History of Indus Valley Civilization (Its Discovery, Main places, Cultures)

In this article, we have explained the History of Indus valley civilization which includes info about Its various discoveries, cultures, and main places found during excavation.

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The Indian history holds its inception with the Indus valley civilization, which we also know as Harappa civilization. Indus Valley civilization was one of the world’s ancient river valley civilizations was the major civilization. This civilization was spread around 2500 BC in the western part of South Asia, which is currently known as Pakistan and West India.

It is believed that the Indus Valley civilization was more advanced than the four most significant ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China. In 1920 two ancient cities were discovered from the remains found from the excavation of the Indus valley by the Archaeological Department of India.

Discovery of Indus Valley Civilization

The credit of the discovery of unknown civilization goes to Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni in 1921 under the direction of Sir John Hubert Marshal, Director General of the Archaeological Survey Department. Nearly a year later, in 1922, another site was discovered during the excavation of Buddhist sputum in Mohenjodro in the Larkana District of Sindh province of Pakistan under the leadership of Shri Rakhal Das Banarjee.

After the latest place came to light, the kit was presumed that this civilization probably confined to the Indus Valley Valley. Hence the name of this civilization was called Indus Valley Civilization. The first Indus civilization was named Harapan civilization due to excavation at a site called Harapan in 1927. But in due course, Piggat called Harappa and Mohenjodaro as twin capital of a vast empire. 

Main places found in the excavation of Indus Valley Civilization

Till date, 1000 places are discovered in the Indian subcontinent, out of which only a few are achieved in mature stages and only six of these places are labeled as cities. These areas are outlined below –

  1. Harappa
  2. Mohanjodaro
  3. Chanhoodaron
  4. Lothal
  5. Kaalibanga
  6. Hisaar
  7. Varavali

Fort found in the excavation

There was a building like a fort found the excavation of Mohajodaron. It was estimated for the fort to be constructed on the western mound of the city for possible protection, which was 460 yards in length from the north to south and 215 yards in length from east to west.

Extension of Indus civilization

Till now, the remains of this civilization found in the parts of Punjab and Singh, Balochistan, Gujrat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir of Pakistan and India. The spreading of this civilization range:

  • Manda of Jammu in the north to Bhagatrao,
  • At the mouth of the Narmada in the south,
  • Sutkagendor on the Makranbeach in the west to
  • Meerut in western Utter Pradesh in the east

Religion in Indus Civilization

Idols of numerous goddesses have been found in Harappa, and Mohenjodaron Scholars speculate that these idols are mother Goddess or Prakriti Devi Indians have been worshipping mother of nature since ancient times and are also doing modern times. Mother worship was practiced among ancient inhabitants of all countries from Persia to the Aegean Sea near Greece.

We learn about how people used to worship Matri Devi through a picture of a seal from Harappa. Till now, no place of worship or temple was found in the excavation of Indus Valley.

Hence the only source of the religious life of this civilization is the clay and stone idols and seal as seen here. The seals had their unique place in the of the Sandhav civilization. About 2000 seals have been obtained so far. Of this, around 1200 are received from Mohenjodro alone.

Creator and resident of Indus Civilization

It is a very controversial subject between the lover of history and archaeology. Some of the methods in this dispute are as below:

  1. Dr.Lakshaman Swaroop and Ramchandra consider the Aryans as the creators of both the Indus civilization and Vedic civilization.
  2. The Garden Child finds the Sumerians were the creators of Indus valley civilization.
  3. Rakhal Das Banarjee considers the Dravidians as the creators of this civilization.
  4. Hweelers believes that the Dasyu and Dasa mentioned in the Rigveda were the creators of the Indus civilization.

Time or Schedule of Indus civilization

It is undoubtedly a challenging task to determine the period of the Sandhva civilization, yet various scholars have expressed their views on this controversial subject.

The Harappan civilization first became known in the 1920s. John Marshal had a different perspective. He founded this civilization in 1931 AD in 3250 BC. 2750 BC booked up while Wheeler dated it to 2500–1500 BC is believed.

Main Places


Harappa was a well organized urban civilization from 6000 -2600BC. In the same series of Mohan Jodron, Mehargarh, and Lothal, Harappa was also excavated. Remains of ancient civilizations like Egypt and Mesopotamia have been found here.

It was discovered in 1920. Presently it is located in Punjab province of Pakistan. In 1857, The Harappan city bricks were used to build the Lahore Muktan railroad, causing significant damage to it.


Mohanjodaron’s meaning Dead body’s mound was a well organized urban civilization dating back to 2600 BC. The ruins of this civilization are found on the right bank of the Indus River in the Larkana district of Pakistan. This city is about 5 km is spread over an area of. In 1922 AD, Rakhal Das Banarjee got the credit for finding the mole of Mohanjodaron.


Along with the manufacture of seals and dolls, many items are made from bones at Chanhoondaron.


It is located near the village named Sargwala on the bank of the Bhogawa river in Ahmedabad district of Gujrat. Ranganath Rao led the excavation in 1954-55 AD. Five levels of contemporary civilization have been found from this site.


It is situated on the left bank of Sutlej river, the Ropar district of Punjab state. It was excavated after attaining independence with a new name called Roop Nagar. It was discovered in 195 by BB Lal.


This site is located on the left bank of the Ghaggar River in the Ganganagar district of Rajasthan and excavated in 1953 BB Lal and B.K, Thapad. Remains of Pre Harapan and Harappan culture have been found here.


This place is located in Kutch district of Gujrat. Jagapati Joshi discovered it in 1964. This site reflects the remnants of the decline of the Indus civilization.

The Bottom Line

After the above study and analysis, we reached the conclusion that the Indus Valley civilization (3300-1400BC) was one of the principal cultures of ancient river valley civilizations of the world.

It also is known as Harappan civilization and Indus Sarasvati civilization. One thousand four hundred centers of Indus valley civilization have been discovered, of which 925 centers are in India. The 40 sites are in the vicinity of the Saraswati.

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