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Indus Valley Civilization- Key points

Indus Valley Civilization:

  • One of the world’s four earliest civilizations.
  • Radiocarbon dating places its initiation around 2500-1750 BC.
  • Notable features include systematic town planning with a grid system, burnt brick construction, advanced drainage systems, and fortified citadels.
  • The Great Bath in Mohenjo-daro was used for religious bathing, complete with changing rooms.
  • Harappa had six granaries in a row.
  • The towns were divided into the Citadel (Upper Part) and the Lower Part. There’s no evidence of weapons, suggesting rule by a merchant class.
  • Agriculture involved sowing seeds in November and harvesting in April to avoid floods.
  • Crops included wheat, barley, rai, peas, sesame, rice, and mustard.
  • The Indus people were the first to produce cotton, referred to as “Sindon” by the Greeks.
  • They had a variety of domesticated animals.
  • The Indus Valley Civilization had a well-organized trade system with both external and internal trade. The barter system was prevalent.
  • Iron was not known to the people during this civilization.
  • They used a measurement system based on multiples of 16.
  • The civilization practiced phallic (lingam) and yoni worship, and they considered the Earth as a fertility goddess.
  • The unicorn was a highly worshiped animal, along with other animals, trees, birds, and stones. However, no evidence of temples has been found.
  • Dead bodies were typically placed in a North-South orientation.
  • The Seal of Pashupati depicted various animals, including elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses, and buffaloes, with two deer at the feet of Pashupati.
  • Belief in ghosts and evil forces was evident, and amulets were used for protection. Fire altars were found at some sites.
  • The seals, made of steatite, were considered the greatest artistic creations of the civilization. The Harappan script is pictographic and remains undeciphered.
  • The script was written right to left in the first line and left to right in the second line, a style known as Boustrophedon.
  • Various occupations were practiced, including spinning, weaving, boat-making, goldsmithing, pottery making, and seal making.
  • The decline of the civilization is thought to have been influenced by factors like Aryan invasions, recurrent floods, social fragmentation, and earthquakes.
  • The civilization’s boundaries extended from Mandu in the north (Jammu and Kashmir) to Daimabad in the south (Maharashtra), Alamgirpur in the east, and Sutkagendor in the west.


  • Location: Situated on the banks of the Ravi River in the Montgomery district of Punjab, Pakistan.
  • Excavation: Excavated by Daya Ram Sahni in 1921-23.
  • Significance: The entire Indus Civilization is named after Harappa, and it is often referred to as the “Harappan Civilization.”
  • Notable Finds: Stone dancing Natraja, Cemetry-37, and various artifacts.

Mohenjodaro (Mound of Dead):

  • Location: Located on the banks of the Indus River in the Larkana district of Sindh, Pakistan.
  • Excavation: Excavated by RD Bannerji in 1922.
  • Main Structures: Includes significant structures like the Great Bath, the Great Granary, the Collegiate Building, and the Assembly Hall.
  • Notable Finds: The famous bronze “Dancing Girl,” the Pashupati Mahadeva/proto Shiva seal, fragments of woven cotton, and other artifacts.

Chanhudaro (Sindh, Pakistan):

    • Location: Banks of the Indus River.
    • Discovery: NG Majumdar in 1931.
    • Unique Feature: No citadel.
    • Notable Finds: Bronze figurines (bullock cart, ekkas), small ink pot.

Lothal (Gujarat):

    • Location: Gujarat, on Bhogava River.
    • Discovery: SR Rao in 1954.
    • Site Structure: Citadel, lower town, dockyard.
    • Notable Finds: Evidence of rice cultivation.

Kalibangan (Rajasthan):

    • Location: Ghaggar River in Rajasthan.
    • Discovery: BB Lal in 1961.
    • Unique Features: Wooden furrow, seven fire-altars, camel bone evidence.
    • Burial Practices: Circular and rectangular graves.


    • Location: River Luni, Kachchh district, Gujarat.
    • Discovery: JP Joshi in 1967-68.
    • Unique Features: Exceptional water management system, divided into 3 parts, largest Harappan inscription, and a stadium.

Surkotada (Gujarat):

    • Discovery: JP Joshi in 1972.
    • Notable Findings: Evidence of horses, oval graves, pit burials, and signs of being a potential port city.

Banawali (Haryana):

    • Location: On river Saraswati.
    • Discovery: RS Bisht in 1973.
    • Features: Evidence of both pre-Harappan and Harappan culture, lacked systematic drainage, evidence of good quality barley.

Rakhigarhi (Haryana):

    • Notable Feature: The largest Indus Valley site.


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