Taj replica set to be unveiled in Bhopal
Press Trust of India / Bhopal July 19, 2012, 17:36
Enamoured with the dazzling beauty of the Taj Mahal, a city-based businessman has claimed to have built a miniature replica of the 17th century's marble mausoleum, using gold, silver and even diamonds, and is set to unveil it next month.
Local businessman Saiyed Hanif, who claims to have visited the Taj Mahal 200 times in the last 30 years and is completely captivated by its magnificence, says the smaller version of the Taj Mahal would be displayed to public next month.
"I was very much impressed by the Taj Mahal, which I visited for the first time around 30 years back," Hanif told reporters during a press conference here today.
"So far, I have visited the architectural marvel around 200 times. However, the idea of making a replica hit me only some time back," he said.
According to him, 400 kg silver, 10 kg gold and several diamonds, collectively worth Rs 15 crore, are being used to make the replica.
However, the businessman said that he plans to sell the replica for Rs 100 crore in the international market.
"A total of 34 craftsmen worked for 21,600 hours to make the replica. No machine has been used to create it. It is one-hundredth the size of the original structure," he said.
Hanif claimed that the replica would be a matter of pride not only for Bhopal, but also for the entire country.
Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had built this famous structure as the mausoleum for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was built between 1632 and 1653 employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.