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Dholavira Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1 day

Best Time: October to March Read More

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"Kotada Timba - Ruins of Indus Valley Civilisation"

Dholavira Tourism

Known as a remarkable excavation site during the Indus Valley Civilization, Dholavira was one of the most developed cities roughly 4500 years ago. It was a flourishing Harappan site between 2650 and 1450 BCE. 

Presently an archaeological site in Khadirbet of Kutch Gujarat, the village is also locally known as Kotada Timba. The location not only holds evident pieces of architecture but also of the Harappan lifestyle. Divided into three main architectural layouts, the town also had a vast open stadium.

Many remains such as earthen pots, beads, jewellery and other materials were excavated as well. The town of Dholavira had an exceptional water conservation system. Two of its most important water channels were the Mansar and the Manhar. 

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Excavations in Dholavira

A century-old walled - stretching for miles with images scratched to the very bottom of the desert, the excavations in Dholavira has revealed landmarks such as the ground of desert and stones arranged circularly.

The excavations reveal the significance of successive settlements in there at the site for over 1500 years. The striking revelations of the Indus valley civilisations in Harappan cities have proved that the holes drilled into past in Dholavira has provided a perspective to present day ideologies.

The ancient site lies on the island of Khadir which is surrounded by the salt waste of Rann of Kutch. As most of the excavations discovered constructions related to water, 100 hectares of land were found with the remains of it.

The cityscape consisted of a bipartite 'citadel', 'middle town' and 'lower town', two 'stadia', an 'annex', which hosts a series of reservoirs all set within a fortification that runs on all the four sides. Interestingly, in the inner parts of the city, too, there was a system of fortifications.

The results of excavations concluded that the city was constructed like a parallelogram boldly outlined by massive walls with their longer axis stretching from the east to west. The sites are still being studied and explored by archaeologists and indeed has added a personality to the Indus and Harappan civilisations.

Dholavira Architecture

The ancient city of Dholavira that housed human inhabitation thousands of years ago still sites lifestyle bits of the time. Starting from societal layouts divided into the center, the middle town and the outskirts, Dholavira still showcases clearcut segments of homes, wells and canals.

This antique town also unearthed remnants of everyday items such as utensils, jewellery, pots, terracotta items, bronze relics. Dholavira is said to have had one of the best water conservatory systems of the time, with the northern Mansar and the southern Manhar being the city's two main canals. 

Apart from 16 unwithered reservoirs, the town also surfaced a five-thousand-year-old tank from a recent excavation. The city also had an excellent sewage line. One striking feature about Dholavira are its stone-built structures as compared to the brick ones of the time. 

Local Language

There are tons of coded symbols and signs that were unearthed in the city of Dholavira. Language inscriptions have been found on various elements including copper, bronze, terracotta and sandstone. 

The Dholavira Signboard is one such famous linguistic remnant of the time. It is a wooden board siting large letters mostly written from the right to the left. Although the wooden surface decayed, the gypsum engravings remained. Another sandstone etching of four large sized letters is said to be the first of its kind in the Harappan civilisation.

History of Dholavira

Dholavira was a modernising society five thousand years ago, between the 3000 and 1800 BCE. With the intial Harappan settlements beginning in the 2650 BCE, Dholavira continued to be a surviving town for 1200 years. However, due to various levels of scarcity, the city hit a dead end during the 1450 BCE.

Besides being an antique piece of earth, Dholavira was also a vital trade link between the regions of Sindh, Punjab, Western Asia and Gujarat. This 250-acred ancient land spanning between Khadir Island and the Great Rann of Kutch came into the archaelogical spotlight in 1989. There have been 13 extensive excavations carried out between 1990 and 2005.

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Dholavira Photos

Dholavira, Gujarat
Rain water tank: one of the large tanks partially carved out of rock and partially bulit by bricks with unbelievably high dimensional accuracy

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FAQs on Dholavira

What is famous about Dholavira?

Consist of one of the world's earliest water conservation system.

What is not so good about Dholavira?

Very limited accommodation options and food joints. A little out of the way from other tourist destinations of Gujarat.

Who should visit Dholavira?

Dholavira is ideal for both history enthusiasts and architecture lovers. Researchers can come here and delve into the past. Equally suitable for people travelling to places like Bhuj, Ahmedabad, Surat, etc. Though it is a little out of the way, those with a curious mind and a sense of adventure shouldn't miss visiting Dholavira. 

What is the best time to visit Dholavira?

Winter season is the ideal season for a visit to Dholavira. The months when Dholavira is ideal for a trip is for the months of October - March. Monsoon is also a good time to visit, while summer season, with unbearably hot climate, is the least advisable time for a visit.

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What is the local food in Dholavira?

There aren't a lot of eating options available here. Best is to keep some ready to eat snacks with you for this journey, which you can get from nearby cities. A lot of Gujarati snacks are dry and ideal while travelling. Pack for yourself some Khakhra, Thepala, Fafda, Papad and more. Also try out local delicacies of the state like Dhokla, Khichdi, Kadhi, Khandvi, Ghevar, Basundi and many more.
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What is the best way to reach Dholavira?

Though being an important historical site, Dholavira is well connected to the rest of India only by roadways. Regular bus services ply to and fro the city of Dholavira, buses being operated both by private and government owners, especially the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation. There is no direct flight or rail connectivity, however, to Dholavira. Approximately 220 km away is the Bhuj airport, which is the nearest airport that connects Dholavira to the rest of India. The nearest railway station to Dholavira is also in Bhuj, which is 219 km away.

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What are the places near Dholavira?

The top places near to Dholavira are Kutch which is 40 km from Dholavira, Bhuj which is located 90 km from Dholavira, Mount abu which is located 265 km from Dholavira, Udaipur which is located 360 km from Dholavira, Patan which is located 194 km from Dholavira

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Popular Questions And Answers on Dholavira

Q. Is any transportation available from Samkhiyali Jn. Railway station?


6 years ago
Public transports are available from the railway station to Dholavira. You wont face a problem in travelling.
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Dholavira Reviews

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Shreyas Kapoor

6 years ago
- Carry sunglasses, hats, umbrellas and your camera! Also, loads of water.
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