Important Indus Valley Civilization UPSC 2024

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Detailed Indus Valley Civilization UPSC Notes for Exam – Origin of Harappan Civilization ( 2500-1750 BC )

These are the Best detailed Indus valley civilization UPSC Notes for covering everything for exam.

Important Indus valley civilization UPSC Notes for exam preparation

Introduction of Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus valley civilization also Known as the Indus Civilization is one of the four Earliest Civilizations of the World. Along with Civilization of Mesopotamia ( Tigris and Euphrates ) Egypt ( Nile ) and China ( Hwang Ho ). It is known as the Bronze Age Civilization in the North-western Regions of South Asia. The Area Stretching from today’s Northeast Afghanistan, through much of Pakistan into western and North western India.

it Flourished in the basins of Indus River Currently Present in today’s Pakistan. The Civilization Forms part of the Proto History of India and belongs to the Bronze Age. The Most Accepted period is 2500-1750 BC ( by carbon 14 Dating )

Indus Valley location

  1. Indus Valley Civilization as It Flourished Along the Indus River.
  2. Harappan Civilization named by John Marshall ( Founder of Harappan Civilization ) after the First Discovered Site Harappa.
  3. Saraswati Sindhu Civilization as most of the sites have Been found at the Hajra Ghaggar River.
  4. Harappa is the First Indus valley location site Discovered by Dayaram Sahni in 1921
  5. RD Banerjee Discovered Mohenjodaro or Mound of the Dead Indus valley location In 1922

Sites of Indus Valley Civilization UPSC

These are the 10 Most Important sites of Indus valley civilization for UPSC

CityProvinceRiver BankYearArchaeologist
HarappaPak PunjabRavi1921Daya Ram Sahni
MohenjodaroSindIndus1922RD Banerjee
SutkagendorBaluchistanDasht1931Aurel Stein
RangpurGujaratBhadur1931MS Vats
ChanhudaroSindIndus1931MG Majumdar
RoparIndia punjabSutlej1953YD Sharma
LothalGujaratBhogava1957SR Rao
KalibanganRajasthanGhaggar1959BB Lal
AlamgirpurUttar PradeshHindon1974YD Sharma
Banawali HaryanaGhaggar1974RS Bisht

Ancient Sites of Indus valley civilization

  1. The Ancient sites of Indus valley Civilization Covered Parts of Sind, Baluchistan, Afganistan, West Punjab, Gujarat , Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Maharashtra.
  2. Mundiigak and Shortughaii are the two Sites Located in Afghanistan.
  3. West Sutkagendor on Makran coast ( Pakistan-Iran Border ) and East Alamgirpur in Uttar Pradesh ( River – Hindon )
  4. North Manda in Jammu ( River Chenab ) South daimaabad in Maharashtra ( River – Pravara ) are Major Ancient cities of the Indus valley civilization.

Town Planning – Houses of Indus Valley Civilization

  1. Town Planning was not Uniform. A unique feature was the grid system therefore streets cutting cross one another at right angles, Dividing the town into large Rectangular Blocks.
  2. The towns were divided into two parts upper part or Citadel and Lower Part.
  3. The fortified Citadel on the western side housed Public Buildings and members of Ruling class.
  4. Below the citadel on the eastern side, Lay the lower town inhabited by the common people.
  5. Underground drainage system connected all houses to the street drains made of mortar , lime and gypsum. They were covered with either brick or stone slabs and equipped with its ‘Manhole’. This shows developed sense of health and sanitation.
  6. The Great Bath ( Mohenjodaro ) it was used for religious bathing. Steps at either and leads to the surface. There were changing rooms alongside.
  7. The Granaries ( Harappa ) 6 Granaries in a row were found in the citadel at Harappa.
  8. Houses were made of burnt bricks they were often two or more storeyed, varied in size , with a square courtyard around, which had a number of Rooms. Windows did not face the main streets. They had tiled bathrooms.
  9. Lamp posts were erected at regular intervals. It indicates the existence of street lighting.

Agriculture of Indus valley civilization UPSC Points

  1. Agriculture was the Backbone of the Civilization. The soil was fertile due to inundation in the River Indus and flooding.
  2. The Indus people sowed seeds in the flood plains in November, when the flood water receded and reaped their harvests of wheat and barley in April, before the advent of the next floor.
  3. They used wooden Plough share ( Ploughed field found in Kalibangan ) and stone sickles for harvesting.
  4. Gabarbands or balas enclosed by dam for strong water were a feature in parts of Baluchistan. Grains were stored in Granaries.
  5. Crops Produced – Wheat , barley, dates, peas, seasum, mustard, millet, ragi, bajra and jowar. At lothal and rangpur rice husks were found.
  6. They were the first to produce cotton in the world, which Greek called as sindon derived from sind. a fragment of woven cotton cloth was found at Mohenjodaro.
  7. Well irrigation is evident from Alladinho, dams and irrigation canals from dholavira, sugarcane was not known to Indus people.
Trade and industry in Indus valley civilization UPSC Notes

Trade of Indus Valley Civilization

Agriculture Industry and Forest Produced Provided the basis for internal and external Trade. Trade was based on Barter System. Coins were not evident, bullock carts, pack animals and boats were used for transportation. Weights and measures were made of limestone, steatite. Generally in cubical shape and they were in the multiple of 16. Several sticks were inscribed with measure marks have been discovered. It points that linear system of measurement was in use.

