Taj Mahal dome to undergo facelift in 2018


Completed back in 1648, the world’s most iconic monument ever built in the name of love is over 360 years old and, unsurprisingly, in need of a little TLC. Over the last few years mud-pack therapy has been carried out on the marble facade and interiors to restore whiteness and gleam to the marble. The four minarets have undergone this treatment and for the first time in the building’s history, this cleaning process will be applied to the main dome.

What is mud-pack therapy?

During mud-pack therapy, a clay substance known as Fuller’s earth is applied to the marble and left to dry over the course of a few days. As it dries, the clay absorbs dirt and grease from the marble surface with plastic sheets applied on top to aid drying. Once the thin layer of clay is completely dried, it falls off and the surface is then cleaned with distilled water to remove any last traces of dirt and deposits. It’s one of the safest cleaning methods available for such monuments as it’s non-abrasive and non-corrosive.

Recent picture of the Taj Mahal to undergo a facelift in 2018
The Taj Mahal in June 2018 with no scaffolding or mudpack therapy on the front of the monument

What does this mean for travellers visiting Agra?

The local authorities will be working on small sections at a time. During the cleaning process portions of the white marble dome will be covered in mud and plastic sheets for two to three days at a time with scaffolding likely to obscure larger areas. Work on the dome is expected to last over a year when it finally begins. There have been substantial delays since news of the restoration was announced. Presently it is unclear when work will start.

This is good news for travellers visiting the Taj over the next few months. It’s currently clear of scaffolding and mudpacks, and will stay that way until the local authorities have sufficient funding to continue with the restoration project. There’s no indication of when that might be.

With its ruby, emerald and sapphire encrusted interiors and beautiful gardens, there is more to the Taj Mahal than its dome. Regardless of what work is being carried out on the Taj, you’ll still be able to appreciate the splendour of the world’s favourite mausoleum regardless.

Latest Update – October 2018

Mudpack therapy work on the four small Chhatri canopies around the main dome has now been completed. Travellers will be delighted to hear that the monument is currently free of scaffolding.

There’s still no confirmation on when work will begin on the dome of the Taj Mahal. The ASI have previously suggested that only one side of the dome will be cleaned at a time so that at least one side is free of scaffolding for travellers to enjoy the views and take pictures. It is possible that the ASI may defer the start date to April 2019, after the peak travel season of October to March in India.

Taj Mahal dome undergoing facelift
Taj Mahal in October 2018 free of scaffolding


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52 comments on “Taj Mahal dome to undergo facelift in 2018

  1. Hi. Is there any update on the cleaning work at the Taj Mahal? I had originally planned to visit this month (March 2017) but had to postpone, and am now looking to visit once the work is completed and the scaffolding and mud pack have gone. I spoke to someone in a UK travel firm the other week who said the dome was already covered in scaffolding and the work might not be completed until October 2018. Help please!

    • Hi Tony, as of yet there is no confirmed date for when the cleaning of the Taj Mahal dome will start. It is currently free of scaffolding and the local authorities have not released an official start date.

  2. Has this work started yet or is it likely to start before the end of August 2017? I have a trip planned

    • Hi Luke, work started on the Taj Mahal in June to coincide with the start of the low season. It’s expected to continue for a year and and only small portions of the dome will be worked on at a time.

  3. Hi,

    In September end, what part of the tajmahal will be covered with scaffolding?


    • Hi JJ, in September the northern facade of the Taj dome is scheduled to be undergoing mud pack treatment. This is the side facing the river and considered the back of the Taj Mahal.

  4. Hi,

    Can you advise when the back and front of the tajmahal will be free of scaffolding? A time when just the sides are being done? I am asking due to planning a pre wedding photo shoot.



    • The current plan is that the southern facade will be cleaned between June and August while the northern facade will undergo cleaning between August and October. It is possible that plans may overrun so please bear this in mind when making any plans.

  5. Any news on plans for work on Taj Mahal in January 2018?

    • Hi Shelagh, at present it is planned that work on the periphery walls and the four chhatris will take place over the course of January 2018.

  6. Is there any update for November 2017??? How much scaffolding, etc. is expected?

    • The western facade and periphery walls are scheduled to be undergoing mudpack therapy in November. It is likely that scaffolding will cover most of these sections while the sections are cleaned bit by bit.

  7. Evening.

    Will the Dome of the Taj be free of scaffolding early / mid November 2017?

    Thank you.

  8. we are thinking of a trip March 2018, any idea what state the taj mahal may be around then?

    • Hi Amy, between January and April 2018 work will be carried out on the four chhatris (the dome-shaped pavilions) positioned on the roof of the main mausoleum.

  9. Hello,

    I want to visit the Taj Mahal, the first week of December 2017. Can you tell me what state the Taj Mahal may be around then?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Rianne, in December mudpack therapy will be performed on the western facade of the Taj and across the wall of the periphery.

