The Indian civilization
The Indian civilization is one of the most important parts of Indian history. The Indian civilization begins from the riverbanks of the Ganges and the Indus River. India has gained its name from the river Indus; the Indian civilization is also known as the Indus valley civilization which is the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. The knowledge of Indian civilization has come from the two main cities “Mohenjo-Daro” and “Harappa”. These cities were carefully designed where they had broad straight roads with brick houses on both sides. Both the cities had elaborate sewer and drainage systems. The nuclear dates of the civilisation appear to be 2500-1700 BCE.
The story of Indian civilization begins:
The story of Indian civilization started when farmers from the mountains moved between their mountain homes and the lowland river valleys. The Indian civilization consisted of two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro and more than 100 towns and villages. It flourished around 2500 BC, in the western part of South Asia, which is today known as Pakistan and Western India. The Indus Valley was the home of the largest four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. Nothing was known about this civilisation till the 1920s when the Archaeological Department of India had excavations in the Indus Valley where they found remains of buildings of the 2 old cities Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. By seeing the remains of the cities it showed that some four-five thousand years ago there was a highly developed civilization flourished in this region.
The highly civilized Harrapans knew the art of growing various types of cereals; wheat and barley were their staple food. They used to eat vegetables, fruits, porks, eggs, flesh etc. Shreds of evidence found also indicated that they wore cotton as well as woollen cloths. By 1500 BC, the Harappan culture came to an end. This happened due to natural calamities which took place like flooding, earthquakes etc.
Geography and time-frame
In 1856, British officials were busy supervising the construction of the railway connecting the cities of Lahore and Karachi [present day Pakistan] along the Indus river valley. While working some of the workers/labourers found many fire-baked bricks lodged in the dry terrain. Many such bricks seemed to be much old. The workers used some of the bricks to construct the roadbeds unaware that they were using ancient left-backs.
The Indian civilisation is separated into 3 phases
● Early Harappan Phase [3300-2600 BCE]
● Mature Harappan Phase [2600-1900 BCE]
● Late Harappan Phase [1900-1300 BCE]
The Indian civilisation also known as the Indus Valley civilisation or Harappan civilisation had a population of over 5 million people.
The cities of Indus valley are famous for their urban planning. They have also been noted for their fire bricked houses, drainage systems, water supply systems etc.
Urban infrastructure and architecture
Mohenjo-Daro was approximately built in the twenty-sixth century BCE; it was the largest city of the Indus valley civilization but with that, it also became the world’s earliest major urban centre, with advanced engineering and urban planning. Harappa was a fortified city that is believed to have been home to as many as 25000 to 26000 residents living there.
Grid pattern- Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were laid out on a grid pattern and had provisions for an advanced drainage system. There was a network of hundreds of wells that were connected to each house.
Each city of Indus valley was surrounded by big walls and gateways. The wall was built to control the trade and to prevent the city from being flooded.
The largest building found at Mohenjo-Daro is the granary. The granary was divided into 27 compartments into three rows. The granaries were well ventilated which indicated a highly developed agricultural Civilization.
The great bath at Mohenjo-Daro had a large quadrangle in the centre with many rooms and galleries on all sides. The entire complex was connected to an elaborate water supply and sewer system. The Great bath was used for religious or ritualistic purposes.
Religion and language
A collection of written texts on clay and stone remains unearthed at Harappa which have been carbon on the remains contained trident shaped, plant-like markings that appear to be written from right to left. There is still debate between the people about whether the text which was written was an encoded language or the language was related to European and South Indian language families.
Researchers are using the help of technology to decode this language.
It is also said that the Harrapans used to worship the mother goddess which symbolised fertility… Still, the historians and the archaeologists are not sure about this as they have still not got any evidence of the temples, palaces, masjids, churches etc.
The Indus Valley civilization was a golden era in the history of Indian civilization.