Former Navy officer builds a replica of Taj Mahal in Kerala

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Kochi (Kerala), Nov 16 (ANI): A 58-year-old ex- naval officer has built a replica of the Taj Mahal here to pay reverence to the war heroes, freedom fighters and the victims of 26/11 attacks.

The Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Former naval officer A K B Kumar said that he had to give up all his property and his ancestral property to accumulate Rs 10 million for the 45 feet tall structure, which is nearing completion.

"I thought of building memorial for the people who sacrificed their lives. Nobody thinks about them after their deaths, hence I thought if I display the photographs and details of the martyrs, then anybody can come and visit this place and know about our great warriors. Only then they will be able to feel the hurdles and pain they went through," said Kumar.

He added that he chose the Taj Mahal over other monuments, as it is white in colour and is a symbol of peace and love.

He wishes to name it Shanti Mahal or palace of peace, which will be opened for the tourists soon and where accommodation and food will be provided free for the martyrs' kins.

According to the architect and his NRI friend N Radhakrishnan, the construction, which has been done following a miniature graph after paying several visits, will be completed by 2010.

"I asked him, what do you intend to construct? He told me that he wanted the same structure as the Taj Mahal. I thought it was a good idea to build a replica of the Taj. Ever since he told me about his idea, I went to the monument at least 3 to 4 times only to understand the construction. I also got some CDs and referred to the television. We couldn't make an exact replica but we put a small design according to the size and everything," said Radhakrishnan.

The replica has four minarets representing Indian forces like army, air force, navy and other security forces on which their names and photographs will be engraved.

A special place will be reserved for the victims who lost their lives in the 26/11 attacks and the police officers who lost their lives in fighting with the militants.

The structure is built in a total area of 6000 square feet. By Juhan Samuel(ANI)

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