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India keen to open Taj for night viewing

NEW DELHI, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Indian officials are planning to open the Taj Mahal for night viewing to mark the 350th anniversary of world's most famous monument of love.

The government of Uttar Pradesh state, home to the Taj Mahal, has asked the Supreme Court to open the mausoleum at night. The high court ended night viewings nearly two decades ago amid security concerns.

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The monument attracted nearly 9 million tourists last year.

Government officials want to keep the Taj open five nights a month -- the night of the full moon and the two nights before and after.

The white marble Taj looks magnificent on a clear full moon night.

"I have only read in books that the Taj looks beautiful at night and would love it to be opened for night viewing," office executive Sunaina Khullar said.

The Taj was built by Moghul emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth after bearing 14 children.

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