The revenue income from Shat Gombuj Masjid is increasing gradually with the significant rise of tourists after renovation of the historical monument and infrastructure development of Bagerhat Museum set up on the mosque premises.
Official data shows a total of 68,447 tourists, including 177 foreigners, visited the mosque of the sultanate period during the first quarter of current fiscal (July-September) that help revenue of about Taka 12.47 lakh to earn.The government got over Taka 73 lakh revenue from the historic site in fiscal 2018-19 whereas the amount was only 29 lakh in fiscal 2009-10.
The data reveals that over 4.1 lakh tourists visited Shat Gombuj Masjid and Bagerhat Museum during fiscal 2018-19, while only 1.8 lakh people visited the historical site during fiscal 2009-10.
The authorities said a fewer number of tourists visited the historical site in first quarter of current fiscal due to rainy season. But when tourist season will begin, the number of visitors will increase significantly, they hoped.
Bagerhat Archaeological Department Custodian Golam Ferdous said the authorities collected about Taka 73 lakh revenue from the historic site last year and hoped they would be able to earn over Taka one crore this year.
He said the financial capacity of the country’s people has increased manifolds in the last decade, which contributes to changing their mindset so a lot of people are visiting the historical monuments, including Shat Gombuj Masjid.
“That is why the revenue income from this archeological site has increased significantly in recent years,” the archeologist added.“After visiting the Sundarbans, I have come here to see the ancient mosque and I am very happy seeing the beauty and unique design of the historical monument,” Imrul of Kushita told journalist during his recent visit to the archeological site.
Another tourist Kabir Hossain, who came from Faridpur, said he offered prayer at the historic mosque and enjoyed the aesthetic design of the mosque and scenic beauty of Ghora Dighi located on the premises of Shat Gambuj Masjid in sadar upazila.
Shat Gombuj Masjid, also known as the Sixty Dome Mosque, was built by the Sufi saint and Muslim ruler Khan Jahan Ali about 600 years ago. It is part of the mosque city of Bagerhat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the largest
mosque in Bangladesh during the sultanate period (1204-1576). It has been described as one of the most impressive Muslim monuments in the whole of the Indian subcontinent.
Local tourists have to pay Taka 20 while the foreigners Taka 200 for entering the world heritage site, authorities concerned said.
Noting that Bagerhat is famous for its 17 archaeological establishments of the Sultani era, Regional Director of Archeological Department in Khulnan Afroza Khan Mita said the authorities remained one gate of Shat Gombuj Masjid open for devotees during the prayers time and that is why many tourists enter the archeological site without tickets.
If all had been brought under the ticketing system, the revenue income of the historical site would have been increased, she added.