(Last Updated on : 14/03/2012)
Harappa Town Planning is one of the most outstanding and remarkable features of Harappa
and the Indus Valley Civilization
, which is located in Northwest India and Pakistan. The Town Planning of Harappan civilization reveals that the civic organisations of the city were highly developed and even at the present age, the sites are special attractions for archaeologists. Archaeological surveys have revealed several interesting facts about Harappa Town Planning. In the 3rd decade of the present century, archaeological investigations had been conducted at Mohenjodaro
, which have brought out many interesting observations. As per excavations the Harappan planning dates five thousand years back. Indus valley civilization
is considered to be the earliest urban civilisation and is at par with the western civilisation. The people at that time were technologically advanced and very knowledgeable in the laying out of the construction of the city as a whole.
The Harappan civilisation developed upon the banks of the Indus River
. Many recently conducted excavations at Lothal
and Ropar in Punjab have discovered many relics, which are quite similar to the ones of the Indus valley, and this establishes a link that may be the ancient civilisation was not only confined to the Indus valley but also extended to the north-western region of the country also. The ruins of the old city give an impression that the city was destroyed as well as rebuilt several times. The inhabitants of the region practiced different trades for their economic prosperity out of which agriculture was the most important. Artistry was also encouraged.
Town Planning in Harappa
The roads, dwelling houses, large buildings and forts were very well executed. People followed a system of centralised administration. The houses were even protected from sounds, odours, and thieves. The streets were formed in grid system. Similar sized bricks were used for construction of buildings; wood and stone were also used in buildings. Municipal authorities maintained effective drainage system. Harappan town planning had the insertion of many travelling houses which ranged from two roomed to large buildings. Houses were properly placed on both sides of the roads, and also in the lanes. The doors of the houses opened in the lanes and not on the roads. The houses were built on plinths that rose above the street level with stairs recessed at the wall at the front door. The house planning did not let any hindrance on the roads so everything was well organized.
There were the government houses which were differently executed, dwelling houses which ranged from single to several stories with many rooms, public baths. At Harappa many rooms consisting of two chambers around the courtyard of a dwelling house have been discovered, which are meant for the staying of the labourers. From the economic point of view, it can be assumed that agriculture was their primary profession. This is evident from the availability of the granary in the city. The granary was constructed on the high foundation of the burnt bricks. The city of Harappa had defensive outer walls. The fortress was the centre of important buildings; most of these settlements were built of bricks, chiselled stones and burnt bricks. The citadels faced the west, which acted like sanctuaries at the time of aggression and during peace they played the role of community centres.
The Harappan town had very good drainage and sanitary system. The main drain was associated with each and every house ensuring the proper dumping of waste. In order to check the maintenance, inspection holes were provided. The drains were covered and connected to the bigger sewerage outlets, which ensured the channel of dirt out of the city.
Effects of Harappa Town Planning
Harappa Town Planning has stunned the archaeologists worldwide. It has become a landmark for the contemporary civilisation when technological advancements have been made which is helping to achieve great heights. It has inspired the contemporary generation. The concept of bathing pools and granaries gives a glimpse of the modern day swimming pools and storehouses where grains can be stored. It was a proper furnished city. This facilitated the Harappa dwellers to live a luxurious life with proper sanitation and regulation.
Safe transport and proper travelling facilities were provided due to the well laid roads which did not obstruct communication.