Transported to another era – Joint Photo Blog – Lothal


Lothal, which means ‘The City of Dead’, is an old city dating back to the 4,400-year-old Harappan civilization and one of the few known ports on an ocean. Once here, you can visit the site excavated by archaeologist S. R Rao in 1952-61 and the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) and archaeological museum which was established in 1976. You will be fascinated by the Indus Valley civilization (28 Cetury B.C. to 18th century B.C.) while you read about its immaculate town planning, the seals, the pottery and the ornaments.

Image of the “As Was” town taken at the archaeological museum

The museum has been divided into three galleries.

As you enter, you are greeted by a detailed artist’s imaginary depiction of the Harrapan town, complete with the course of the Sabarmati River, on the banks of which the port town is situated.



The left wing of the museum has exhibits of ornaments (bangles, neck pieces and earrings) of terracotta and shell, steatite seals, pottery and beads.


The right wing houses game boards, miniature and painted pottery, human figurines, weights,ritual objects, bricks beside a replica of a joint burial and a scaled model of the Lothal site.



The museum houses a total of 800 items of the unearthed 5089 during the excavation. The museum also has a reference library and a publication counter where you can find pamphlets and informative guides.

Admiring the ‘Main Well’ at Lothal

A tour around the museum gives you an idea that Lothal made significant and unique contributions in that era in science, engineering, city planning, art and architecture.

Immaculately planned drainage system of the Harappan civilization

The small town of Lothal was prosperous with its bead making industry and its sheltered harbour with a rich cotton and rice growing hinterland. It was a gateway to western Asia for the Harrapan civilisation and for overseas trade of semi-precious stone beads, copper, ivory, shell and cotton goods.

Site of the ‘Bead Factory’

Lothal has enjoyed the status of being the leading center of trade in the bygone times. It was actively involved in the trade of beads, gems and expensive ornaments that were exported to West Asia and Africa.

Site around the Bead Factory (notice the little pot in the picture? )
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Picture taken near the Bead Factory

The techniques that were used by the people of this city brought a lot of name and fame to them. People are of the say that, the scientists of Lothal were the ones to initiate the study stars and advanced navigation.

A few snaps of the excavated site

Archaeologists excavated a dockyard in the site which shows that the ancient city carried maritime trade during that time as it was close to the Arabian Sea. This was one of the unique lock gated dockyard which is one of the greatest maritime architecture to be discovered from the ancient world. The whole town was situated on high ground and a wall was erected to encircle it.

Dockyard at Lothal – with a brick wall encircling it. 

The Harrappan pottery was largely utilitarian. You can see large pots, dishes, vases, perforated jars, all made from terracotta.It is said that pottery, beads and other objects of daily life were buried with the dead by the Harrappans.

The town of Lothal had an extensive drainage system, hallmark of the Indus Valley towns and like others was divided into two parts- The upper town (Acropolis or Citadel) and the Lower Town (commercial and residential area). 

The Upper Town
‘Lower town’ – which is like a beautiful maze

It is said that the town was destroyed by frequent floods in about 1900 B.C. and was completely abandoned by Harappans in 1700 B.C.

Enter Lothal, and you would know what it means to be transported to another era.!!

Brick ruins found at the excavated site

Special thanks to my friend JP for this joint guest blog. This is the first guest blog on Decoding Happyness. Since this trip to Lothal was courtesy to JP, along with whom – me and my family had the pleasure to visit this site and majority of the pictures were clicked on JP’s phone, I thought a guest blog would be the best idea for this post 🙂

Also, thanks to my friends Colin & Ray and Helsinki-Budapest for their inputs on my post – But you better believe, encouraging me to do this photo blog. This one is for all the archaeology lovers.

23 thoughts on “Transported to another era – Joint Photo Blog – Lothal

  1. Fascinating piece of history there Himali. I am always amazed at the skills of the various craftsmen so many thousands of years ago. The various examples of their brickwork is pretty impressive, but you did not note any kiln ruins. Do you know whether they made their bricks or whether they came in by sea? Great pics and, of course, lovely to see your smiling face in them! Thanks so much for sharing this “adventure” with us. 🙂


  2. Studying Archaeology at the
    University as part of my
    Anthropology Degree
    way back in ’83
    And spending
    a Summer
    as an actual
    Digging and Lab
    Bagging Research
    Associate in Archaeology
    and by the way Hellooove
    HImali.. it surely ended up being
    a whole lot different than ‘Indiana
    Jones’ verses really great finds of
    antiquity as you share Lothal
    in India in this photo presentation
    as Himali Peacefully too in fun
    pictured along as tour guide with
    the ancient
    and for
    all to see..
    and it’s interesting
    really how connected
    the human race is in browner
    skin of the furthest nomad reach
    for greater fertile areas for subsistence
    and population growth as India is such a
    tropical and fertile place where there is plenty
    of water available to drink priority number
    one.. particularly when it is
    not polluted and
    it’s not so much
    that India
    is outpacing
    population but the abundance
    of the fertile area gave the peoples
    of India a head start in population way
    back then of course with areas in China too..
    truly.. the most ancient of Civilizations as humans
    who live in abundance do tend to thrive more than
    those who are afraid to move out of the cave in harsher
    areas of scarcity as A Garden of Eden is always left right
    to be found..
    that in every
    which way and
    loose it comes
    in human freedoms now2..
    Namaste at they say too for
    when one lives in abundance HiMaLi..
    God is in Abundance thru all of Nature True..:)

    Liked by 1 person

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