The Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization one of the world's oldest and greatest civilizations took shape around 3000 BC to 2500 BC in the valley of the INDUS River , one of South Asia's longest rivers. The name of the Indian subcontinent is taken from this river.
Remains of more than 100 cities, towns, and villages of the Indus Valley civilization have now been found from north of the Hindu Kush down the entire length of the Indus and beyond into peninsular India.
Its settlements were similar in layout and culture. Each city was laid out on
a grid plan with a high citadel and a lower city of domestic dwellings.
Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were its major centers. Mohenjo-daro
is situated along the west bank of the Indus River while Harappa is located 640
km northeast of Mohenjo-daro. Another city Kalibangan, is situated
farther east along the banks of the now extinct Ghaggar-Hakra River. Hundreds of
other smaller settlements have also been discovered, including fishing villages,
trading outposts, ports etc.
At Kalibangan excavation has revealed a pre-Harappan settlement that
underwent drastic change when the site was incorporated into the expanding Indus
The Indus people supported themselves by irrigation-based agriculture. They
grew rice, wheat, and barley, and cultivated dates and cotton. Among the first
people in the world known to have domesticated animals, they reared chickens,
buffalo, humped cattle and dogs. They may also have domesticated pigs, horses,
camels, and, possibly, elephants.
Seals discovered in Mohenjo-daro show a seated horned deity surrounded by wild animals, an image that may portray the Hindu god SHIVA as Pasupati, the Lord of Beasts. This and the emphasis on ablutions ( ritual washings ) that are suggested by the material remains, denote the influence of this early pre-Aryan civilization on religious practices in Hinduism.
Decline of Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus civilization appears to have declined rapidly in the early 2d Millennium BC. Archaeological evidences indicate intermittent and devastating floods around this time. and may be invasions by the ARYANS whose epics refer to their conquest of walled cities.