Indus Valley Civilization

The first cities to be discovered in ancient India were found were described as Harappan. These cities shares the same culture as found in Indus valley near Indus River, thus they are termed as Indus Valley Civilization.

  • Indus valley civilization belongs to Bronze Age.
  • It extends from 2900 BC to 1700 BC.
  • Indus valley civilization is also known as Harappa culture since pattern of living in these cities resembles that of Harappa.
  • Some of the sites of Harappa culture are:
City Present State River
Harappa Punjab (Pakistan) Ravi
Mohenjodaro Sind Indus
Lothal Gujarat Bhogava
Kalibangan Rajasthan Ghaggar
Banwali Haryana Ghaggar
Rangpur Gujarat Bhadur
Ropar Punjab Satlej
Alamgirpur Uttar Pradesh Hindon
Manda Jammu & Kashmir Chenab
Kot Diji Sindh Indus


  • Indus valley cities were well planned. They were divided into two parts:
    • The upper part (western side) was built on elevated platform known as citadel which housed public buildings.
    • The lower part (eastern side) was built for common people who carried out professional work.
  • The town planning followed the grid system with streets cutting at right angles.
  • Advanced agriculture was followed in the civilization. The major crop cultivated was wheat and barley. The Indus valley civilization was first to produce cotton in the world.
  • Animal rearing was also practiced. The animals reared were camels, sheep, oxen, buffalo, dog, cat, elephant etc.
  • Various occupation were practiced which includes gold-smith, silver-smith, bronze-smith, weavers, framers, boat-builders, ivory workers, potters, bead makers etc.
  • There was internal and external trade in the civilization. Finished goods like cotton, pottery etc. was exported to in between the cities. Import-Export also happened with other civilizations like Sumerians (Iraq), Persian Gulf etc. The Sumerian text referred Indus region as ‘Meluha’ in their texts.
  • The people worshipped mother goddess (Goddess of Earth), Pasupati Mahadev and numerous other stone symbols.
  • The Harappa civilization declined around 1700 BC. There is evidence of destruction by Aryan Invasion, natural calamities such as recurring floods, earthquakes, and spread of certain epidemic like Malaria etc. The civilization did not come to sudden end but disappeared gradually.