Taj Mahal Moves to London for a Day

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

London gained an extra landmark Tuesday, as a model Taj Mahal sailed up the Thames.

The launch of the floating monument Tuesday marks the start of the India Now festival, a three month season of events celebrating London's relationship with India.

The boat carrying the model was sailing past many of London's own best known sights, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, St Pauls, the Tate Modern and Tower Bridge. It's destination was London Bridge, where it was due to remain on view to the public for the rest of the day.

Those watching the mini monument's progress included captain of the Indian national cricket team Rahul Dravid and Indian fashion designer Manish Arora.

India Now will continue with cultural events dedicated to Indian art, food, theatre and fashion taking place over the next three months in London.

Bollywood stars, new artists, upcoming actors and dance performers are due to take part.

Events include a three week, Indian themed Trafalgar Square Festival from 2nd August; the open air premiere of Bollywood movie 'Chak De India', starring Shah Rakh Khan, at London's Somerset House on 9 August; and on 7 September, the Victoria and Albert Museum hosts 'Fashion in Motion', showcasing Manish Arora's the new autumn collection.

Organizers say 6% of Londoners were of Indian origin in 2006, the largest national minority in the city.

Over one quarter of all Indian students in the UK study in London.

Twice as many Indian companies are listed on the London Stock Exchange than on New York and NASDAQ combined.

Over 212,000 Indian tourists came to London in 2006, who for the first time spent more than visitors from Japan.

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