The ancient city of Harappa (circa 3500BC – 1500BC), located 35 kilometers from Sahiwal (Pakistan) and part of the long lost Indus Valley Civilization, has always held a certain fascination for me; maybe its the sheer ancientness of the site, or the mystery that surrounds its destruction, but there is something that kept calling me. Interestingly though, I hated history back in school, but as I grow older, wiser (seriously?), I find myself being pulled to these haunts.
Still, no one knows for sure why the city was wiped out; most of what is known is based entirely on speculation. If you don’t already know, the Indus Valley is one of the four major ancient civilizations. For all the other obvious details, check out Wikipedia.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to visit the old city a few days back. As I soaked in some ancient history, I couldn’t help but think how we have failed to preserve this part of our culture. The whole site is in ruins, with little or no restoration; seems like no one even cares. I went there with high hopes and came back with a broken heart. See the pictures and decide for yourself.
I could feel tingles all over my body as I entered the site
The foundation stone at the entrance to the museum
Hand-painted decorative pieces.
Uni – a sacred element in the religion practiced back in the days
A seal, supposedly the king’s – the glyphs have yet to be deciphered
Some more seals
The swastika – it existed before Nazis and modern-day Hinduism
Terra-cota/clay figurines – used as toys. It is supposed that the Harrapans were the inventors of the wheel
The king’s seal
An earthen pot
An innovative water filter
Pots for drinking water
Disposable water goblets and some weights (yes, they had weights back then)
Clay bangles, necklaces and a polished bronze mirror; what more could a girl ask for?
Clay and bronze figurines
Fragments of red-clay utensils
Pointing the way to the past
A lesson in history
A large well and bathing platforms
Housing and storage facilities
A proper water distribution/drainage system
The houses that once were
Where the river once flowed
Another view of the ancient city
Fields in the distance
The shrine of Noor Shah – located within the ancient city.
Noor Shah and his 9-yard grave (he was supposedly that tall)
Offerings to the shrine – turbans, garlands, and more.
Apparently, whoever writes his name on this wall in soot gets his wish granted! Yeah, right!