Taj needs nine year mud pack therapy to restore beauty

It will take nine years of mud pack treatment to restore India’s top tourist attraction, the iconic Taj Mahal to its old glory, revealed an RTI query filed by the Times of India.

The outer marble walls of the monument of love built in the 17th century are yellow stained due to pollution mainly from local industries. Air pollutants, especially suspended particulate matter (SPM), were found to be reacting with marble and masking its original colour and sheen.

It was revealed that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) would require such a lengthy period of time to properly and safely clean particles from the four minarets and the main dome.

The Parliament Standing Committee (PSC) on Environment in April had directed ASI to submit an interim action plan for restoration of the Taj. The RTI query further revealed that the chemical cleaning (mud pack therapy) will have to be repeated every 6-7 years if pollution is not reduced.

In recent years, authorities have taken numerous steps to protect the famed monument. They have already banned industries that lead to carbon deposits on Taj’s wall. Local coal powered industries and practice of burning cow dung for fuel were also subsequently banned in the city, prior to the mud pack cleaning announced last year.

The Taj Mahal was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631.