You can waste your life drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.

The Little Known Mini Taj Mahal

We all know about the Taj Mahal commisioned under Shah Jahan, in memory of his loving wife. It has also been included in the recently announced New Seven Wonders of the World

The original at Agra

However, little is known about this Taj Mahal which was built in memory of a mother.

The Mini Taj Mahal at Aurangabad

The Bibi – Ka – Maqbara (or Mini Taj Mahal) was built in 1679, by Aurangzeb’s son, as a tribute to his mother Begum Rabia Durani. Obviuosly, it is a replica of the Taj Mahal at Agra. It is not as grand as the original nor does it figure in any ‘wonder of the world’ list. But, it was quite an attempt.

The only other known attempt to imitate the Taj Mahal (tell me if you know any other) was by Donald Tump at Atlantic City, New Jersey!

Nice Try Trump

Nice try Mr. Trump but, we shall prefer to go to India to see the the Taj Mahal!


A quaint little bookstore


You are invited to a tea party


  1. Sarina

    This is a cool blog!

    Thanks for letting us know about the “other” Taj Mahal, this is funny. It seems like the original Taj Mahal but on a serious diet! 🙂 and the Trump’s Taj Mahal, it looks nothing like the original. It is more like its owner; pompous and gaudy. Mr Trump, “you are rejected!”


  2. Martin Swain

    I like the post but I think that Taj Mahal is a big hype! I have seen grander and more marvelous pieces of architecture in Europe and America than Taj Mahal. Statue of Liberty is more imposing and its history is preserved well and respected all over the world.

    I also believe that the new “Seven Wonders” poll was a scam. I bet with over a billion of Indians voting for it; it will make any list of any wonders!

    Taj Mahal has developed huge cracks and its dome is falling and the marble on the outside is turning yellow and also developing many “cavities” that looks ugly.

    It seems Indians only care to vote for it but not take care of it. Go fix it you lazy bums before start voting for it. I saw all the ads running around urging and begging people to vote and people voted many times just to make it to top seven. Even Great Wall of China does not deserve to be on the list. The communist party would have shot down all Internet subscribers in China if it were not to make the list!


    • Mohan_Indian

      I bet u r a racist. Even though if u can’t agree , it’s true. Check ur self first. What does statue of liberty had in it to be recognised..??? WONDER in the sense- the construction and the other things that surprises the present generation. We can build another statue of liberty but u can’t build another China wall or Taj Mahal(Attempts failed)…. CAN YOU? Comment with some knowledge and understanding. Thanks

  3. kaushal

    The Taj Mahal is really a piece of architecture
    u can’t compare it with things like statue of liberty & all other stupid things in US.
    ur comments are seriously lacking any truth & filled with lack of knowledge & understanding.
    it’s time for people like u in US to recognize INDIA and INDIAN objects as wonders of the world.
    get going now

  4. kirti

    i too dont agree with u mr swain once again go and look at that architechture minutely its a tribute to the people who made it which stands tall in the history and it itself is the answere to ur queries and no one else needs to tell u. so sir learn to appreciate than to criticize this grt monument

  5. A replica big or small can never catch the essence of an “original” . Of the replica’s of Taj Mahal you can see one at Dubai too.

    It can also be a possibility that Aurangzeb who had this done for his mother was not planning to make it a replica, but the Mogul architecture which is similar in most cases, coincidentally created something looking similar to Taj Mahal and with people who are ever ready to draw parallels, coined the name. So in my opinion it is more of a coincidental replica that an attempted replica like that in Dubai, Taiwan, US or any other place :).

    Once again a very interesting and well written blog. Keep writing


  6. Saima

    That New Jersey bit is a news to me! How come you never mentioned it while I was there! 🙂

    Saima. ok?!


  7. Tushar

    Hi Martin Swain
    The Statue of Liberty was ‘Erected’ in 1886. While the Tajmahal was built with crafted stones more than 240 years before the erection of statue of Liberty.
    Just imagine building a huge structure like this when there were no architects who could define structural design of such magnitude. Statue of Liberty was erected with the help of pulleys and cranes. In 1632 there was no such facility available. All the stone blocks used in building Tajmahal were really heavy. The site was located away from settlements in those times. Hundreds of workers toiled everyday without any basic amenities.
    The design is completely symmetrical on all sides of the building. Plus the craftsmanship involved is nowhere comparable to present day machine polishing. I could go on writing, but it does make sense in pointing out your foolish comparisions of 17th century fine art with begining of 20th century machine age usual structure erection.

  8. Sarina, thank you for your comment. Serious diet is right, or maybe a liposuction! Which ever it is, it sure looks funny and that is why it deserved a post at my blog. Hope to see you around. Thanks again!

    Sajid, interesting link you gave in your comment. But, it won’t surprise me if Dubai creates another Mumbai too. They have enough money for it and enough Indians to fill it up. In any case, I feel they didn’t build it in rivalry but as a compliment to the original.
    Also, your theory about “coincidental similarity” could be a possibility. I never thought of it that way. Just went along with what Wikipedia told me. Thank for the comments and information. Keep visiting!

    Saima, because I found out about it just a few days ago!! We could have visited it while you guys were still there. Anyway, hope to see you here again soon.

  9. An indignant Indian

    Mr. Swain,
    I have yet to see an inspiring piece of architecture in America. The Chrysler Building, maybe, but little else. Admittedly, I have only seen New York and DC, but that’s where I’d expect the best of architecture to be.
    Europe, admittedly, has plenty of magnificent architecture. As does Asia.
    I’m making no claims to Taj Mahal’s superiority over other architectural structures, but I do think it is quite wonderful. Yes, it is in a state of disrepair at present, but that does not take away from its intrinsic merit as a beautiful monument.
    Why am I actually wasting my time responding to something posted by a ignorant American though?

  10. Adium

    Come on, the Taj Mahal is FANTASTIC!!!!! Did you know he planned a black one exactly like it for himself across the river? Well, it’s a “rumour” anyway… 🙂
    AND in Delhi there is also a “Mini Taj Mahal”, in Nizamuddin; Humayuns Tomb. Actually build well before the Taj Mahal! (not in marble, though) and it’s really beautiful!

  11. Riddhi

    Well said Tushar !

  12. Shradha

    The blog is awesome.There is only one Taj Mahal and its in India but its replica is being made in Bangladesh and the Indian High Commission in Dhaka is quite upset because of this reason.
    Since imagination is the sincerest form flattery so we should be proud.

  13. Geetika Thakur

    and i must say…

  14. ally loo

    the one in bangladesh

  15. ally loo

    isnt it imitation is the sincerest for m of flattery SHRADHA

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  20. Pat

    The mini Taj Mahal or Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah was actually built BEFORE the now more famous Tah Mahal. It is not a a copy.

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