Prehistoric Rajasthan! (India)

What comes to your mind when you think of Rajasthan? The desert? The palaces? The dances? The crafts? The colors? There is yet another feature of Rajasthan - Pre-history!!! Here’s the most unusual places to see in Rajasthan and the most unusual way to see Rajasthan. Even I'm yet to see these places myself, but here's a glimpse of what to expect...
Pic Courtesy: Archaeological Survey of India, Jaipur

You might have heard of Dholavira in Gujarat. It is a site that belongs to Indus Valley Civilization (which also includes the very famous Harappa & Mohenjadaro). What is to be understood is that the split of countries and states happened very recently. In Indus Valley Civilization era, India or Pakistan or Afghanistan and Rajasthan or Gujarat or Punjab were not there! It was all the same region! A portion of civilization also scatters over today’s Rajasthan as well! 
Pic Courtesy: Archaeological Survey of India, Jaipur

One such site is Kalibangan. Today the site is in ruins just like Lothal or Dholavira. With citadels made of bricks, the town plan is similar to that of other Indus Valley sites. Quite amusingly, this site pre-dates Harappa. Kalibangan belongs to 3500-2500 BCE. Another amusing factor is that, this very site, shows signs of the first ever cultivation (ploughed land) anywhere in the world! Excavations here has also brought out pottery & jewelry similar to other sites. Today the ruins and a museum that houses the excavated items are here to see.
Pic Courtesy: Laxmilalkumawat via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

As a contemporary to Indus Valley Civilization, here in Rajasthan was the Ahar - Banas Culture, happening around the same time. As the name suggests, it’s the civilization that happened in the banks of river Banas & Ahar. These rivers flow in the south of Rajasthan while portions of Indus flow in the north where Kalibangan is situated. Being a smaller river, this civilization isn’t as huge as Indus Valley! One of the sites where Ahar culture flourished was Ojiyana in Bilwara. Quite unusually this site is located in the hill top unlike other civilization sites that are located in the valleys. 
Pic Courtesy (both above & below): Archaeological Survey of India, Jaipur

Excavation in Ojiyana reveal the town planning and growth that has happened in phases. The earlier houses were made of mud bricks (see similar in Lothal). However being on a sloppy terrain it proved futile and the later phase show houses built of rocks! Pottery found here are the typical black & red of the Bronze Age. Apart from pottery there were also toys, figurines (esp. bulls), beads, jewelry made of copper and shells!
Pretty close to Ojiyana is another site, Lachhura. This site belongs to a later period (700 BCE - 200 CE) that includes Sunga and Kushana era. The findings through the excavations here include terracotta human and animal figurines, copper bangles, beads made of terracotta, carnelian and quartz and ofcourse pottery. This site is located in the banks of River Mansi which is a tributary to River Banas.
The findings of all these sites are in various museums including British Museum. Locally Amer Archaeological Museum in Jaipur has a good collection of various objects found in excavations all over the state.

To Stay & To Get There:
Hotels in Jaipur are available at all price points.
Most of these sites can be done as day trips with Jaipur as base.
Cars can be hired with a driver for the trips which are usually charged on a daily basis.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

7 comments:

  1. Wao! I never knew about this pre-historic sites of Rajasthan. This is very intriguing and interesting to learn! The pre-historic tales of Rajasthan shines a different light on it all together.

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  2. What a very good post. Thank you so much for this post.

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  3. Interesting! I'm honestly not very well informed about travelling in India in general, so this was super helpful!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this lovely piece about the history of Rajasthan. I visited several places in the region and I just can't get enough of the rich history and fascinating architecture.

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  5. interesting, rajasthan is rich in culture, every district of rajasthan have a unique story

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  6. These sites does not offer much to see despite having rich history. From ASI's side also, there are not much activity and facilities. Still these are good sites for lovers of history.

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  7. The history of Indus valley civilisation always intrigued me so it was quite an interesting read for me. This is a different face to the history of Rajasthan.

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