Taj Mahal dome to undergo facelift in 2017 and 2018

UPDATED WEDNESDAY 7th FEBRUARY 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. Three of the four minarets have undergone this treatment with the fourth expected to be completed within the next few months. In 2017, 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.

Taj Mahal undergoing facelift in 2017
The minarets of the Taj Mahal are currently undergoing mud-pack therapy

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 and after a few delays will begin in June 2017. It’s expected that the cleaning will be finished by November 2018.

The beginning of the process coincides with India’s low season when monsoon rains put many travellers off visiting. Though as one of the world’s New Seven Wonders, the Taj Mahal does attract visitors throughout the year. No doubt those who have already planned their trip will be disappointed to find this stunning monument in less than perfect condition. But with its ruby, emerald and sapphire encrusted interiors and beautiful gardens, there is more to the Taj Mahal than its dome and you’ll still be able to appreciate the splendour of the world’s favourite mausoleum regardless.

One of our tour groups in front of the Taj Mahal, January 2018

Timeline for Scheduled Work

If you’re planning a visit to the Taj this year, here’s an update of the ongoing restoration work:

  • Work on the northern Arch of the Taj Mahal has been completed.
  • Work on the portion of the Western façade has also been completed and dismantling of scaffolding is in process.
  • Work on the four minarets and roof top is likely to be completed by end March 2018.
  • Work on the periphery of the main mausoleum is expected to be undertaken from February to April 2018.
  • Work on the main dome will be undertaken from April to November 2018.

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38 comments on “Taj Mahal dome to undergo facelift in 2017 and 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?

    Regards,
    JJ

    • 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.

    Thanks.

    JJ

    • 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.
    Veronika

    • 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?

    Thanks
    Phil.

    • 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.

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