Brief Notes on the Indus Valley Civilization

The ruins of a pre-Aryan civilization have been discovered at Mohenjodaro (Sind) and Harappa (Montgomery Distt. of Punjab) in Pakistan and, as the places lie in the valley of the river Indus, the discovery has been christened the Indus Valley Civilization.

Excavations carried out at Ropar (Punjab-India), Lothal in the Ahmedabad district (Gujarat), Kalibangan in Ganganagar (Rajasthan) and several other places have estab­lished their link with the Indus Valley Civilization. It is 5,000 years old and flourished between 3000 — 1500 B.C.

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It was a highly developed urban civilization; possessed modern amenities like underground drainage, well laid-out roads, etc. The people had a highly developed artistic sense, which is reflected in their paintings on the vases and the gold ornaments. Their pictorial script has not been deciphered so far.

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The people domesti­cated animals, made use of cotton, and cultivated wheat and barley. Pottery-making was a highly developed industry and various artisans; viz., carpenters, the stone-cutters and the jewellers plied their trades. The leadership of the community probably belonged to the merchants and industrialists, who procured raw material from distant places.

It is also generally believed that the people who lived in the Indus Valley were of the race to which Sumerians belonged. Like the people of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley people also did not know the use of iron. Therefore, they represent a common stage of human development – the Chalcolithic Civilisation (this means that the people used stone as well as copper weapons).

The Indus Valley people did not worship their gods in temples. No temple, in fact, has been discovered in the ruins of Harappa and Mohenjodaro or any of other places. An idea of their religion can be formed from the statues and figurines found scattered in these cities. The most common figurine is that of Mother-Goddess or “Shakti”. She is seen wearing many ornaments.


Some seals show a male god with horns. On the seal this god has been shown with probably five faces and surrounded by animals. This male god is believed to have been “Shiva Pashupati” the Lord of Animals. This Shiva Shakti worship, the oldest form of worship in India, appears to have been part of religious beliefs of Indus Valley people.


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