Bagerhat (বাগেরহাট) is profound with lot of old mosques, and among those the great Sixty Dome mosque is the main attraction for the visitors. This mosque is the largest ancient mosque from Bangladesh in every aspects (i.e. size, domes, etc). After visiting the Chunakhola Mosque (চুনাখোলা মসজিদ), we have headed for this great mosque. We have parked our car at outside the premise. We bought our tickets and enter inside to explore the mosque. It was 2:00pm of the day.
I have visited this mosque several times before. But this time it was unfortunate that the restoration process was going on. We have found the plastic sheets were placed above a corner of a mosque. Few bamboos were placed around the mosque (probably for climbing and repairing). It is a good initiative that they are taking a good care for the mosque. But unfortunately that simply killed the beauty of the mosque.
There is a museum placed at the corner of the premise. I have never been able to enter this museum as it was closed every time (probably for Sunday) during my last visits. But this time we have found it open and explored inside. This museum is rich with the items of 15th century those were used by the inhabitants from this area which were found after the excavation.
There is a large pond available at the Western side of the mosque which is locally known as Ghora Dighi (ঘোড়া দীঘি). This is known as the first large water tank from this district.
About the mosque:
It is a 15th century mosque with a measurement of 17280 square feet, and the dimension is 160 feet length and 108 feet width. It was built by the great general named Khan Jahan Ali (খান জাহান আলী). Construction started during the 1442 and finished during 1459. This mosque has in total 81 domes atop. There are 7 rows at top and each rows are having 11 domes each (total 77). The mosque has four towers at the four corners and each of those are having a single dome a top (total 4).
The name of the mosque is Shaat Gombuz Mosque (ষাট গম্বুজ মসজিদ), in English which is Sixty Domes Mosque. But actually the mosque is having only 81 domes. From the architecture it is found that the mosque has total 60 pillars in total. For this reason it's original name was 60 pillars mosque (in Persian 'Ambud' represents pillar). Later that 'Ambud' is transformed into 'Gombud' to 'Gombuz'.
The walls of the mosque are unusually thick and built firmly. The pillars are made from the stone. The mosque is having four minarets (or tower) at the four corners and out of those four only the twos were used for calling the Azan (আজান). The mosque has multiple entranced at the every walls except the western one. Though all of those entrances are sealed these days.
How to Go:
Shaat Gombuz Mosque (ষাট গম্বুজ মসজিদ) is a famous one and everyone in Bangladesh knows about it, which means you shouldn't face any difficulties to locate this mosque. First come to Bagerhat (বাগেরহাট) or Khulna (খুলনা) and ask anyone from there blindly and hopefully they can give you a direction. GPS coordinate of the mosque is (22°40'27.80"N, 89°44'30.58"E).
Where to Stay:
Bagerhat (বাগেরহাট) is very near from the Khulna (খুলনা) town. Around 40 minutes of drive at maximum. And Khulna (খুলনা) is a divisional district. It has several international standard hotels along with plenty of cheap hotels. You can check in those for your night staying. I have stayed at the Royal International Hotel, an old and famous hotel from Khulna. And I always go for the old but famous hotels. The reason is, they are always classy, and everyone knows about location. Just ask anyone from Khulna (খুলনা) about this hotel from anywhere around there :-).
Yes my friend, this is probably the only mosque from Bangladesh that asks for a ticket to enter inside the premise. It is because the museum is placed inside the same compound (and probably the ticket is for the museum). Its only 20 Taka for the local tourists. But if you are a foreigner then its 200 Taka only. I am not sure about the SAARC people. And maybe the Sunday is the closing day for the museum only.
It was the day-2 of our four days trip at Southern Bangladesh. We have traveled Barisal (বরিশাল), Jhalokathi (ঝালকাঠি), Pirojpur (পিরোজপুর), Bagerhat (বাগেরহাট), and Khulna (খুলনা) in those days.
Shaat Gombuz Mosque (ষাট গম্বুজ মসজিদ)/Shaat Gombuz Mosjid (ষাট গম্বুজ মসজিদ),
Union: Shat Gombuz (ষাটগুম্বুজ),
Upazela: Bagerhat Sadar (বাগেরহাট সদর),
District: Bagerhat (বাগেরহাট জেলা),
Country: Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ),
GPS coordinate: (22°40'27.80"N, 89°44'30.58"E)
This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/