The Taj Mahal, one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, is set to receive a luxurious "mud-pack" facelift this month as a means to clean the tomb in Agra of its pollution. The iconic monument has received the treatment three times before.
According to BBC News, the mud-pack cleanse is a lime-rich clay mixture that gets plastered over pollution-affected areas of the building. It then stays on the surface overnight, and when it is dry in the morning, it is softly scrubbed off with nylon brushes.
The mud-pack treatment may sound like a facial for a human partially because it is one: the recipe for the cleanse was inspired by a traditional recipe that Indian women use to restore a natural glow to their faces.
Taking care of India's pollution problem has been one of new Prime Minister Narendra Modi's main platforms, beginning with the Ganges River at the holy city of Varanasi. In a report by the World Health Organization earlier this year, it was revealed that New Delhi, which sits about 130 miles away from Agra and the Taj Mahal, has the most polluted air in the world.
The city's sanitation system dates back to the Mughal period five centuries ago. It generates 300 million litres per day of sewage, all of which ends up in the Ganges and of which only 100 million litres is treated.
Combining that fact with how many visitors stream into the holy city every day—an estimated 150,000—and the cleanup could be a challenge.
The Taj, which is located in the Uttar Pradesh state, the same as Varanasi, last saw a mud-pack treatment in 2008 at the cost of around $24,000.