Kalibangan is the third excavated city of Harappan sites and the earliest town destroyed by earthquake. Excavated between 1960-61 and 1968-69, this ancient city of Indus valley civilisation is located on the bank of the dry bed of the Ghaggar. The name of this city has been derived from two words: Kali and bhangan. Kali means black and bhangan means bangle. Kalibangan was, in fact, named after the myriad pieces of terracotta bangles excavated here. In modern India, this city is located in Rajasthan and provides ample evidence about the history of this West Indian state.
Kalibangan comprises two mounds: a small mound is located in the western direction and the larger mound is situated in the east with an open space in between them. The excavations revealed that the western mound was a fortified enclosure with rectangular salients and towers. This was further partitioned into two units by an inner wall with stairways on either side for movement between the two units. The southern unit had a flight of stairs that acted as the passage for movement between the two units. Besides these evidences of several mud-brick platforms, probably with structures on them, were also found. Although these have disappeared but seven fire-altars in a row have been on the top of one of the platforms have survived the ravages of time.
The surviving structures at Kalibangan demonstrate the use of clay and terracotta cakes associated with ash and charcoal in building them. Besides these there are few bath-pavements and a well. The presence of such buildings suggests that this place was probably being used for rituals. On the other hand the buildings inside the northern units indicate that they were possibly used for residential purposes and it was the people living there who performed several kinds of rituals. A mud brick wall of 3 to 3.9 metres wide was found in the northern section in a box-like fashion with mud filling inside.
Five streets in Kalibangan have been excavated. These streets are 1.8 to 7.2 m wide and were paved with terracotta nodules in the late phase and had occasionally street-fenders at the turnings. Most of the houses in this ancient city had fire altars. The dimensions of the rooms in these houses were more or less similar. There were 70-75 cm wide single-leaf doors. Oblong troughs made of mud-bricks in some courtyards were also found that suggest the feeding of cattle. Apart from these five more fire altars were found in an isolated structure, suggesting that the place was probably used for religious purposes.
In contemporary India, one of the most significant places to visit in Kalibangan is the Kalibangan Archaeological Museum. There are several relics displayed in the museum that narrate the story of this ancient city.