Indus Valley Civilization - Major Sites

History has an important role in both the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam and the Main Examination. A considerable fraction of the total questions asked in General Studies Paper I for UPSC IAS Exam three segments- Ancient India, Medieval India and Modern India. A rational mix of hard work and an appropriate strategy will ease the UPSC IAS Exam preparation.

This article will talk about one of the four earliest civilizations in the world – Indus Vally Civilization (IVC). Aspirants will aso find information about major sites found in IVC.

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What is Indus Valley Civilization?

The Indus valley civilization is also known as Harappan Civilization and is famous for its systematic planning based on the grid system.

The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization spreading from today’s North-East Afghanistan to Pakistan and North-West India. This civilization flourished in the river basins of the Indus and the Ghaggar-Hakra River.

There are seven important cities in the Indus valley civilization:

  1. Mohanjodaro
  2. Harappa
  3. Kalibangan
  4. Lothal
  5. Chanhudaru
  6. Dholavira
  7. Banawali

Surkotada, Lothal, and Dholavira are the important port towns in the Indus valley. Harappa, Mohanjodaro, Banawali and Dholavira are considered as the four main Harappan Sites. Till 1999, over 1,056 urban areas and settlements had been found. 96 sites have been excavated, mostly in the region of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra Rivers and their tributaries. Among the settlements were the most important urban centres of Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Ganeriwala, Dholavira, and Rakhigarhi.

Major Sites of Indus Valley Civilization

Here we are giving the list of major sites in the Indus valley civilizations along with its location, major findings which are very useful for UPSC IAS Prelims examination.

Year Site Location Excavated by Major findings
1921 Harappa Sahiwal District, Punjab in the banks of Ravi Daya Ram Sahni
  • Piece of Pottery with Indus Script
  • Cubical Limestone Weight
  • Faience Slag
  • Sandstone statues of Human anatomy
  • Copper Bullock cart
  • Granaries
  • Coffin burials (Only founded in Harrapa)
  • Terracotta Figurines
1922 Mohenjo-Daro Larkana District Of Sind on the bank of Indus R. D Banerjee
  • Great bath
  • Granary
  • Unicorn Seals (Most numbers of it in here)
  • Bronze dancing girl statue
  • Seal of a man with deers, elephants, tiger and rhinos around- Considered to be Pashupati Seal)
  • Steatite statue of beard man
  • Bronze buffalo
1929 Sutkagendor Baluchistan on Dast river Stein
  • Trade point between Harappa and Babylon
  • Flint Blades
  • Stone Vessels
  • Stone Arrowheads
  • Shell Beads
  • Pottery
  • Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) associated Copper-Bronze Disc
1931 Chanhudaro Mullan Sandha, Sind on the Indus river N G Majumdar
  • Bangle Factory
  • InkPot
  • Bead makers shop
  • The footprint of a dog chasing a cat
  • Cart with a seated driver

Note: It is the only city without a citadel

1935 Amri Close to Balochistan, on the bank of Indus river N G Majumdar
  • Antelope evidence
  • Rhinoceros’ evidence
1953 Kalibangan Hanumangarh District, Rajasthan on the bank of Ghaggar river Amlanand Ghose
  • Lower fortified town
  • Wooden drainage
  • Copper Ox
  • Evidence of earthquake
  • Wooden plough
  • Camel’s bone
  • Fire alters
  • Camel’s bones
  • Furrowed land
1953 Lothal Gujarat on Bhogva river near the Gulf of


R. Rao
  • Port Town
  • Graveyard
  • Ivory weight balance
  • Copper dog
  • First manmade port
  • Dockyard
  • Rice husk
  • Fire alters
  • Chess-playing
1964 Surkotada Gujarat J P Joshi
  • Bones of horses
  • Beads
  • Stone Covered Beads
1974 Banawali Fatehabad district of Haryana R S Bisht
  • Beads
  • Barley
  • Oval shaped settlement
  • The only city with radial streets
  • Toy plough
  • The largest number of barley grains
1985 Dholavira Gujarat in Rann of Kutchchh R S Bisht
  • Exclusive water management
  • Only site to be divided into three parts
  • Giant water reservoir
  • Unique water harnessing system
  • Dams
  • Embankments
  • Stadium
  • Rock – Cut architecture

Frequently Asked Questions about Major Sites in Indus Valley Civilisation


Which is the important Indus Valley site?

Mohenjo Daro is probably the best known Indus site. Mohenjo Daro is in Sindh, Pakistan, next to the Indus River, not far from the very early human flint mining quarries at Rohri. The Indus may once have flowed to the west of Mohenjo Daro, but it is now located to the east.

Which is the smallest site of Indus Valley Civilization?

The Indus civilization is known to have consisted of two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and more than 100 towns and villages, often of relatively small size.

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Ancient History NCERT Notes Medieval History NCERT Notes
Modern History NCERT Notes World History for UPSC
UPSC FAQ UPSC History Optional Booklist

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