Let’s read the story of the great Indus Valley Civilisation.
The period under the British East India Company is considered the darkest years of Indian history. But in that darkness, the company was able to shed light on the glorious past of India too. The British explorers discovered the ancient remains of the Indus valley civilization in the year 1816. But it was not until the 1920s that they completely understood the scale and size of civilization that had been unearthed.
The early humans were hunters and gatherers. Once they decided to settle, they chose riversides. This civilization was based around two major rivers, one was Indus the other was Saraswati. While Indus flows even today, Saraswati dried up and created the Thar desert. The discoverer of the civilization hence named it Indus valley civilization. The river Indus is very important to Indian culture. The name India comes from it. The locals called India ‘Bharat’ but people from the west knew it as the land beyond the river Indus, or India. Even the term Hindu is derived from Indus. The ancient texts of Hinduism have no term Hindu, they refer to it as Sanatana Dharma.
It has been two centuries since the discovery of the Indus Valley Civilization was made. In this while, we have unearthed some very interesting evidence as well. This evidence and artefacts help us understand civilization, its people, and their lifestyle a bit better.
The first thing to know is that this civilization was not just situated around Indus. Instead, it was spread much wider than expected. The modern-day Indus river is mostly located in Pakistan. Whereas the artefacts of the Indus valley are found even in Nepal. To the south, it’s evident that the Indus valley extended up to modern-day Maharashtra. Egypt and Mesopatemian civilizations are believed to exist at the same time as Indus did. But Indus Valley civilization was close to five times larger than theirs. Not very surprising, considering even today, the Indian subcontinent houses 23% of the world’s total population.
The two major cities of this civilization were found in modern-day Harappa and Mohenjodaro. Sometimes, the Indus Valley Civilization is also referred to as the Harappan era. These cities when discovered blew the minds of historians. These cities were very well planned. They had a water management system. A very effective sewage system. Public toilets and shops. And all these buildings were made of baked bricks, something that is used even now. These sites also contained Shivlings, proving the existence and practice of Hinduism in the civilization.
The city of Mohenjodaro was pretty similar but it was built on a more elevated platform. After some studies, it was theorized that the city of Mohenjodaro was destroyed by the floods seven times and each time it was rebuilt over the old city.
Artefacts from the Indus Valley were found in Egypt and central Europe, confirming the trade between them.
As important as the Indus valley is to our history, it is equally important to our present. The discovery of the Indus Valley Civilization helped in debunking the Aryan invasion theory. A theory created by Western philosophers to glorify the west.
Like humans, cultures too are born, age, and die. With the discovery of the Indus Valley Civilization, the culture of India was proven to be the oldest surviving culture. With this comes many responsibilities. Like the elder of a family, we have the responsibility to lead the world spiritually. Like mature people, we have to be calm and composed. While others fight the war of insecurity, we have to look back at history and be secure.