ARCHITECTURE OF THE INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATION
India’s Cultural history dates back to about 3200 BC to the times of the lndus Valley Civilisation or what is also called the Harappan Culture. It flourished for about a thousand years. This civilization came to light in 1922 while archaeologists were carrying on excavations at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, now in Pakistan. Since then, many other Harappan sites and artifacts such as seals, toys, weapons, sculptures and jewellery have been discovered along the river Indus up to the river Ganges in the East. Archaeologists believe that a number of communities lived here in villages, towns and sea-ports.
The sea-port of Lothal on the Gulf of Cambay has an enclosed shipping dock more than 216 metres long and 37 metres wide. It was controlled by a sluice-gate and ships could be loaded at both high and low tides. Other buildings unearthed in the citadel are the Great Bath, Granaries, residential houses and the Assembly Hall.
The Great Bath
The most impressive structure excavated at Mohenjo-Daro so far, is the Great Bath. Constructed with kiln-burnt bricks, this Monumental Bath is a pool 12 metres long, 7 metres wide and 2.5 metres deep. Gypsum has been used along with mortar to make the floor and sides of the pool water-tight. The pool is in the centre of a large open quadrangle with rooms and galleries on all sides. A flight of steps at either end connects it the rooms. Probably meant for religious rites, it may have been used by the people for changing their clothes. The pool was fed by a well nearby and the dirty water was drained into the city’s sewage system through a large corbelled drain 1.83 metres high.
The Granary at Harappa
The Granary at Harappa is made of burnt brick. Built close to the river Ravi to make transportation easy, it is comprised of two blocks. Each block has six storage rooms 15 metres long and 6 metres wide. The two blocks are separated by a passage. Air-ducts are provided under the wooden floor. The row of triangular openings may have been for ventilation. The granary complex measures 55 metres by 43 metres
The Assembly Hall
The Assembly Hall covers an area of 750 square metres. Four rows of fine brick piers and pillars at the corners suggest that it was used as an assembly hall.