Taj Mahal dome to undergo facelift in 2018

(Last Updated On: July 29, 2019)[UPDATED MONDAY 29TH JULY 2019]

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 – July 2019

Restoration work has begun on the northwest minaret of the Taj Mahal, with scaffolding up around this part of the mausoleum. The Archaeological Society of India (ASI) has confirmed that this is not mud-pack therapy cleaning work, as all four minarets were cleaned last year, but repair work where rainwater has caused damage to the stairs inside this 40-metre-high minaret.

It is unclear when this work will be finished, but it’s estimated that the scaffolding will be down in September 2019. Mudpack therapy is still to be completed on the dome of the Taj Mahal and the ASI are yet to confirm a start date for this work.

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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,

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Evening.

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

    Thank you.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. We plan to visit the Taj in late February 2019, hoping that the cleaning will be done by November 2018. I’m just wondering about the likelihood of it running behind schedule? Unlikely, or a common occurrence?

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.
    Joanna

    • 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.

  15. 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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