  10. I will visit Taj Mahal on April 26, 2018. Will the four Chhatris undergo renovation about that time? Will the main dome be covered in construction? I appreciate how the government is being very considerate for the tourists.

    • Hi Ramon, in April 2018 work will be carried out on the four chhatris on the roof of the main mausoleum. The dome is scheduled to undergo work from May onwards.

  11. Hello

    Will work be ongoing in November 2018 or is it anticipated that it will be finished by then? Planning a trip at the beginning of November 🙂

    • Hi Emma, the pinnacle and dome of the Taj Mahal will be undergoing work in November next year. When in November work is completed will depend on how well work progresses during the year though I imagine it’s likely to overrun a little.

  12. Hello Hollie,

    is there any update for this January? We are visiting Taj Mahal in 10 days. Do you have maybe an updated photo about its’ current status?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Veronika, at present the western facade is under scaffolding (left side, when seen from the front of the Taj Mahal). I’ve updated the blog with a recent photo taken at the Taj Mahal.

  13. What work is being expected for the end of March for the dome?

    • Hi Vijaha, you’ll find the timeline for scheduled work at the end of this article. For your reference, work will be carried out on the four chhatris on the roof of the main mausoleum between January to April 2018.

  14. We care hoping to visit The Taj Mahal around December 9th 2018. Any update on the renovations?

    • Hi Catharine, at present the schedule suggests that the work should be completed by December but this could change if work on any individual sections overruns.

  15. I’m of to Agra next week.. updates please as this is news to me

  16. current picture of taj mahal under renovation?

  17. Hi Hollie,
    If we want to go in February do you know what the work schedule is please, what is being done and when they start please?


    • Hi Phil, work is currently underway on the west-facing wall of the Taj. They were due to start work on the chhatris this month but that has not happened so I imagine it will start in February.

  18. I am planning to visit the Taj the last week of October 2018. You indicated that they will be working on the dome at that time; do you know what side of the dome they will be working on the end of October? Thanks.

    • Hi Eileen, we don’t know that sort of detailed information and I imagine it’s not even finalised yet as to how they will work their way around the dome. Best to check again closer to the time.

  19. Hi we had planned to visit Taj Mahal 19th /20th November 2018 ,however we haven’t booked yet
    As they start on the main dome in November would it be better for us to replan our visit for perhaps April 2019

    • Hi Mark, that’s a decision best made by you. If the dome is still undergoing work in November then you won’t get the perfect pictures of the Taj Mahal but it won’t stop you from enjoying everything else that the monument offers, such as its stunning interiors. If you prefer to visit when all work is completed then April 2019 would be the better option.

  20. Thank you for all of the replies regarding the scaffolding of the Taj Mahal. I am also visiting in November of this year. If they are working on the main dome, will the entire dome be covered with scaffolding or only portions. Would like to know if I can still get good photos as there is no opportunity for me to reschedule my trip. Thanks.

    • Hi Karl, the local authorities will be working on small sections at a time. During the cleaning process portions of the white marble dome will be covered in mud and plastic sheets for two to three days at a time with scaffolding likely to obscure larger areas.

  21. Will there be under scaffolding in the front of the Taj Mahal dome? I have plans to visit the Taj Mahal on April 15, 2018. Wonder if taking the pictures will be good?

    • Hi Janice, work on the dome starts this month and parts of the dome will be covered by scaffolding while the mud pack therapy is completed. This work will be carried out in sections at a time. We do not know which sections will be worked on when so we cannot say whether the front of the dome will be clear when you visit.

  22. Hollie do you anticipate all work to be complete by March 2019?

    • Unfortunately it’s impossible to say. It all depends on when work on the dome starts. We’ll keep updating this blog with the information we receive from the authorities.

  23. Hi Hollie, can you tell me how the situation is at this moment! Visit TM with my brothers family on tuesday 10th July 2018! Thank you! Petra, The Netherlands

    • Hi there, at present there has been little change and the Taj looks much like it does in the latest photo in this post.

  24. We are going beginning of January 2019
    Any updates on where the construction will be held or perhaps if it will be completed?

    • Hi Carina, we’ve not had any further updates and unfortunately it’s impossible to say whether the local authorities will have finished work on the Taj before January 2019. However, even if work overruns it’s unlikely that the whole dome will be affected – just small sections so it should not have too big an impact on your visit. Have a wonderful time!

  25. Hi there, what is the current situation please? I was thinking about visiting next week. Would you suggest waiting? Hasbir for scaffolding up? Thank you so much.

    • Hi Joanna, at present two of the four Chhatris around the dome have scaffolding with mudpack therapy underway. We’ve just added an recent photo to the blog so you can see exactly what it looks like. It’s not too much of a distraction and probably best to go sooner rather than later as the work is unlikely to be completed until April next year.

  26. hi, I am planning a trip for Feb. 2019, any news on the progress?
    thank you.

    • Hi there, no update on when work on the dome will start. The ASI have indicated that they may defer until April 2019 but nothing has been confirmed yet. Unfortunately it’s a case of wait-and-see.

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