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Ancient History / Indus Valley Civilization

Important Sites of Indus Valley Civilization

Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Chanhudaro, Rakhigarhi, Lothal, Kot Diji, Kalibangan, Dholavira are some of the important sites of Indus valley civilization (IVC). More than 1500 of Harappan sites have been discovered so far. Almost all of these sites are located either in India or Pakistan and majority are being located in India.


  • Harappa was discovered by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni in 1921. It is the first site to be discovered in the whole of Indus valley civilization sites.

  • Harappa is situated near the old course of river Ravi in the Western Punjab region of Pakistan.

  • Cemeteries, wooden coffins, bronze figure of bullock cart, etc. were found in Harappa.

  • The granary of Harappa is having two rows, each row having six rooms.

  • The last rites of people in Harappa were done in different ways. There were complete burials, burial in coffins, cremation, ash burial after cremation, etc.


  • The literal meaning of Mohenjo-daro is 'Mound of the Dead Men'. Mohenjo-daro was discovered by R.D. Banerji in the year 1922. It is one of the important sites of Harappan civilization.

  • Mohenjo daro is located on the banks of river Indus (in the western side of the river) in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is the biggest site of Indus valley civilization in Pakistan.

  • It had a 'Great Granary' near to which the Great Bath of Indus valley civilization is located.

  • A steatite image of bearded priest, a bronze statue of dancing girl, three cylindrical Mesopotamian seals, a Pashupati seal in which proto-Shiva is surrounded by animals like a tiger and an elephant on one side and a man, a rhinoceros and a buffalo on the other side, etc. were found in this site.


  • Chanhudaro was discovered by N.G. Majumdar by in 1931. It is located 130 km south of Mohenjo-daro site in the Sindh province of Pakistan.

  • Here lipstick, Eye Makeup (Kohl), ink pot, razors, etc. were found.


  • Rakhigarhi was discovered by Amarendra Nath. It is being located in Hisar district of Haryana.

  • Presently, Rakhigarhi is the largest site of Indus valley Civilization. It is a pre Indus Valley civilization site and continued to exist even during IVC.

  • Here, we can find terracotta toy cart, animal sacrificial pit, houses made of burnt-brick, proper drainage system, steatite seals particularly a cylindrical seal having five Harappan characters on one side and an alligator symbol on the other side, etc.


  • Lothal was discovered by S.R. Rao by in 1955. It is located near Bhogavo river in Gujarat.

  • It is imagined to be a port city of Indus valley civilization since a dock is present adjacent to the river.

  • Here, we can find castle-like object similar to chess board and twin burial in which a male and a female were buried.

Kot Diji

  • Kot Diji is located on the left bank of the river Indus in the Sindh province of Pakistan.

  • It was a pre-Harappan site and continued its presence during Harappan period.

  • Here, terracotta figurines of animals and mother goddess, pottery with different designs, storage jars, toy carts, etc. were found.


  • Kalibangan was discovered by Italian Indologist Luigi Pio Tessitori as a pre-Historic site and later Amalananda Ghosh recognised it as Harappan site.

  • Kalibangan is located on the left bank of the river Ghaggar (old Saraswati river) in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan.

  • Here, row of fire altars, ploughed field of Harappan civilization, bones of cattle and camels, a seal having script without any pictographs, etc. were found.


  • Dholavira was discovered by J.P Joshi. It is being located in Kutch District of Gujarat.

  • In Dholavira, we find a water reservoir, a circular seal, a stadium, a sign board inscription of about 3 meters length, etc.

In addition to the above mentioned major sites of Indus valley civilization, there are many Harappan sites where we can find some of the items mentioned above and some other items particular to those sites. At Rana Ghundai (a site in Baluchistan), horse teeth is found. The smallest site of Indus valley civilization is Allahdino.