The lost ancient harappan city of Dholavira | Gujarat

Dholavira, an ancient place in Kutch district of Gujarat is one of the most ancient archaeological places in India. The site contains the ruins of ancient Harappan civilization.

The place can be reached by personal vehicle, since accessibility of public transport is not available. The excavated site is located within the Dholavira Village (situated around 1 Km south of it). It is best to hire a local guide, who will tell you the history related to the place and all the structures within (Trust me, like literally about every piece of rock). Without a guide, all you’ll see would be rocks, lying on the ground, in funny patterns.

So, according to our guide, the site was found and first excavated for remains by J.P Joshi in 1967-68. The site has been excavated and found to be layered into 7 stages, defining 7 different civilizations.

The locals of the village (around 700 to quote the guide), were employed to extract the remains from brushes and hand tools. Unfortunately, due to unavailability of funds, the excavation was stopped and the poor villagers of the Dholavira village have to find new ways to earn. There is no entry fee and hence no maintenance. Poor thing, how we neglect such an ancient historic city and the secrets it beholds.

Anyways, as recited by our guide, the nearby location which also shares the Harrappan civilization history, is in Pakistan, which demonstrates the Mohenjo daro’s time.



Going further, I’ll give you a basic tour of what we learnt from our  visit to the ancient site.
As I told, the site is divided into 7 layers. The lowermost layer depicted the 2650 BCE, when people use to live in Mud houses. The place was continuously deserted and inhabited from time to time, till 1450 BCE.

The Dholavira city Layout is divided into 3 sections:

1) Citadel (The castle and Upper Level People)
2) Middle Town (For Middle class people)
3) Lower Town (for the common people)

Source: wikipedia



Citadel was the place for High level/Rich people. The place was structured to meet all the needs, like proper drainage, water availability at home through proper channels, fortified walls for safety, stadium for social gathering and other events, and as our guide would joke, 2BHK and 4BHK houses.

Citadel Board

A Citadel House

The Middle Town mostly consisted of Market area, where the local vendors would sell hand made jewels, artifacts and other items. It was a long lane of markets, properly structured in a line. The middle town also had walls surrounding for safety of the inhabitants.

A Local Vendor Shop

The Lower Town was meant for the locals (mostly the poor people). It had no walls and no facilities.

The site displayed some amazing efficient structural developments including Water Harvesting Techniques, Water reservoirs, pulley-system to extract water from the deep wells, etc.
The water reservoir system was designed to store the rain water and purify it after 3 stages of purification. The water stored in the first stage would slowly pass to second one, extracting the mud contents, which would further purify in the second stage and pass on the clean water to the final storage area. This helped the water situations of the desert climate and conditions of Kutch, where several years may pass without rainfall.


A ten symbol inscribed on a tablet was also found, whose meaning hasn't yet been decrypted by archaeologists.



Source: boundless-cdn

The place has a museum, which has artifacts preserved from the site. The artifacts mainly include the perfectly carved pots, stools and ornaments made from mud or stones.



The stamps and seals from the Harrappan civilization can also be found preserved within the museum.




As interesting as the site is, it's sad that the excavation has been stopped due to no funds and the mystery the place may unfold about the Harrappan/Indus Valley Civilization, has been left in between.


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