17 Fascinating Facts About The Lost Civilization Of Harappa and Mohenjodaro

If recent lockdowns all over the world did something positive, it was that it showed world that life could be much, much simple. Besides being fun too.

Imagine a super-simple life in a world about 5500 years back, which was as close to nature as it was scientifically advanced. Wouldn’t it have been fun?

Harappa-Civilization-on-map

Harappa-Civilization-on-map (Source)

In this post, Hippiebaba brings to you some forgotten but real facts of Harappan civilization’s life, which will make the Hippie inside you crave for a life full of such fun, frolic and nature.

Lived in Super Planned city

This is an artist’s reconstruction of the gateway and drain at the city of Harappa. Image credit: Chris Sloan.

Old life wasn’t necessarily backward life. Infact, their town planning was so elaborate as to put even today’s most planned cities of world to shame.

With a Grid like structure dividing town into large rectangular blocks, each block had multiple street lights (i.e. lamp posts), and well covered drains made of burnt bricks, and lime and gypsum.

Most houses were of two-story and similar looking, with one remarkable feature: none of their windows faced the streets. It shows their emphasis on privacy as well as regard for community laws.

Bathed together in The Great Bath

The Great Bath of Harappa civilization

The Great Bath of Harappa Civilization

The Great Bath is without any doubt the earliest public water tank as well as swimming pool of ancient world.

With a size as big as 12 meters long, 7 meters wide, and depth of 2.4 meters, it can even put today’s biggest swimming pools to shame.

Best thing was: Unlike today, it’s use was not restricted to a selected few, but every Harappan could take their mandatory ritual-bath in its water.

Even today, there is no crack or leak in the Great Bath!

Stored Their Food grains in The Great Granary

These 60-meter long buildings are regarded world-over as the “most mysterious building” of Harappan era, owing to its mammoth size and several new forms of artefacts found there.

Located close to river bodies for easy transportation, they also had an arrangement of circular brick platforms for threshing grains.

The main purpose of making them was to protect their food grains from mice and other animals.

Were Excellent Artists

Bronze Bull (Kalibangan)

Dancing Girl

Pashupati-seal

Pashupati-seal

Even though preoccupied with survival thoughts, Harappan people were not unaware about Arts & Craft. Infact, they were the world leaders in it.

Starting with inscripted seals, they made exquisite bronze statues and terracotta sculptures made of fire baked clay.

Thrived along Ghagra Hakkar River system

Ghagra Hakkar River System

Ghagra Hakkar river system ; The lost river

A big monsoon dependent river system ran parallel to and East of Indus during this time. It was called Ghaggar in India and Hakkar in present day Pakistan. This group of rivers was also sometimes called as “Saraswati”, the cradle of Indian civilization.

Famous world over as Meluha

Harappa civilization is also known by the name of "Meluha". Made famous by the bestseller novel of Amish Tripathi, “The Immortals Of Meluha”, Meluha was infact the Sumerian name for Harappan civilization.

Drew instead of writing

Harappan-Script-Boustrophedon

Harappan Boustrophedon Script

For writing, Harappans used pictures, not alphabets. There are around 600 undeciphered pictographs which were used by them for writing.

Also, their way of writing was quite different from our’s. They wrote from right to left in the first line and left to right in the second line, and so on. This style is called “Boustrophedon”.

Exchanged things instead of buying

Without metallic money in circulation, Harappans used the simple technique of “Swap & Barter” to exchange things with each other.

For this they used conical-shaped weights and measures of standard sizes, made up of limestone, steatite etc.

Animals were best friends & partners

Animals such as cattles, cats, dogs, bulls were friends and partners of Harappans, helping them in most struggles of life such as transportation, land ploughing for agriculture, security etc.

Town was divided but not according to caste & class

Example of a citadel

Harappan towns were divided into two parts : Citadel (Upper part) and Lower part

Harappan towns were divided in two parts : Upper parts or Citadel and Lower part. Citadel which was made on raised land consisted of public buildings, granaries, workshops, religious places and other public places. Whereas, lower part was used by the Harappans to live.

This division of town based on function is entirely different from our time when towns are divided based on caste & class of residents.

Politically less divided

Harappan political classes mainly comprised of merchants and trading class, who were peaceful and war-avoiding people.

As commerce was their sole focus, there was very less ill-feeling for each other. This also meant that people were very less divided, socially as well as politically.

 

Were scientifically advanced

Harappans had a scientific bent of mind, amply evident by the way they lived their life. With a scientific town planning, accurately calibrated weights and measures, knowledge of metallurgy and advanced techniques of sculpting such as lost wax technique, Harappa civilization was the most scientifically advanced civilization out of four ancient ones of Egypt, Mesopotamia, South Asia and China.

Loved gambling

Indians love for gambling isn’t an accident by any means. Our ancestors loved gambling too!

Infact, Gambling was the best time pass activity for Harappans, who did this as a sort of recreation. For this, they played board game, whose dices made from cubes of sandstone and terracotta have been excavated from Harappan sites. These dice are supposedly oldest dice in the world.

Believed in ghosts, evil spirits and after-life

Harappans believed in an unseen power beyond themselves. They also believed in ghosts and evil spirits as protection against whom they wore amulets. They also belived in life after death, evidenced by the remains of their dead who were found buried with ornaments, pottery and other necessary items, which they would need in their life after death.

Revered their gods without being too religious 

Belief in almighty is one thing. And imposing your belief on others (like some do so today) is entirely different ball game.

Harappans believed in many gods out of which Lord Pashupati and Mother Goddess were the prominent. But there is no evidence of animosity between for worshipping different gods.

Developed style sense. Even male Loved wearing ornaments.

If fashion is art, the Harappans were it’s canvas. Such was their love for fashion and style.

Jewellery Of Harappa Civilization

Moreover, style-sense was not limited to only women. Men were stylish too. Even Harappan male wore beads, bangles and jewelleries.

Buried their dead in north south direction without earth contact

Remains from an ancient site of Indus Valley Civilisation

People of IVC (Indus valley Civilization), also known as Harappa culture took special care that their dead bodies always faced North South. They did this so that body gets free of putrefying gases at the earliest, besides for protecting it from negative energy.

So? What do you think is cooler? Your life or of these Harappans. Feel free to comment below, and share this article with your family & friends.