Auckland, Oct 20(ANI): An Indian group in New Zealand has come up with a proposal to build a Kiwi version of the Taj Mahal in the Auckland suburb of Eden Tce.
The planned 20 million dollar replica will rise on the site of the existing Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland, and could include a marble mausoleum, reflection pool and gold-plated ornaments.
"New Zealanders have their Te Papa, and what we want is a building that will reflect the grandeur and the rich Indian culture and history, and be the pride of the community here," The New Zealand Herald quoted Kanu Patel, Mahatma Gandhi Centre's chairman, as saying.
"The new building will benefit not only the Indian community but also Auckland City - as a tourist attraction, maybe - so I think there is a good reason for us to be receiving support from local government and charities," he added.
The centre has over the years hosted some of the Indian community's most significant social, cultural, religious and musical events and festivals, and the Taj Mahal replica is expected to do the same on a larger scale.
"Having a piece of land this size in central Auckland is like sitting on a goldmine, and we just have to maximize its potential. Since we own the land, we will be putting all the 20 million dollars into the building, and I think it can go quite a long way," Patel said.
The project also has the approval of local business owners, who supported the whole idea.
"At the moment, what we are seeing is a lot of business moving out of the area. Hopefully, the project can attract other businesses to set up here," said Erica Liang, a cafe owner. (ANI)