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Harappan Sites In India

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  • Last Updated : 30 Jun, 2022
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The Harappan Civilization, also called the Indus Valley Civilization, is the Indian subcontinent’s oldest known urban culture. It is also one of the three oldest civilizations globally, including Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. The civilization existed in the Bronze Age, dating back from 3300 BC to 1300 BC. The expertise demonstrated in elaborate town planning, metallurgy, craft, clusters of residential houses, drainage systems, and water and harvest management is astonishing. They are certainly important landmarks for tourism as well as archaeological research.
About 925 Indus Valley Civilization sites are located in India.

Important Sites of the Harappan Civilization:

Some of the most important sites in the Harappan Civilization now belong to Pakistan since the partition of India, such as Mohenjo-Daro, Ganeriwala, and Harappa, while some are in Afghanistan. Sites in India are spread across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana.

1. Lothal, Gujarat

  • Located in Ahmedabad district in Gujarat, it used to be one of the most significant cities in Indus Valley civilization since it contains the world’s oldest dock.
  • It existed around 3700 BC and translated to ‘Mound of the Dead.’
  • The dock is one of the most prominent features of this attraction and also linked the Sabarmati River to the Arabian Sea, which made Lothal a prime trade centre during the era.
  • Excavations in this region also revealed bead-producing factories, painted jars, a button seal, fire altars, and possibly hints of the earliest cultivation of rice.

2. Rakhigarhi, Haryana

  • It is the largest site of the Indus Valley civilization, located in the Hisar district in Haryana.
  • The excavations began in 1963 and recently again in 2014 leading to the late discovery of two other mounds. Therefore, replacing Mohenjo-Daro as the world’s largest Indus Valley civilization site, stretching across 350 hectares.
  • Rakhigarhi civilization existed from 2600 BC to 1900 BC.
  • The excavations led to the discovery of artifacts, including terracotta animal figurines, potsherds with wavy, concentric, and floral patterns, seals, fishnets, hopscotches, and shell bangles, platforms, bathrooms, residential houses with mud bricks, drainages, etc.
  • The discovery of Rakhigarhi’s late attributes led historians to believe that the Indus Valley Civilization dated back to 5000 BC and might have been the origin of the Harappan civilization.

3. Alamgirpur, Uttar Pradesh

  • This site exists in the Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh from around 3300 BC to 1300 BC.
  • This settlement is based along the Yamuna River and is known as ‘Parasaram-ka-here.
  • Excavations led to a trough having cloth impressions and ceramic stuff like roof tiles, cups, vases, carts, and beads.
  • Other discoveries include a broken copper blade and a humped bull.

4. Kalibangan, Rajasthan

  • It is based upon the banks of the Ghaggar river and in the Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan and was discovered in the 1900s, having existed from around 3500 BC to 1750 BC.
  • The museum in Kalibangan holds some of the discoveries like pottery, baked/burnt bangles, fire altars, small circular pits containing large urns and pottery, the skeleton of a camel, etc.

5. Dholavira, Gujarat

  • Located in the Kutch district of Gujarat is an island named Khadir Bet, which is one of the biggest Harappan sites.
  • Excavations here began in 1989, long after its discovery, and this site is said to have existed from 2650 BC to 1450 BC.
  • The most prominent discoveries were a step-well discovered in 2014, about three times bigger than the one in Mohenjo-Daro, various reservoirs indicating advanced water-management systems, rock constructions, a figure of a nude man driving a chariot, etc.
  • Other Harappan sites in India include Balu, Farman in Haryana, Baror in Rajasthan, Bhagatrav in Gujarat, etc.


The Harappan Civilization offers an excellent example of admirable city planning and maintenance of water and harvest systems and prioritizing sanitation and hygiene. Their systems are surprisingly more sophisticated than those of the places or villages in India. The discovery of such sites can lead to an understanding of our origins and our culture. Harappan sites are remarkable landmarks for historians as well as civilians.


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