Bangladesh building exact replica of Taj Mahal

A wealthy Bangladeshi filmmaker is spending about $60 million to build an exact replica of India’s Taj Mahal 20 miles from Dhaka: Construction work began five years ago, but Mr Moni says that he came up with the idea in 1980 when he first visited the real Taj in Agra, northern India. He said that ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
591086_081215_tajmahal5.jpg
591086_081215_tajmahal5.jpg

A wealthy Bangladeshi filmmaker is spending about $60 million to build an exact replica of India's Taj Mahal 20 miles from Dhaka:

Construction work began five years ago, but Mr Moni says that he came up with the idea in 1980 when he first visited the real Taj in Agra, northern India.

He said that his homage had been built because most people living in Bangladesh - where nearly half of the population exist below the poverty line - cannot afford to travel to India to see the real thing.

A wealthy Bangladeshi filmmaker is spending about $60 million to build an exact replica of India’s Taj Mahal 20 miles from Dhaka:

Construction work began five years ago, but Mr Moni says that he came up with the idea in 1980 when he first visited the real Taj in Agra, northern India.

He said that his homage had been built because most people living in Bangladesh – where nearly half of the population exist below the poverty line – cannot afford to travel to India to see the real thing.

“Everyone dreams about seeing the Taj Mahal but very few Bangladeshis can make the trip because it’s too expensive for them,” he said.

Indian diplomats are not happy about the plan and are currently “investigating” the matter. Though one admits, “A copy is a form of flattery, I suppose.”

Bangladesh clearly has a taste for monumentally ambitious construction projects. Their stunning Louis Kahn-designed parliament building took two decades to construct and, I would think, would be more a source of pride than an exact copy of India’s most famous building.

Photo: Munir UZ-ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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