Taj Mahal will undergo ‘treatment’ to repair yellow staining on façade

The Taj Mahal has suffered from yellow staining due to smog. Pic: Aatur Harsh/Unsplash

AFTER decades of exposure to air pollution, India’s most treasured monument has acquired a yellow tinge despite a ban on coal-powered industries in the area.

To draw out the impurities of the stone, authorities have been applying mud packs around the structure’s side walls and towers.

Bhuvan Vikram of the Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) said, “This is a part of the cleaning process through mud-pack therapy and is presently being undertaken at [the] eastern wall of main mausoleum of Taj.”

However, for the first time in the history of the Taj Mahal, the pack will also be applied to its main dome to remove staining from the white marble surface.

The ASI added that the process will take over a year to complete, and will result in iron scaffolding around the dome.

Vishal Sharma, secretary of the Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber, told India Today that if the entire main dome is covered in scaffolding, the monument’s beauty will be severely tarnished.

This could mean a hit in India’s tourism sector, as well as the thousands of families whose livelihood are dependent on tourist arrivals.

Hordes of tourists visit Agra every year to get their photos taken with the Taj Mahal as a backdrop. Sharma urged the ASI to postpone the repair works till the end of the current tourist season.

ASI has been tasked with research and conservation of the monuments, and have been using the mud pack therapy on the Taj Mahal’s many minarets for the most part of the last two decades.

The therapy involves the application of lime-rich mud on the dome of the Taj. The mud will be left to dry before gently washed off with distilled water to reveal a whiter surface.

A similar remedy is popularly used among Indians to improve their complexion. Clay is mixed into a paste with rose water, and applied to the face to repair impurities and absorb facial dirt.

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