Kalibangan Archaeological Site

Location

Kalibanga, BikanerKalibangan is located on the left bank of the Ghaggar ( Ancient Saraswati) river, Usually dry but occasionally flooded, at a distance of about 5 kms. from Pilibanga Railway Station. It was explored by Shri A. GHOSH, Ex. Director General, Archaeological Survey of India. On 15th Aug. 1947 when India got Independence it was deprived of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro the two provincial capitals of the Harappan Empire, the earliest known civilization of the Indian sub-continent and it was given to Pakistan. It did not deterred the Indian Archaeologist. On the contrary during the last 33 years the Indian map is dotted with number of Harappan sites and Kalibangan is one of them.

Excavations

Like Harappa and Mohenjo-daro it consists of two mounds one smaller and lower on the western side (KLB1). known as citadel, rising to a height of 9 Meters and the other higher and bigger known as lower city (KLB2) on the eastern side rising to a height of 12 Meters. They cover the area of quarter square kilometer. The site was excavated from the year 1960-61 to 1968-69, for 9 successive excavation sessions.

The excavations revealed, as at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, a definite system of town planning (KLB2) based in grid pattern in which houses were oriented roughly along the cardinal direction and the street and lances ran approximately north-south and east-west. The arterial streets running north-south 4 in nos. were excavated and they had the width ranging from 7.20 to 1.80 M.. The first, third and fourth from the western side were found to be running almost straight while the second ran in a curved outline to meet the first at the north-eastern end, where a gateway was provided. For the disposal of the sullege water, burnt bricks. drain. soakage jars and wooden rafts were used. On the road no encroachment found through out the occupation period, except that of the bazaar platforms. During the Harappan occupation nine successive structural periods were found. The city had fortification wall which had at least two entrances, one on the northern side and the other on the western side of the wall.

On the Citadel, western, smaller and lower mound (KLB) a fortification wall is found to run round the mound which divided the mound into the two halves the northern and the southern one. It had at least four entrances from the outside, three in the eastern-northern half. The citadel area contained row of fire alters, well, baked brick drains of successive phase covered as well as uncovered.

During excavation a Harappan Cemetery about 300 M. west south-west of the Citadel mound on the present day flood plain of the river was located. In which a good no. of graves (perhaps 34) were (i) Extended inhumation and (ii) pot burial. In the extended position with the head towards the north. The funerary furnishings in the shape of pots were placed near the region. Evidence of trepanning was also noticed. (ii) In the pit burial the pit was oval or circular in plan and contained besides urn, other pots which were of then found clustered round the former and varied in number. No skeleton material was found.

During excavation a Pro-Harappan ploughed field perhaps the earliest known ploughed agricultural field in the world showing a grid of furrow-marks roughly oriented along the cardinal directions with the east-west ones running on an average of 30 cms apart and the north-south ones 1.80 M. suggesting thereby sowing of two varieties of grains, one in each set of furrows was brought to light.

Present Position

The undersigned visited the site 12th Aug. 1980 as per the instructions of the Director, Archaeology & Museums, Rajasthan, Jaipur and went round the site see its present position.

At the mound KLB2, the lower city (Bigger and higher mound) the successive rains (from 1969 to 1980) seems to have caused havoc as the bricks (Used by the walls of the houses and their alignments are not clearly visible. The successive outer walls of the houses on the arterial streets does not give the impressive look. It may be due to the fact the unbaked bricks and the other filled in earth and earth of successive layers does not have much difference and hence wall wet in rainy season was not easily distinguished. The recent rain gullied in the excavated area has given a bad shape to the excavated walls etc.. The city fortification wall seems to have been reburied for preservation and hence not visible.

At the mound KLB1, the Citadel, the fortification wall seems to have been reburied/covered for preservation and hence not visible. At places the excavated remains including house walls and fortifications are preserved with the help of black polythene plastic sheets covered with the earth which was excavated form the area during the excavation (In the process it seems that the thick polythene/plastic sheets are spread and then the loose earth, excavated one is spread in them in good thickness to protect them from rain water, human and animal agencies). The baked brick stairs pathway leading from the northern half of the Citadel to the southern half of the citadel is in bad state of preservation as the mud brought in with the dust-storm and rain water has deposited itself on the path-way and hence it is unable to give its clear picture.

Exhibition

The cemetery area said to have 3-4 graven as an exhibit for the visiting public. On 12th Aug., 1980 none of the grave was visible with skeleton remains or pot burials. The rain water & silt in the obstructed ant vision of visible object, if any, through tents, now badly torn are provided over the graves to protect them from hard sun light and rain with the help of iron pipe supporters.

The excavated Pre-Harappan ploughed field area is refilled after excavation for Preservation and some concrete pillar posts are made to mark the area.

This is the present state of position of well excavated Harappan site, KALIBANGAN, looking over the ancient Saraswati Valley as said to be the third provincial capital of the Great Harappan Empire, so far known as the earliest Civilization of the Indian sub-continent, bearing the excavated evidence of perhaps the earliest ploughed field in the world, the first fortified city of India and the first most systematically & scientifically excavated city of Harapan Empire in Indian sub-continent. Today an enthusiastic man may go and come back after covering a hazardous way to have a blank impression on his mind. At least some descriptive board (at least bi-lingual) with brief description of corrugated iron sheets or enameled ones may be put up to give some information to the visiting public about the site and its history.