Lothal – “the mound of the dead”.

Lothal is located in the Bhal region of the Indian state of Gujarat. It is six kilometres south-east of the Lothal-Bhurkhi railway station on the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar railway line. The nearest city is Bagodara. Lothal was one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization dating from 3700 BCE. Discovered in 1954, Lothal was excavated from February 1955 to May 1960 by the Archaeological Survey of India. It was vital and thriving trade centre in ancient time with its trade of beads, gems and valuable ornaments reaching far corners of West Asia and Africa. The techniques and tools they pioneered for bead making and metallurgy have the test time for over 4000 years.

The meaning of Lothal (a combination of Loth and thal) in Gujarati to be “the mound of the dead” is not unusual as the name of the city of Mohenjo-daro in Sindhi means the same.

Archaeologists have unearthed trenches sunk on the northern, eastern and western flanks of the mound, bringing to light the inlet channels and nullah connecting the dock with the river. The findings consist of a mound a township, a marketplace and the dock.

The town was divided into blocks of 1 to 2 meter high platforms of sun dried bricks each serving 20-30 houses of thick mud and brick walls. The city was divided into a citadel or acropolis and a lower town. The rulers of the town lived in the acropolis which featured paved baths underground and surface drains and potable water well. The lower town was subdivided into two sectors. The residential area was located to either side of the marketplace.

Remains of canal opening built with burnt bricks
The remains of the dock wall at Lothal
Can you imagine these bricks were made in 2300 BC?
The main well in Lothal
Remains of washroom drainage system at Lothal
More remains from the excavation site of Lothal
More remains from the excavation site of Lothal
More remains from the excavation site of Lothal
More remains from the excavation site of Lothal
The remains of the ancient drainage system of Lothal
The remains of bathroom-toilet structure at Lothal
The remains of the burial place
The remains of the lower town

The archaeological museum which stands next to the excavated area is holding some of the most prominent collections of Indus-era antiquities in India.

The archeological museum next to the excavation site

How to reach Lothal:
There are frequent buses from Ahmedabad to Saurashtra. Catch one of these buses and get down at Bagodara. There are rickshaws available from there to Lothal.


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