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Taj’s ‘VVIP seat’ awaits Obama

india Updated: Jan 21, 2015 01:32 IST
Hemendra Chaturvedi

The marble bench on which Princess Diana posed for the camera during her visit to the Taj Mahal in 1992 making it famous as Lady Diana’s Chair, is ready to host its next occupant.

US president Barack Obama, who is expected to visit the Taj on January 27 along with his wife Michelle, may be the next VVIP guest to be clicked on the bench.

This bench, adjacent to the central tank, is a favourite spot for shutterbugs and VVIPs are often requested to pose on it. The spot is also preferred as at provides a full view of the Taj with all the four minarets in the background.

Several state guests have visited the 17th century monument since decades.

US President Dwight D Eisenhower visited the monument in 1959 with then Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru. His visit remains one of the most high-profile ones in Independent India.

Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of US President John F Kennedy, was a guest at Taj in 1962.

Bill Clinton was another US president who came to see the monument of love in 2000 along with his daughter Chelsea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also visited the Taj in 2000, while then Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the monument in 2006.

During the Agra Summit in 2001, then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf visited Taj along with his wife Sehba.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy made his first visit at Taj Mahal in 2008 and came again with his wife Carla Bruni in 2010.