Topic 1 - Indus Valley Civilization

The extent of the Civilization

Mostly covered the Punjab and Sind region of undivided India. Its boundaries found so far –

  • West- Suktagendor around Makran coast, south Baluchistan

  • East - Alamagirpur in Uttar Pradesh

  • North - Manda in  Jammu & Kashmir

  • South - Diamabad  Maharashtra

Nature of the settlements:

  • The cover region is triangular in shape

  • The largest settlement in the ancient period

  • Most settlements were found around/near a river or their ancient course

  • Considered an urban civilization

Harappan Culture can be sub-divided into three phases:

  • the Early Harappan Phase(3300 BC – 2600 BC)

  • the Mature Harappan Phase (2600BC – 1900 BC)

  • the Late Harappan Phase(1900 BC – 1300BC)


1921 Ray Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni - the Harappan site

1922 Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay - Mohenjo-Daro 

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Indus Valley Civilization Remnants

Indus Valley Sites

Major cities of Indus Valley Civilization and River Banks: 

  • Harappa – Ravi River (now Pakistan)

  • Mohenjodaro – Indus River (now Pakistan)

  • Sokhta Koh – Makran coast (now Pakistan)

  • Surkotada – ancient river (Kutch, Gujarat)

  • Lothal – ancient course of Sabarmati river (Gujarat)

  • Dholavira – (Khadir Beyt, Gujarat)

  • Ganweriwala - dry river bed of the Ghaggar-Hakra (now Pakistan)

  • Rakhigarhi – Ghggar-Hakra river (Haryana)

  • Kalibangān  - Ghggar-Hakra river (Rajasthan)

  • Chanhudaro – ancient Sarasvati River (now Pakistan)

  • Banawali - ancient Sarasvati River (Haryana)

  • Rangpur and Rojdi (late Harappan Phase) - Gujarat


  • Bank of Ravi River

  • Has a prominent mound

  • Harappa has granaries and Citadels

  • Furnace and crucible for Bronze making


  • Bank of Indus river

  • Presence of a prominent mound

  • Unicorn seals, buildings, weights found there

  • Great Bath -  use of Burnt bricks, Mortar, Gypsum, and outer walls were bituminized so that there is no leakage of water.  Water supplied from an adjacent well

  • the largest building found at Mohenjo-Daro is a granary.

  • Bronze dancing girl statue, the figurine of bearded man, the seal of Proto Shiva were found here


  • Kutch area of Gujarat 

  • Presence of Citadels

  • It is the largest site of independent India

  • A signboard with Indus script was found here

  • Extensive water conservation systems


  • Western most point located in the Makran coast

  • Important coastal city for the civilization


  • Located near Karachi

  • Important coastal city for trade


  • Located in Gujarat 

  • Horse bones were found here


  • Located in Gujarat

  • Man-made dockyard for ships found here

  • Along the ancient course of Sabarmati river

  • bead making factory found

  • A seal from Iran indicates its link with countries

  • Town planning different from other sites


  • Located in Rajasthan

  • found a ploughed field and bones of camel

  • Not as developed as other Harappan civilization

  • Circular and rectangular graves were found here

Life in Indus Valley Civilization

  • Indus script widely used on Seals, copper plates, ivory etc. But the script is not yet deciphered.

  • No usage of coins/monetary system found

  • Gold, Silver, copper and broze was used

  • Seals were made of steatite

  • Extensive town planning – baked bricks, roads, and streets, drainage system

  • Towns had citadel (used by the ruling class), Presence of central authority. 

  • They had granaries to store grains

  • Used to bury the dead

  • Use of beads and pottery (used wheels)

  • Use of standard weights and measurements

  • Houses used to have a bathing area and kitchen

  • Unicorn, Pashupatinath, Seven mothers etc. were part of the religion but no temples or places of worship found

  • Matriarchal society

  • Wheat, Barley and rice husks found

  • The numerical system used was decimal

  • Evidence of use of some kind of medical science found

  • Animals were domesticated

  • Had foreign relations. Known as Meluha in Mesopotamian region