When it was originally constructed Bagerhat contained 360 mosques and numerous other constructions like public buildings, bridges and water reservoirs. The buildings were built out of baked bricks, which have deteriorated due to atmospheric conditions. The town is set amongst tropical trees and ponds in the Bangladeshi countryside. It is probably best to visit Bagerhat in the morning as the museum closes for lunch and there are few places to purchase lunch at the site. Women may be prohibited from entering some of the sites, for example the tomb of Khan Jahan Ali.
The key buildings and monuments to visit in Bagerhat are:
Shait Gumbad/Shat Gombuj/Shat Gumbaz or the Sixty Pillar Mosque
Admission Tk100, Opening Times 9am – 5pm Tue – Sat & 2.30pm – 5pm Mon October – March, 9am – 6pm Tue – Sat & 2.30pm – 6pm Mon March – September
Established in 1440, this building is one of the oldest mosques in Bangladesh. An impressive site the mosque is unique for its very thick walls built in a tapering fashion, a construction method that is known as Taghlaq. It is decorated with terracotta and bricks. As well as serving as a place of prayer the mosque was also an assembly hall and school. It was also Khan Jahan’s court.
Kahan Jahan’s Tomb
Kahan Jahan’s Tomb is located on the northern bank of a pond containing crocodiles. It is the only building in the complex that retains the original ceilings of its domes. As Kahan Jahan is a significant figure in Bangladeshi history the tomb is also a place of pilgrimage.
Nine Domed Mosque
Set close to Kahan Jahan’s Tomb is the Nine Domed Mosque, one of the buildings at the site that has been substantially restored. One particular feature to see in this building is the terracotta flower and foliage scrolls and motifs that are set into the mihrabs (niches).
The Bagerhat Museum is located next to the Sixty Pillar Mosque and is a good place to start your tour of the town. The museum was established with the assistance of UNESCO and contains pottery, inscriptions and ornamental bricks from Bagerhat.
Khodla Math Temple
Not actually part of the UNESCO heritage site, the Khodla Math Temple, located 11kms from Bagerhat is one of the tallest Hindu structures ever build in Bangladesh. The temple is just outside the village of Ayodhya and can be reached by rickshaw or baby taxi from Bagerhat.