The actor, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi, is developing a new project through his production company about Shah Jahan, who commissioned the white marble mausoleum on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra in 1932.

He tells WENN, "We are hoping to put it on the screen either as a movie or a mini-series... I'm a little guarded about talking about it further because it's in the delicate stage of negotiations, but I'd love to do it.

"I'm fascinated by that. It's one of my hopes to play Emperor Shah Jahan. He was an incredible man, engineer, philosopher, poet, architect, warrior. Amazing."

The Taj Mahal is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around $32 million Indian rupees, which in 2015 would be valued at around $827 million.

The Taj Mahal is considered the best example of Mughal architecture and is widely recognised as a modern wonder of the world. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1983.