Harappa Travel Guide

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Harappa, the type-site of the Indus civilization, is today a large village in the Sahiwal district Punjab, 15 miles southwest of the  town. It overlies and adjoins the mounds of the ancient city, which appear to have had a circuit of not less than 3 miles, though the more emphatic mounds occupy a considerably smaller expanse.

It was the first city that was escavated of Indus Valley Civilization and became the milestone in understanding the life and culture in of the punjab and India somewaht between 3.000 to 1500 years BC. The harrapa and then after Indus valley civilazation made the history of Indus valley much comparable to other ancient civilizations of the world in Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Egypt. Many believe that history of Harappa is not only the history of Indus valley and subsequently of India but a history of mankind and more so history of Asia. Near the ruins of old Harappa there still exists the living town of Harappa where still people are making the pots and jewellery as their ancestors used to use 4,000 years ago.

One can not complete his tour of Pakistan without visiting Harappa in Punjab and Mohenjodaro in Sind.

The site at Harappa was first briefly excavated by Sir Alexander Cunningham in 1872-73; two decades after brick robbers carried off the visible remains of the city. He found an Indus seal of unknown origin. The first extensive excavations at Harappa were started by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni in 1920. His work and contemporaneous excavations at Mohenjo-daro first brought to the world's attention the existence of the forgotten Indus Valley civilization as the earliest urban culture in the Indian subcontinent.

The main features of the plan, the citadel on the west and the mounds of the ‘lower city’ towards the east and southeast have already been indicated. To the north a slightly hollowed belt containing notably green crops marks an old bed of the River Ravi. Today the river flows 6 miles further north. Between the citadel and the riverbed, Mound F has been found to contain a remarkable and significant piece of town planning; to the south of the citadel lie the outlying hills, the Harappan cemetery and the post Harappan cemetery. To the southeast, sporadic digging has been carried out in Area G, but the ragged Mound E and its surroundings are virtually unexplored.

amount still to be learned about the site, most of which remains unexcavated. The earliest deposits on the site go back to 5300 B.P. and the area seems to have been continuously inhabited ever since. Archaeologists think that ancient Harappa was the urban center dominating the upper Indus region, much like Mohenjo-daro dominated the lower Indus Valley and Ganweriwala might have been the urban center for what is now Rajasthan.

Archaeological evidence is the key to understanding Harappa’s past. Although Harappa continues to be the center of historical debate, further archaeological explanations may some day reveal the validity or inaccuracy in the historical accounts of Harappa. Regardless of its impact on written history, archaeology will continue to reveal the way of life for Harappa's inhabitants.


March 08, 2006 change by giorgio

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