port-city, though no docking facilities, as at
and also one of the largest sites of the Indus civilisation.
Though it was first noticed by Dr J P Joshi, extensive excavation work at
the site was conducted by R S Bisht and his team in 1990–91.
It shares almost all the common features of the Indus cities, such as town
planning, grid pattern, drainage system and elaborate fortification.
The most unique feature of the site is its division into, not two parts as in
other cities, but three sections. Two of these parts were protected by strong
There are two inner enclosures—the first one hemmed in the citadel
(which probably housed the highest authority) and the second one protected
the middle town (meant for the close relatives of the ruler(s) and the other
officials). The existence of this middle town, apart from the lower town, is
the real exclusive feature of this city.
Distribution and Size of Indus Cities
Only three areas may be considered relevant to the growth of the Indus
civilisation with a clear sequence of village-growth: the Kirthar piedmont and
Kohistan to the west-southwest of the Indus flood-plain in Sind; the Cholistan
area; and the Gomal valley where the ancient sites are located not so much on
the banks of the Gomal as on an old terrace of the Indus. Of these three areas
only Cholistan can boast of a dense and well-integrated distribution of the
early Harappan sites to be followed by more dense and equally integrated
Mature Harappan sites (174 in number, as compared to 138 in Rajasthan–
Haryana-Punjab and 101 in Gujarat). There is more than an even chance that
it was in the Ghaggar-Hakra system in Cholistan that the transition from the
early Harappan ‘culture’ to the mature Harappan ‘civilisation’ was achieved.
Cholistan (Ghaggar-Hakra System)
The former princely state of Bahawalpur was divided lengthwise into three
great strips. Of these the first is a part of the Great Indian Desert and is
known as the Rohi or Cholistan. The central portion also is chiefly desert. It
is only along the Sutlej that the tract of the area is fertile. Our concern here is
with the course of the Hakra which separates the Cholistan desert from the
central part of Bahawalpur. The