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Mohenjo – daro and Harappa were the first cities on the banks of the River Indus

Updated on September 7, 2016

Harappan civilization

Most civilizations were developed along rivers

Human beings appeared on the earth about 1.5 million years ago. They were food – gatherers, then. The beginning of agriculture took place just about 10,000 years ago.

There civilization were in the world, namely Egyptian in the Nile river Valley, Chinese on the banks of Hwang – Ho river and Mesopotamian or Sumerian on the banks of the Euphrates – Tigris rivers, were flourishing.

Harappan and Mohenjo – daro

Indus valley civilization

The emergence of cities is even more recent. Cities developed in the Indus Valley only 4,500 years ago and disappeared about 3,500 years ago.

Harappan was first cities that came up on the banks of the River Indus. These cities were a part of a rich civilization that flourished here between 2,500 – 1,500 BC, almost 3,500 years ago. With the passage of time, these cities declined, were buried under the ground and forgotten.

Harappan was first excavated by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni in 1921. Rakhal Das Banerji, in 1922, discovered Mohenjo – daro (Mound of the Dead) in the Larakana district of Sind, Pakistan.

The extent

In the beginning, archaeologists believed that Indus Valley Civilization was limited to a small area around the River Indus.Further excavations revealed that it was spread over large parts of present day Pakistan and the Indian states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan. A number of sites have been discovered in these places.


Important sites are Harappan and Mohenjo – daro

They are often referred to as twin capitals of the civilization. Other famous sites are capitals of the civilization. Other famous sites are Chanhu – daro, Kot Diji and Amri (all in Pakistan) Rupar (Punjab), Banawali (Haryana), Alamgripur (Uttar Pradesh), Rangpur and Gola Dhoro (all in Gujarat).

Town planning

The planned layout was the most stunning feature of all Indus Valley cities.

The cities were divided into two, sometimes more, parts. The western part built on a raised ground, known as the citadel or the acropolis, was surrounded by high brick walls, which provided protection from floods. The enclosed citadel area consisted of public buildings, religious structures and granaries. It was probably inhabited by the ruling class, comprising priests and rich merchants.

The eastern part, called the lower town, was larger but lower. Common people inhabited this part. The streets were laid out in a grid pattern. The main streets and by lanes interested each other at right angles and divided the city into rectangular boxes.

The Citadel

In some city buildings were constructed in the citadel area. There were rooms all around the tank. The northern and southern end of the Great Bath had baked brick steps leading down to the tank. It is assumed that the Great Bath had religious significance. Water was probably brought in from a well and drained out after use.

Remarkable drainage system drains were laid out in straight lines. Wooden traps were also fixed to prevent washing away of solid wastes. The bathrooms had sloping floors and drains, connected to the street drains. The kitchen drain was also connected to the main street drains. The drains are covered with the slabs of baked bricks, which ran along the side of the street.


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