Lothal ( Artificial Dockyard ) Surakotada, Sutkagendor, Prabaspattan, bhat rao, Kalibangan, Dholavira, Daimabad were coastal towns of the Indus valley civilization.

Art and Crafts of The Indus Valley Civilization

Harappans used Stone tools and Implements and were well known of bronze. Bronze was made by mixing copper with tin. Pottery both plain and painted were found. Seals were made of Steatite Pictures of one horned bull , buffalo, tiger , rhinocerous, goat and elephant are found on the seals. They marked ownership of property. Mesopotamian seals were found from Mohenjodaro and Kalibangan. Persian seal was obtained from Lothal. Most important one is the Pashupati Seal. Bronze image of a nude woman dancer ( identified as devdasi ) and stone Steatite image of a bearded man ( both are obtained from Mohenjodaro )

Terracotta Figurines Fire baked clay was used to make toys, objects of worship , animals ( monkey, dogs sheep , cattle, humped and hump less bulls) cattle toys with movable head.

Culture of Indus Valley Civilization UPSC ( Important )

  1. Female Deity – A terracotta Figure where a plant is shown growing out of the Embryo of a woman, represents Mother Goddess ( Goddess of Earth ).
  2. Male Deity – Pashupati Mahadeva ( Lord Shiva ) Represented in seals as sitting in a Yogic posture on a low throne and having three faces and two horns. He is surrounded by an elephant, a ri , a rhino , and a buffalo and two deers appear at his feet.
  3. Lingam ( Means Symbol ) and Yoni worship was prevalent. Trees ( Pipal ) animals ( bull, birds, dove, pigeon) unicorn and stones were worshipped. No temples have been found though idolatry was practised. Evidence of Snake worship is also found.
  4. Indus people believed in ghosts and evil forces and used amulets for protection against them. Fire altars are found at Lothal and Kalibangan.

Burial Practices in Indus valley civilization

Mohenjodaro – Three forms of burial complete, fractional and post cremation.

Kalibangan – Two forms of burial , circular and rectangular grave

Surkotada – Pot Burial found

Dholavira – Megalithic Burial

Lothal – Double burial found

Decline of Indus Valley Civilization UPSC Short Points

There are many different reasons that shows the decline of Indus valley civilization are – External Aggression, Inundation, Epidemic, Tectonic disturbances in Dholavira, Climate change, deforestation, ecological imbalance, flood in Mohenjodaro and the destruction due to change in course of Ghaggar River.

Important Sites of Harappan Civilization

Here are some Important sites of harappan Civilization described in Details with Archeological Findings

Harappa ( Gateway City )

2 Rows of Six Granaries with brick platform, work men’s quarter, Stone symbol of Lingam and yoni, virgin goddess, clay figures of mother goddess, Wheat and barley in wooden mortar , copper scale and mirror, vanity box and dice.

Mohenjodaro ( Mound of the Dead )

The Great Bath , The great granary ( largest building), Multi pillared assembly hall, college, proto Shiva seal, clay figures of mother goddess, dice, sculpture bronze dancing girl, Steatite image of bearded man.

Kalibangan ( Black bangle )

Decorated bricks, bangle factory, wheels of a toy Cart, wells in every house, remains of a massive brick wall around both the citadel and lower town ( lower town of lothal is also fortified) bones of camel, tiled floor, mother goddess figurines are absent here.

Chanhudaro ( Lancashire of India )

inkpot, lipstick, carts with seated driver, ikka of bronze, imprints of dog paw on a brick. Only city without Citadel.


Bronze Images of Charioteer with chariot, ox elephants and rhinoceros.

Lothal ( Manchester of Indus valley civilization )

Rice husk, fire altars , grinding machine, tusks of elephant, granomy , terracotta Figure of horse and seal, dying vat, painted jar ( bird and fox ) terracotta ship, houses with entrance on main streets, impression of cloth on some seals, modern day chess, instrument of measuring 180 , 90 and 45 degree angles.


Buildings made of stone and soil, dog buried with humans. One inscribed Steatite seal with typical Indus pictographs, oval pit burials.


Oval shaped settlement, only city with radial streets, lack of systematic drainage pattern, Roy plough, largest number of barley grains.


botu citadel and lower town fortified with stone wall. First actual remains of horse bones, cemetery with four pot burials.


Only site to be divided into 3 parts. Giant water reservoir, unique water harnessing system, dams and embankments, a stadium, rock cut architecture.


Two fold division of township citadel and lower town.

These are some Important sites of Indus valley civilization which were Asked in UPSC Examination.

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