Faizul Hasan Qadri, an 82-year-old retired postman in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, died on Friday morning after he was hit by a motorcycle.
"He was taking a walk outside his house around 10.30pm on Thursday when some unidentified vehicle hit him. He was lying injured and I received information around 1 am. I rushed him to a local hospital and later to Aligarh where he died around 11 am on Friday. He got injured two years back as well after he had fallen from his bicycle and thereafter used a walker most of the time," Mohammad Aslam, Qadri's nephew, told Hindustan Times.
Qadri is probably best known for building a smaller version of Taj Mahal for his Tajamulli Begum, who passed away due to throat cancer in 2011.
Qadri had used his life savings and sold some of his lands to build the monument as a testament of his love for his wife and will now be buried by her side in the very same tomb. He also sold his wife's gold and silver to fund the construction.
However, the building of the mini Taj Mahal came to a halt in 2014 when the money ran out. The then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also offered to help finance it but Qadri refused.
In an interview to Hindustan Times in 2015, Qadri had said, "The structure is built on my own land and I have tried to plant some trees around it and have a small water body at its rear side. However, work has mostly been held up due to finances as marble costs are high. A number of people have offered me money but I have refused to accept any so far. This is my personal endeavour for my late wife and embodies my love for her. So I should do this on my own."
This story is similar to that of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who built the iconic Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz after she passed away. However, while the world wonder is made of white marble, the smaller version is made of bricks and cement.
The small structure, known as the poor man's Taj Mahal, was built in Kaser Kalan in Dibai tehsil in Uttar Pradesh.