Dholavira is an archaeological site located at Khadirbet in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District, Gujarat. This has taken its name from a nearby city located just 1km south of it. Dholavira is also known as Kotada Timba locally and is a site that contains ruins of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. It is one of the five largest Harappan sites and the most prominent belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. It is located on the Tropic of Cancer and it was considered the grandest city during its time.

Dholavira is located at Khadir Bet island, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary in the Great Rann of Kutch where it is dated that it was occupied from 2650BCE to 2100BCE later it was abandoned to be reoccupied in 1450BCE. According to excavation sites, Dholavira was said to be occupied from the Pre-Harappan to Late-Harappan Period.

This is a quadrangular city that is approximately 120 acres and lies between 2 streams, the Mansar in the north and Manhar in the south. This site was discovered by JP Joshi from the Archaeological Survey of India who has opined that “Dholavira has indeed added new dimensions to the personality of Indus Valley Civilisation.”

Recently, Dholavira was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Dholavira: a Harappan City on 27 July 2021

Architecture of Dholavira


Dholavira is a quadrangular-shaped site that has 3 divisions namely the Citadel, Middle town, and lower town. The middle town has been furnished with defense work, gateways, street systems, wells, and open spaces. It is the complex area of the city that is mostly fortified. 

The striking feature of this city is that all of the buildings are built via Stone and other sites such as Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro are built via bricks.

During my visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, I had such a learning experience that all day across my visit, I was wondering how the civilizations perished and how people were way ahead of their time constructing complex stepwells, baths, reservoirs, castles, etc which made me research other cities of Indus Valley Civilizations.

One should visit Dholavira during your visit to Gujarat and learn more about one of the oldest civilizations in the world. 


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