UPSC History The Harappan Civilization Short Notes - Indus Valley Civilization

Short Notes - Indus Valley Civilization

Category : UPSC


Indus Valley Civilization


  • The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a unique Bronze Age civilization (2500-1700 B.C.) based on Carbon-14 dating.
  • The Civilization flourished around the Indus river basin and its tributaries, consisting of modern Pakistan and northwestern India.

Town planning     

  • The main streets ran from north to south varied from 9 to 34 feet in width. Roads, especially in Mohenjo- Daro had a width of 10.5 meter. The

Harappa had wide roads of width of 30 feet.

  • There was an impressive building which was used as a public bath. The overall dimension of the Bath is 180 feet by 108 feet used for religious both.
  • Houses, often   two-storey   and spacious, lined up on the streets; there was well drainage system resulting in the brick-lined sewers.
    • In town planning, grid system, underground drainage and granaries were found.


  • Lothal, Balakot, Suktagendor and Allahdin (Pakistan) in the cities of the Harappan civilization were the major ports.
  • Domesticated animals included dogs and cats, humped and sea cattle, poultry, and possibly pigs, camels and Buffalo. Elephant, probably, too, was domesticated, and his bones and tusks were freely used.
  • Women were given high honour in society. Family was regulated in the sname of mother.
  • The Indus Civilization had four different classes in which the society was divided, i.e. Scholars, warriors, businessmen and labourers.
  • In the valley of the Indus people used irrigation-based agriculture.
  • Harappan people had features of Hinduism, such as worship of the mother Goddess, Pashupati Shiva, Sacred animals, trees, etc.


Indus Valley Sites - Excavators


Harappa -1921- Dayaram Sahni

Mohenjodaro- 1922- R.D.Banerjee

Sutkagendor- 1927-Aurel Stein, George

Dalesamri -1929- M.G.Majumdar

Chanhudaro-1931- M.G.Majumdar

Rangpur -1931- M.S.Vats

Kot Diji-1935- Fazal Khan

Dabarkot- 1935- Maichke

Kili Ghul Mohammad-1950- Fairservis

Kalibangan- 1953-A..Ghosh

Ropar -1953- Y.D.Sharma

Lothal -1957- S.R.Rao

Surkotada-1964- Jagatpati Ghosh



Sites their Location


Mohenjodaro- Sindh, Pakistan

Harappa- Punjab Province, Pakistan

Dholavira- Rann of Kutch in Gujarat -

Lothal- Gulf of Khambat in Gujarat      

Rakhigarhi- Haryana               

Ganweriwala- Punjab, Pakistan

Banawali- Haryana

Chanhudaro- Kutch in Gujarat

Kalibangan- Rajasthan

Kot Diji- Sind, Pakistan

Ropar- Punjab (India)

Surkotada- Kutch, Gujarat

Suktagendor - Bank of Dast,



Some Important names/facts of I.V. Civilization


  • The Sumerian texts refer to two intermediate. station - Dilmun [Bahrain) and Makan. It also refers to trade relation with 'Meluha' – the I  name given to the Indus region

Harappan cotton was called 'Sindon' by the Greeks.

  • A community who worshiped rivers was called 'Dariyapanthi' in Indus civilization.
  • 'Boustrophendon is name of Indus script. It is written from right to left and then left to right.
  • English Bound System: The way of fitting the bricks in making walls. In this system one large of bricks is placed in length and the other layer is made by placing the bricks widthwise.
  • Ziggurat: The temples of Sumeria.
  • The traces of Sati system is found in Lothal [Joint burial).
  • Lipistic was discovered   from Chahundaro and Black eastern bangles from Kalibangan. Pastry rollar and board and bowls have been discovered from Alamgirpur Meerut.
  • The evidence of coins is not found. Barter is assumed to have been the method of exchange of goods.
    • Merchants were the ruling class of Indus Civilization.
    • The Harappan did not worship their gods in temple. They did not worship the cow as we do- today. They worshipped Matridev Shakti, Yoni, Pashupati, Lingam, Naga [Serpent), trees [Peepal and acacia), humped bull, the sun, water, etc. They believed in paganism and sacrificed animals in religious ceremonies,
  • Steatite was   used   in   seals manufacturing.
    • The origin of 'swastika' is discovered from the Indus Civilization.
    • Indra, the commander of Aryan, is accused of causing the decline of their civilization.
    • The battle of 'Hariyumpia' [in Rigveda) has been identified with Harappa. [M. Wheeler)
    • 'Susa' are Mesopotamia Places where Harappa seals were found.

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