Punjab Province of Pakitan
Summer: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m Winter:
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m
January to December
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Mohenjo Daro is another
wonderful historical site in Pakistan. A part of the Indus Valley
Civilization, Mohenjo Daro is situated on the west bank of the Indus River. Indus
River civilization flourished from somewhere third till the middle of second millenium B.C. before it vanquished from the world.
Moenjodaro had mud-brick and
baked-brick buildings. Covered drainage system in addition to this, soakpits
for disposal bins, a large state grannary, a spacious pillared hall, a
collage of priests, a large and imposing building (probably a palace) and a
citadel mound which incorporates in its margin a system of solid burnt brick
Moenjodaro looks like a planned,
organized and master architecture of urban settlement. Beneath the citadel,
parallel streets, some 30 feet wide, stretched away and are crossed by other
straight streets, which divide the town into a great oblong block, each 400
yards in length, and 200 to 300 yards in width. The most imposing remains
are those of a Great Hall which consisted of an open quadrangle with
verandahs on four sides, galleries and rooms on the back, a group of halls
on the north and a large bathing pool. It was probably used for religious or
Nearby are the remains of Great
Granary, possibly a public treasury where taxes were paid. We can assume the
sensibility of the artistic mind by the discovery of necklaces, pendants of
beads, earrings and ankles of ivory and mother of pearl, vessels of silver
and bronze and stone weights and measures which suggests the existence of
stringent civic regulations.
When the first seal was found in
Harappa in 1875 it was thought to be of a foreign origin. A humpless bull
with an illegible inscription comprising six characters, were engraved on
dark brown jasper.
The significance of this, and the
multitude of other seals to follow, was felt when it was realized that the
engraved characters and pictures are not only indigenous to the Indus
civilization but a thorough understanding of engravings can give a
comprehensive account of the true nature of the Indus civilization. First it
was thought that the pictograph and the ideograms were related to Brahmi
characters or where perhaps the forerunner of Brahmi. It was also suggested
that the seal was ideophonographic and resembled the Hieroglyphic seal.
On the other hand work was being
carried on to prove that Dravdian had inherited many Indus signs thus
proving the Dravdic affinity of the Indus seal. Its destruction was by the
hands of invading Aryan hordes, as some historians believe, or was triggered
by an earthquake, or flood the remains of which are yet to be established.
The Moenjodaro museum, close to the site of excavation, houses price-less
relics found there, including these engraved seals, ornamental utensils,
pottery, weapons and toys. Some of the precious things have been recently
shifted from the site museum to the local government treasury.
Interestingly, the bullock carts,
boats, drinking jars, toys used even today in the adjoining areas, bare
strong resemblance to those used by the ancient citizens of Moenjodaro.
Through the discovery of coins and potteries, archeologists believe that
trade and cultural links existed between Moenjodaro and the contemporary
civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Various objects d'art found at
Moenjodaro include burnt clay male and female figurines, and models of bird,
a steatite bust a noble man or a priest-king, wearing a loose robe on which
the tretoil pattern is engraved and a small dancing girl of bronze with slim
figures and flat negroid features. Steatite seals bearing lifelike
representation of animals and mythological creatures such as the unicorn
best illustrate the figural. They bear short inscription in a remarkable
pictographic script, which has yet to be deciphered.
The various layers of the
excavated site show that upon the debris of the ancient civilization rose
the buildings and edifices of a much latter settlement dating back to the
Kushan period (between the first and the third centuries A.D.). The remains
of the Buddhist stupa and the monastery, rising to the height of 10.66
meters (35 feet) above the surrounding area, are of this later period. How
this remarkable civilization came to an end after 1800 B.C. remains a
mystery. Human skeletons show signs of violent end. Weather this came as a
result of massacre is not certain.
According to Father Heras the
vertical fish sign meant a star, because in most of the Dravidian languages
both the star and the fish are referred to as mint. There are many other
examples of a similar nature quoted in his works. All this inspired many
scholars including, Soviet, Scandinavian and Pakistanis, to start looking
into the matter more seriously. Moenjodaro promises tourists, a journey
spread over thousand years in one single excursion!