Harappan Civilization is one of the world’s first great civilizations, which dates back to 3 millennium BC. Dholavira is a small village located at a corner of an isolated island of Khadir in the Great Rann of Kachchh in Bhachau Taluka of Kachchh District, Gujarat. The ancient site known as Kotada (large fort) spans an area of about 100 hectares nearly half of which is appropriated by the fortified settlement of the Harappans. It was discovered in 1968 by archaeologist Jagat Pati Joshi. It is one of the five largest Harappan sites and most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to Indus Valley Civilization.

The spectacular city of Dholavira was in the form of a parallelogram guarded by a fortification. The area measuring 771.10 metres in length and 616.85 metres in width encloses three principal divisions i.e. the citadel, the middle town and the lower town. The site contains ruins of an ancient IVC/Harappan city. It comprises two parts: a walled city and a cemetery to the west of the city. The walled city consists of a fortified Castle with attached fortified Bailey and Ceremonial Ground, and a fortified Middle Town and a Lower Town.

The unique feature of Dholavira is the occurrence of series of reservoirs, of which three are now exposed, theses reservoirs were used for storing fresh water, possibly filled with water diverted from a nearby seasonal Nullah. These reservoirs are partly excavated into the bedrock and partly built of masonry. The site includes a large cemetery with cenotaphs of six types testifying to the Harappan’s unique view of death. Bead processing workshops and artifacts of various kinds such as copper, shell, stone, jewellery of semi-precious stones, terracotta, gold, ivory and other materials have been found during archaeological excavations of the site, exhibiting the culture’s artistic and technological achievements. Evidence for inter-regional trade with other Harappan cities, as well as with cities in the Mesopotamia region and the Oman peninsula has also been discovered.

Criterion (iii):

Dholavira is an exceptional example of a proto-historic Bronze Age urban settlement pertaining to the Harappan Civilization (early, mature and late Harappan phases) and bears evidence of a multi-cultural and stratified society during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE. This city flourished for nearly 1,500 years, representing a long continuous habitation.

 Criterion (iv):

Dholavira is set apart by its unique characterstics, such as its water management system, multi-layered defensive mechanisms, extensive use of stone in construction and special burial structures.







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