Indus Valley Civilisation Sites in India


  • Government has announced allocation to Ministry of Culture for National Maritime Museum coming up at Lothal in Gujarat as part of 2020 Budget. The project is being implemented by Ministry of Shipping through its Sagarmala program, with the involvement of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Indian Navy, the Gujarat State government, and other stakeholders. In this respect, let us understand the key information associated with this step.
  • The archaeological remains of the Harappa port-town of Lothal are located along the Bhogava river, a tributary of Sabarmati, in the Gulf of Khambat.
  • The site provides evidence of Harappa culture between 2400 BCE to 1600 BCE.
  • Within the quadrangular fortified layout, Lothal has two primary zones – the upper (Citadel) and the lower town.  Within the citadel are wide streets, drains and rows of bathing platforms, suggested a planned layout.
  • The remains of the lower town suggest that the area had a bead-making factory. Near the enclosure identified as a warehouse, along the eastern side where a wharf-like platform.
  • The excavated site of Lothal is the only port-town of the Indus Valley Civilisation. he remains of stone anchors, marine shells, sealings which trace its source in the Persian Gulf together with the structure identified as a warehouse further aid the comprehension of the functioning of the Lothal port.
  • The availability of antiquities whose origin is traceable to the Persian Gulf and Mesopotamia and the presence of what is identified as a bead making industry further attributes Lothal as an industrial port town of the Harappan culture.


  • It is one of the five biggest townships of Harappan Civilization, located in Rakhigarhi, Hisar in Haryana. According to archaeologists, it is the largest site in terms of area in the Indus Valley Civilisation Sites.
  • The other four are Harappa, Mohen-jo-daro and Ganweriwal in Pakistan and Dholavira in Gujarat.
  • Five interconnected mounds spread in a huge area to form the Rakhigarhi’s unique site.
  • This site was excavated by Amarendra Nath of the Archaeological Survey of India.
  • The site has five interconnected mounds.
  • Rakhigarhi presents existence of civilisation from the early phase, mature phase and late phase of Indus Valley Civilisation.
  • The site has both mudbrick as well as burnt-brick houses with a proper drainage system.
  • The ceramic industry represented by red ware, which included dish-on-stand, vase, jar, bowl, beaker, perforated jar, goblet and ‘handis’ (pans).
  • Other antiquities included blades; terracotta and shell bangles; beads of semiprecious stones, terracotta, shell and copper objects; animal figurines, toy cart frame and wheel of terracotta; bone points; inscribed steatite seals and sealings.
  • Necropolis: The excavations have yielded a few extended burials, which certainly belong to a very late stage, may be the medieval times. A rare grave having double burial of a male and female has been found here.
  • Ritual system: Animal sacrificial pit lined with mud brick and triangular and circular fire altars on the mud floor have also been excavated pointing to the ritual system of Harappans.
  • A cylindrical seal with 5 Harappan characters on one side and a symbol of an alligator on the other side is an important find from this site.
  • A site has been found which is believed to be jewellery making unit.
  • The samples from the two women graves have been sent to study about the dietary practices and antiquity of Rakhigarhi site.

Dholavira as World Heritage Site

  • Dholavira is located on the Khadim Bet Island in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat.
  • Dholavira is one of the very few large Harappan settlements where an entire sequence spanning from early Harappan town / pre-urban phase to the height of the Harappan expansion and the late Harappan is observed.
  • Evidence of stratified society: The homes in Dholavira suggest that IVC was a stratified society with different social status for different class of people.
  • Dholavira’s location is on the Tropic of Cancer.
  • 6th largest Indus Valley Civilisation site.
  • It consists of two parts: a walled city and a cemetery.
  • Unlike Harappa and Mohen jo Daro which have two divisions (Citadel and Lower town), Dholavira consists of three divisions:
    • A fortified castle with attached fortified Bailey (residence for higher officials) and Ceremonial Ground
    • A fortified Middle Town
    • A lower town
  • Building Material: Unlike other IVC sites where burnt bricks have been used, construction is done by stone.
  • Expansive Water Management: Dholavira located in a water scarce region developed an expansive system letting them thrive in harsh environment.
  • Dholavira has two stadium like structures which would have been used for dance performances, gathering etc.
  • A series of reservoirs are found to the east and south of the citadel. The water management system here is designed to store every drop of water in the reservoirs.
  • Few rock-cut wells are discovered here which are amongst oldest examples of well.
  • Hemispherical memorials: Dholavira has some hemispherical structures. Archaeologists have traced the origin of Buddhist stupa in these memorials.
  • Dholavira signboard: The Dholavira signboard is the largest IVC written inscription known. It is located close to the gate of the city.
  • Cemetery: Dholavira has a large cemetery with cenotaphs of 6 types. However, there have been no discovery of human skeletons from Dholavira.
  • Bead processing workshops and artefacts
  • Copper smelter has been discovered
  • UNESCO has inscribed Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) site of Dholavira as a World Heritage Site. Dholavira will be 40th site from India which has been accorded World Heritage Status by UNESCO. Apart from India, Italy, Spain, Germany, China and France have 40 or more sites as World Heritage. It is only IVC era site from India to get World Heritage Status.
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