t the humans with more advanced know-how and approach rebuild its a replica. That line turned out to be a challenge for us and finally, the project has been accomplished,” the consulting engineer said.
Enthused by the response of tourists eager to catch a glimpse of the Taj Mahal replica house, the Burhanpur-based educationist said “My school premises house 1700 students from 17 states. Their parents used to ask about what makes Burhanpur famous, I decided that what couldn’t be accomplished on the banks of river Tapti in our town after Mumtaz Mahal’s death due to technical reasons, needs to be done now.”
Importantly, the most interesting fact about Burhanpur town (which houses Burhanpur district headquarters also) is that it was originally supposed to be home to the Taj Mahal. Mumtaz Mahal, in whose memory the Taj Mahal was built, died in Burhanpur while giving birth to her 14th child and the queen’s body rested here for several months until it was moved with the Mughal court to Agra where the Taj now stands. The site was originally chosen for the Taj Mahal along the Tapti river still lies vacant, a silent reminder of the time that Burhanpur almost had a brush with history.