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Harappan City Dholavira Gets World Heritage Tag

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Harappan City Dholavira Gets World Heritage Tag:


Dholavira in Gujarat has got the tag of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • It is now the 40th treasure in India to be given UNESCO World Heritage tag.
  • It is the first site of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) in India to get the tag.
  • Other than India, Italy, Spain, Germany, China and France have 40 or more World Heritage Sites.


About Dholavira:

  1. It is a Harappan-era city sprawled over 100 hectares on Khadir, one of the islands in the Rann of Kutch.
  2. It dates from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE.
  3. One of the five largest cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation, Dholavira is located about 250 km from Bhuj.
  4. It has two seasonal streams, Mansar and Manhar.


Distinct features:

  • After Mohen-jo-Daro, Ganweriwala and Harappa in Pakistan and Rakhigarhi in Haryana of India, Dholavira is the fifth largest metropolis of IVC.
  • The site has a fortified citadel, a middle town and a lower town with walls made of sandstone or limestone instead of mud bricks in many other Harappan sites.
  • It is known for its unique characteristics, such as its water management system, multi-layered defensive mechanisms, extensive use of stone in construction and special burial structures.
  • During the excavations, artefacts made of copper, stone, jewellery of terracotta, gold and ivory have been found.
  • Unlike graves at other IVC sites, no mortal remains of humans have been discovered at Dholavira.
  • Remains of a copper smelter indicate Harappans, who lived in Dholavira, knew metallurgy.
  • It was also a hub of manufacturing jewellery made of shells and semi-precious stones, like agate and used to export timber.



  • Its decline also coincided with the collapse of Mesopotamia, indicating the integration of economies.
  • Harappans, who were maritime people, lost a huge market, affecting the local mining, manufacturing, marketing and export businesses once Mesopotamia fell.
  • From 2000 BC, Dholavira entered a phase of severe aridity due to climate change and rivers like Saraswati drying up. Because of a drought-like situation, people started migrating toward the Ganges valley or towards south Gujarat and further beyond in Maharashtra.


Insta Curious: 

Do you know the theme for World Heritage Day 2021? Read Here



Prelims Link:

  1. About Dholavira.
  2. About IVC.
  3. Key features.
  4. Town planning.
  5. Artefacts recovered during excavations.
  6. Their worship and style of living.
  7. International trade.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of world heritage sites and the need for their protection.

Sources: the Hindu.