Harappan Civilization

Harappan Civilization was also known as Indus Valley Civilization as the most significant shreds of evidence of the achievements of the Indus Valley civilization were excavated from Harappa. Indus Valley art emerged during the second half of the third millennium BCE (i.e. from 2500 BC onwards). This article will shed light on the Harappan Civilization.

Important Sites of Indus Valley Civilization – Apart from Harappa

Apart from Harappa, some of the important sites of the Indus Valley Civilization were Dholavira, Mohenjodaro, Ganweriwala, Lothal, Kalibangan, Surkotada, etc.

In India, the major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization are given below:

  • Lothal and Dholavira were located in Gujarat.
  • Kalibangan and Balathal were located in Rajasthan.
  • Rakhigarhi was located in Haryana.
  • The Indus Valley Civilization was also located in Ropar which is currently located in Punjab.

The two most prominent sites were Harappa and Mohenjodaro, both of which are currently located in present-day Pakistan.

Harappan Civilization – Urban Planning

In the Harappan cities, urban planning was highly developed.

  • The houses in the cities were well planned.
  • The materials used for building purposes were sun-dried bricks and burnt bricks.
  • Houses had separate bathing areas.
  • The houses were one or two-storeyed.
  • The houses in Harappan Civilization had wells.
  • Each house had a proper drainage system which was connected to the drainage system of the streets.
  • In the Harappan Civilization, the drainage system was well-structured.
  • The streets of the Harappan Civilization were well-planned.
  • The streets of the Harappan Civilization had a proper system of waste disposal, lighting, drainage, and water supply.

Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan Civilization) – Worship

  • People of the Indus Valley Civilization practised Nature worship and Yoni Worship.
  • People of the Indus Valley Civilization worshipped Fire (Havan Kund) and trees like peepal. The Mother Goddess was worshipped as Shakti or Matridevi.
  • The people of the Indus valley civilization worshipped animals like Ox and Unicorn.
  • The lord of animals was Pashupati Mahadev.

Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan Civilization) – Citadel

Many of the cities in the Indus Valley Civilization (Harappa) were divided into two or more parts.

  • The Eastern part of the city was lower but larger in size. The Western part of the city was higher but they were smaller in size.
  • This is the Citadel as described by the Archaeologists.
  • In some of the cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, special buildings were constructed on the Citadel.
  • For example, in Mohenjodaro of the Indus Valley Civilization, a special tank was built on the citadel.
  • Archaeologists have termed it the ‘Great Bath’.

Harappan Civilization – Bronze Casting

  • The bronze statues found in Harappa were made by the technique called Lost Wax technique.
  • This technique is used in some parts of the country even today showing continuity of traditions.
  • This technique was popular on almost all sites.
  • First, wax figures were made and then covered with clay. The clay was allowed to dry and then the figure was heated to melt the wax. This wax was drained out through a hole in the clay. After that, the hollow clay was filled with the metal of choice. After cooling the metal, the clay was removed revealing the desired metal figurine.
  • Both animal and human figures were made this way.

Related Links

CBSE Notes Class 6 History Chapter 3 – In the Earliest Cities

Indus Valley Civilization (2500 BC) – 100 Must-Know Facts about IVC

Urban and Town planning of the Harappan Civilization

Write the characteristics features of Harappan civilization

Major Sites in Indus Valley Civilization

NCERT Notes: Indus Valley Civilization – Art & Culture

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What was the Harappan civilization known for?

The Harappan civilization is known for developing the first accurate system of standardised measures and weights. They were also known for their seals, pottery, sculptures, terracotta, drainage system, the way houses were built, planning of the cities, etc.

Who discovered the Harappan civilization?

Sir Alexander Cunningham discovered the Harappan civilization in 1872-73. Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni carried out the first extensive excavations at Harappa in 1920.

What is the Harappan civilization called?

The Harappan civilization is known as the Indus Valley Civilization.

How was Harappa destroyed?

Different experts have different opinions about the destruction of Harappa. Some claim it was destroyed due to flooding, some others claim Harappa was destroyed due to the drying up of the Saraswathi river, while others believe climate change was the cause behind the destruction of Harappa.

Which metal is used in Harappan civilization?

The people of Harappa knew the uses of bronze, copper and iron.