People have been thronging archaeological sites in Cumilla since they were opened Wednesday after a six-month shutdown triggered by coronavirus.
Visitors have to strictly maintain recommended physical distancing and health protocols when visiting various sites including Shalban Bihar, Mainamati Museum, Rupban Mura and Itakhola Mura.
Lipi Akter, a tourist, said she visited Shalban Bihar with her children after learning that the restrictions have been lifted. “The new generation needs to know our history,” she said.
Dr Ataur Rahman, regional director of Cumilla, Chattogram, Sylhet division Archeological Department, said they reopened the sites to public on Sept 16 maintaining health protocol, a day after receiving instructions from the government.
On the first day, 500 tourists visited the spots. The number increased on the second day, he said.
“The presence of the visitors will increase on weekly holidays. But it’ll take some time for the situation to return to normal. About 5,000 tourists visited the spots daily before the Covid-19 pandemic,” Rahman said.
After six months of closure due to the pandemic, the government decided to reopen all museums and heritage sites under the Department of Archaeology on a limited scale.
According to the Archaeology Department, there are 21 heritage museums and 518 heritage sites in Bangladesh under the department. Visitors and tourists pay entry fees for 21 museums and around 10-12 archaeological sites to visit these places.
The tourism sector in Bangladesh largely depends on heritage tourism by welcoming the local and international visitors and researchers from abroad.