All that remains of a dead rose is its name; but the sights and smells of history, where we can still find them, need to be treasured.
Today, the medieval city of Khalifatabad (modern Bagerhat) is home to the remains of hundreds of historic buildings, some of which have been standing for around 600 years.
Khanjahan was the founder of the city which arose from the Sundarbans edge and who earned the status of a sufi pir (saint) in his lifetime. The Archaeology Department recently resumed excavating a piece of land in Sundarghona of Bagerhat Sadar upazila – a Unesco World Heritage site popularly known as Khanjahan's homestead.
The city he created was abandoned in later years. Khanjahan's homestead also lied in negligence for a long time, with a great amount of wear and deterioration.
Although Unesco has recognised the mosque city of Bagerhat as a world heritage site, not many know about the initial settlements here, and how Khanjahan shaped its history.
The excavation will go deep into the layout of his homestead, its architectural style, structure, and chronological order.
According to the archaeology department, Unesco declared 17 sites, including the historic Shat Gambuj Mosque (60 dome mosque), as world heritage sites in 1985. The homestead of Khanjahan is one of them. The place is just 400 metres away from the iconic mosque.
Khanjahan built bridges, roads, mosques and other public buildings within an astonishingly short time. However, only two surviving monuments – his tomb and the Shat Gambuj Mosque –now bear the signs of his time.
The government acquired around 10 acres of land in 1997 to excavate Khanjahan's homestead.