Which parts of the Taj are being cleaned in 2018?
The scaffolding went up in 2016 and even a British Royal visit could not stop the drive to restore the marble of the Taj Mahal to it persil whiteness.
After a long silence, the Architectural Survey of India (ASI) has now released the planned program for the rest of the work to clean the Taj Mahal.
What does this mean for travellers?
For the rest of 2017 you will be able to take photos of at least one or more sides of the Taj Mahal without any scaffolding on it. However from January 2018 the scaffolding moves to the roof with the four chhatris’s and finally the dome to be covered and cleaned. Cleaning of the dome is scheduled to be completed in November 2018. This means for the majority of 2018 you won’t be able to get a ‘scaffold free’ photo of the Taj Mahal.
Why is it taking so long?
The Taj is being cleaned using a mud pack called “Fullers Earth”. The clay is applied to the marble to lift the staining left by air pollution and bird droppings before it is washed off with distilled water. This method is very effective in cleaning marble but it is a slow process. The total time to complete the cleaning has been made even made even slower by the ASI decision to clean the monument in small sections so that the Taj Mahal is not closed.
The Cleaning Program
|Reference No.||Work Zone – Taj Mahal||Work Timeline|
|1||Southern Façade||June to August 2017|
|2||South East Minaret||June to August 2017|
|3||South- West Façade||June to August 2017|
|4||Northern Façade||August to October 2017|
|5||Western Façade||October to December 2017|
|6||Peripheral Wall||November 2017 to January 2018|
|7||Four Chhatri’s on roof of main mausoleum||January 2018 to April 2018|
Now starting 1st week of April – approx 2 months to complete
|8||Pinnacle and Dome||May 2018 to November 2018|
Work will not commence until the chhatri’s are complete.
While these are the timelines released by the ASI, they may not be definitive and some work may finish earlier and others longer.
Update 05 August 2017:
Cleaning work on the front (southern facade) and the south-east minaret is now completed and all the scaffolding has been removed. Thank you to my friend Jai Sehgal in Agra for sending through this photo.
Update 9th January 2018
Cleaning on the Peripheral Wall has been completed and scaffolding is being removed.
Update 14th March 2018
The next stage of work is now scheduled to start at the end of April.
Update 23 March 2018
Work to clean the four chhatri’s on the roof of the Taj is now scheduled to start from the first week of April and is expected to take 2 months to complete.
Update 05 May 2018
The ASI indicated work would begin the first week of April on the four chhatri’s on the roof of the Taj, but work got underway today (5th May) with the first of the scaffolding going up. A reminder that the work on the main dome will not start until the four chhatri’s have been cleaned.
Update 10th May 2018 – Scaffolding is still being erected, cleaning hasn’t stared yet. There is also scaffolding on the Royal Gate at the moment to repair the storm damage to the minarets.
Update 11th June 2018: Scaffolding is erected around one of the small chhatri’s (small dome) on the roof. This will give you a bit of an idea of what scaffolding is likely to look like when they eventually move on to the main dome.
We will be visiting the Taj Mahal on our Women’s Only India Tour: Fabric Food & Fabulous +Holi in March 2019. Work should be well complete by this stage. In Agra we will also celebrate Holi – The Festival of Colours >> Read More