The Harappan hub

The finds in Dholavira in Gujarat's Kutch district, unlike elsewhere, throw light on the rise and fall of the Indus civilisation in its entirety and in the correct sequence.

Residential quarters of the ruling elite in the citadel.

In the middle town, houses on perfectly aligned streets that intersect at right angles.

A street lined with houses in the lower town.

A bathroom in one of the houses in the middle town with limestone slabs for flooring and covered drains to let out water.

Jemalbhai R. Makwana and Ravjibhai Solanki. Both are guides at the site and have taken part in the Dholavira excavation.

The remains of circular huts in the citadel that were built in the post-Harappan period.

The broad northern gate, which has a flight of steps leading to the citadel, at the Harappan site of Dholavira. In the background is the bigger of the two stadia.

The two 'sthambs', or pillars, which are claimed to resemble Sivalingas, in the citadel.

At the site museum in Dholavira: pots unearthed during the excavation.

A chessboard (on the stone slab at right) and an architectural member that resembles a Sivalinga.

A grinding stone at the site museum.

The three-metre-long signboard, with 10 Harappan characters, which was mounted above the northern gate of the citadel.

A stone masonry reservoir.

A rock-cut reservoir.

The open drain for ferrying surplus water from them to reservoirs on the western side.

Veteran archaeologist Ravindra Singh Bisht receiving the Padma Shri from President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on April 5.

The bigger of the two stadia, with the ruins of the terraced stand for spectators.

A covered drain and its mouth in front of the eastern fortification wall with its gate. This small stormwater drain let rain water into the eastern reservoir situated in front.

The fortification wall of the citadel on the northern side. Note how the wall slopes towards the top as in walls in other Harappan sites, to give it life and strength.

The entrance to the middle town.

A rock-cut well in the citadel from which water was manually drawn and taken by an underground drain to a storage tank (in the background, at left), from which it was ferried by another drain to the bathing place of the elite, or 'hamam' as it is called now (in the background, at right).

The eastern gate in the fortification wall of the citadel, with a flight of steps leading up to the citadel.

The eastern reservoir, with a flight of steps into it. It has a rock-cut stepped well inside (not seen in the picture).

A man-made channel, around two metres deep, to harvest rainwater snakes through the citadel. It has filtration points to ensure that the water is clean.

The ruins of fairly large houses in the citadel, seen on the left, where the elite lived.

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Residential quarters of the ruling elite in the citadel.
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