This is the story of Mohenjo-daro civilization.
For most of the last 1000 years, the history of India has been filled with invasions and colonization. Undoubtedly, a sense of inferiority hangs in the air of present-day Indians. But the true history of India is worth celebrating, is worth conserving, and is worth being proud of. The Indus Valley civilization is part of that glorious history. It was one of the earliest civilizations in human history and Mohenjo-daro was its most advanced city.
The earliest human civilizations started to settle down by the rivers. Rivers were a source of fresh water, helped in irrigation, and provided aquatic life for food. The Indus Valley civilization was no exception. It was based around the river Indus, from which it also gets its name. Mohenjo-daro was located in the southern region of the civilization. Today, the city of Mohenjo-daro would have been a part of the Sindh province in Pakistan.
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The term Mohenjo-daro comes from the Sindhi language. In Sindhi, this term means “mounts of dead men”. The reason for such a horrifying name is the frequent floods this city faced in its times. Archaeologists have found evidence of this city being rebuilt seven times. They believe the cause to be flash floods in the river Indus. Even today, Pakistan faces flood problems on a yearly basis.
The builders of this city got smarter with every flood it faced. The ruins of Mohenjo-daro show that the engineers of the city had a great understanding of the drainage system. Five thousand-year-old drainage system is still able to drain flood water with great efficiency.
Apart from great drainage, the archaeologist also discovered many other eye-opening structures. The very first observation from the digging of the site was its planning. Thousands of years ago, this city was built according to a plan. The houses, the streets, public places, and other structures were geometrically aligned with each other.
One of the biggest structures found during the excavation of the site was a granary. The granary had a division for different types of grains, it had air ducts to dry them off, and was accessible by carts to load and unload the grains. A common bath and public toilet were also found in the ruins of the site.
Apart from the large building, the smaller artefacts help us understand the culture of Mohenjo-daro. From the artefacts found, it is clear that Hinduism was the religion of its residents. Idols of the Earth Goddess were found in numerous sites. Shiva’s statue was also found in which he is surrounded by animals. A form of Shiva known as Pashupati or lord of animals is depicted in them.
The use of boats was confirmed by a seal found on the site. Most of their tools were either stone or copper.
While no one clearly knows the reason for the city’s decline, there are many theories. First is the problem of regular floods. Many believe the opposite to be the case. The city might have declined due to the drying up of underground water. A prominent theory is of the Aryan invasion. In this, western tribes named Aryans invaded the Indus valley and forced them to migrate.
India is home to the oldest culture and religion. The buildings and artefacts of Mohenjo-daro have turned into ruins but a part of their culture still lives in all of us. A simple gesture of folding your hands while greeting someone is a link between you and a five-thousand-year-old civilization. Breaking the shackles of colonization and its humility, it is time for us to feel proud of our good old ways.