Indus Valley Sites in Rajasthan

The History of Rajasthan dates back around 5000 years. The Bhil and the Mina tribes are said to be its original inhabitants and the first Aryan settlement was established here.

The recorded ancient history of Rajasthan dates back to 1200 AD. It was ruled over by the various dynasties including Mauryan Empire (321-184 BC) followed by the first Rajput dynasty during 700 AD. Rajput clans consolidated their rule (eighth – twelfth century AD) with 21 dynasties. So the region got named as Rajputana (the land of the Rajputs). Later period (1000-1200 AD) is marked by wars for supremacy among the Parmars, Chalukyas, and Chauhans rulers.

Indus Valley Sites in Rajasthan

  1. Kalibangan
  2. Baror
  3. Karanpura

1. Kalibangan

Kalibangan is a part of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, located in present Hanumangarh district. The site was discovered by Luigi Pio Tessitori, an Italian Indologist and linguist. After Independence in 1952, Amlānand Ghosh identified the site as part of Harappan Civilization and marked it for excavation. Later, during 1961-69, excavations were carried out by B. B. Lal & Balkrishna Thapar.

Kalibangan has settlements belonging to:

  • Pre-Harappan Period from the 3500 BC – 2500 BC.
  • Harrapan Period from the 2500 BC – 1500 BC

Features of Pre-Harappan Settlement: The pre-Harappan settlement was a fortified parallelogram, the fortification wall being made of Mud-bricks.

  • The houses within the walled area were also made of mud-bricks.
  • The distinctive trait of this period was the pottery which was significantly different from that of the succeeding Harappans.
  • An outstanding discovery was a ploughed field, showing a cross-grid of furrows, the southeast of the settlement outside the town-wall. This is perhaps the earliest ploughed field excavated so far.

Features of Harrapan Period:

  1. Town Planning: During the Harappan period, the structural pattern of the settlement was changed. There were now two distinct parts: the citadel on the west and the lower city on the east. The citadel was situated on a higher level and looked like fortified parallelogram. It consisted of two equal but separately patterned parts. The fortification was built throughout of mud bricks.

The southern half of the citadel contained some five to six massive platforms, some of which may have been used for religious or ritual purposes.

  • The northern half of the citadel contained residential buildings of the elite.
  • The lower city was also fortified and within the walled city, there was a grid of streets running north-south and east-west, dividing the area into blocks. The houses were built of mud-bricks, baked bricks being confined to drains, wells, sills, etc.
  • Beside the above two principal parts of Kalibangan, there was also a third one, situated 80 m east of the lower city. It consisted of a modest structure, containing four to five ‘fire-altars’ and as such could have been used for ritualistic purposes.
  •  Of the finds obtained from this excavation, a cylindrical seal and an incised terracotta cake are quite significant.
  • Burial: The cemetery of the Harappans was located to the west-southwest of the citadel. Three types of burials are found: Extended inhumation in rectangular or oval grave-pits, Pot-burials in a circular pit and Rectangular or oval grave-pits containing only pottery and other funerary objects.
  • Terracotta: The best terracotta figure from Kalibangan is that a charging bull which is considered to signify the “realistic and powerful folk art of Harappan Age”.
  • Seals: Most noteworthy is a cylindrical seal, depicting a female figure between two male figures, fighting or threatening with spears.

Practice MCQ

Question 1: The excavations of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were carried out by the then Director General of Archaeological Survey of India, whose name was?

  1. John Hubert Marshall
  2. John Galt
  3. Herbert Simon
  4. Sean Gilbert Marshall

Answer: 1

Question 2: The Indian who was involved in the excavations of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro was?

  1. SD Rathore
  2. KK Menon
  3. RD Banerjee
  4. RD Sharma

Answer: 3

Question 3: Kalibangan is located at?

  1. Gujarat
  2. Rajasthan
  3. Himachal Pradesh
  4. Punjab

Answer: 2

Question 4: Harappa was located on the banks of which river?

  1. Ganga
  2. Sutlej
  3. Ravi
  4. Kosi

Answer: 3

Question 5: The Indus Valley Civilization was initially called

  1. Harappa Civilization
  2. Mohenjo-daro Civilization
  3. Punjab-Sindh Civilization
  4. Lothal Civilization

Answer: 1

Question 6: Which is the biggest Harappan Civilization Site?

  1. Ropar
  2. Lothal
  3. Kalibangan
  4. Rakhigarhi

Answer: Rakhigarhi

Question 7: In Sindhi language, the world ‘Mohenjo-daro’ means

  1. The land of the living
  2. Mount of the Dead
  3. God’s own Land
  4. The people of Sindh

Answer: 2

Question 8: ‘The Great Bath’ & ‘The Great Granary’ belong to which site

  1. Kalibangan
  2. Bhirrana
  3. Mohenjo-daro
  4. Lothal

Answer: 3 (Mohenjo-daro)

Question 9: Which of the following is known as the ‘Lancashire of India?’

  1. Lothal
  2. Ropar
  3. Chanhudaro
  4. Kalibangan

Answer: 3

Question 10: Which of the following is the only Indus city without a citadel?

  1. Chanhudaro
  2. Kalibangan
  3. Ropar
  4. Surkotada

Answer: 1

Question 11: The literal meaning of ‘Kalibangan’ is

  1. Black Bangle
  2. Black Garden
  3. Black Fort
  4. None of the above

Answer: 1

Question 12: First site to be excavated after independence was

  1. Ropar
  2. Mohenjo-daro
  3. Bhirrana
  4. Banawali

Answer: 1

Question 13: Which of the following is the ‘Manchester of Harappan Civilization’ for its cotton trade?

  1. Lothal
  2. Ropar
  3. Banawali
  4. Dholavira

Answer: 1

Question 14: Which of the following is called the ‘Provincial capital’ of Harappan Civilization?

  1. Ropar
  2. Rakhigarhi
  3. Mohenjo-daro
  4. Bhirrana

Answer: 2

Question 15: Which site provides the first actual remains of horse bones?

  1. Surkotada
  2. Ropar
  3. Kalibangan
  4. Bhirrana

Answer: 1

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