27th November, 2015 (MAINS)


Q1.To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present day urbanization? Discuss.[10 marks/2014/GS-1]

Q2.Town planning in Indus Valley Civilization.[2 marks/1996/GS]

Please write answer in the comments section for Q1. as it will cover answer to Q2. also.

  • Kamlesh Twari

    Indus Valley Civilization consisted of sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture.
    Drainage system was built below the roads and buildings were built scientifically using baked bricks.
    Hygiene was prioritized and town planning was of high quality.
    Modern day domestication of animals, carpentry, copper, clay pottery, were widely prevalent in Indus Valley Civilization.
    Pigtail hair and other jewellery of Indus Valley Civilization is similar to modernized women.
    Present day social structures are inherited from the Harappan citadel.
    Trade of Lapis Lazuli, cotton and other export import commodities with Mesopotamia and Sumeria provides input to modern day trade. Evidence of plough field was found at Kalibangan.
    Thus a lot about urban planning was learnt from Indus Valley Civilization.

  • Rupesh singh

    A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley civilization. The quality of municipal town planning suggests knowledge of urban planning and efficient municipal governments which placed a high priority on hygiene. The streets of major cities such as Mohenjo-daro or Harappa were laid out in a perfect grid pattern, comparable to that of present day New York. The houses were protected from noise, odors, and thieves.

    Its salient features are:
    1. The houses were constructed on a grid pattern
    2.The closed and wide drainage system.
    3.The roads crossed at right angle.
    4.The houses had opening on the sideways so as not to allow the dust particles to enter the house.
    5.Two kitchen perhaps one for summer which was usually outside and the other a indoor kitchen
    6.The existence of granaries for storage purpose.
    7.The public and ritual places like the Great Bath.
    8.Its urban plan included the world’s first urban sanitation systems

    Inputs for modern day urbanization:
    Our modern day urbanisation needs to take cues especially from Advanced sewage and Sanitation from the Indus valley civilization..One gets the impression of a vast middle-class society. which is increasingly becoming evidentin or present day society as well.

  • Neha Jha

    Indus Valley Civilization was one of the oldest urban civilization. The excavation shows the city planning was based on the urban method. Some prominent features of the town planning in Indus Valley Civilization forming the base for the present urbanization are:

    1) It was surrounded by the massive brick wall. Most of the bricks used in the town planning were paved from the burnt fire which is used even in the present era for construction.

    2) The main streets were broad and intersected making the ninety degree angle.

    3) There was a unique drainage system which were highly scientific as the small drains were connected to the main drain passing underneath the main streets. This is similar to the drainage systems present in the well developed cities like Delhi, Mumbai
    4) With the discovery of needle and buttons, it could be concluded that they knew the art of stitching. The clothing during that era , is similar to the present era.

    5) The men and women had the sense of fashion and styles which have been found, proves that like the present era, they were interested in styling themselves.

    6) The great bath is similar to the modern day swimming pool.

    Apart from all the above similar features there were also many other features like children playing with the toys made of terracotta and dolls, grainaries as modern store houses.

    • Shashank Garg

      Very good answer. Thumbs up :)

      • Neha Jha

        Thanks for review…

  • Shashank Garg

    Indus Valley civilization (2600-1900 B.C.) was a very advanced civilization of its time and was way ahead of its contemporary civilization like Mesopotamia. Many of their innovations are still relevant and used in town planning.

    1. The major cities like Harappa and Mohenjo daro were planned in grid pattern and the entrances of houses were on the inner roads and not the main roads. The cities were divided into blocks.

    2. The roads intersected at right angles were of fixed width. The houses were made of bricks which had fixed dimensions.

    3. The drains of the city were covered and had a slight slope so as to ensure easy flow of water. The flooring of the great bath at Mohenjo Daro is water tight.

    4. They had the knowledge of ‘Cire Perdu”, the lost wax method used for casting bronze articles. The intricate details on “dancing girl” are example of Harappan craftsmanship.

    5. Long cylindrical beads were found at several places. The drilling in these long beads is very fine.

    Though several sites of Indus valley civilization have been excavated their script had not yet been understood. The script can shower more light on day to day lives of people.

    • Neha Jha

      Your answer is quite apt shashank town planning wala point is good. But the similarities section about which has been asked in first question is missing. How it formed the base for the present urbanization has been completely skipped?

      • Shashank Garg

        Thanks, will keep that in mind. :)