On the west bank of the Indus, 580 km Karachi, lies Moenjodaro (Mound of the Dead), an archaeological site which has been rated amongst the most spectacular of the world’s ancient cities. Considered one of the earliest and most developed of urban civilizations, Moenjodaro flourished from the third to the middle of the second millennium B.C.
When it vanished leaving only traces of its culture. Moenjodaro alongwith Harappa (in the Punjab), some 1280 km away – formed part of the Indus valley civilization and its is now generally believed that these were the cities, referred to in the Rigveda that were destroyed by the Aryan invaders.
The urban planning at Moenjodaro was pragmatic and at a high level. Its main thoroughfares were some 91 m wide and were crossed by straight streets that formed blocks 364 m in length and 182/273 m in width. The city’s mud-brick walls and baked brick houses were designed to ensure the safety of its occupants so that in times of earthquakes the structures collapse outwards. It had an elaborate covered drainage system, soak pits for disposal bins, a state granary, a large and imposing building that could have been a palace and a citadel mound with solid burnt-brick towers on its margin. Judging from the remains, the Great Hall was probably the most striking of its structures, comprising an open quadrangle with verandahs of four sides’ galleries and rooms at the back, a number of halls, and a large bathing pool perhaps used for religious or ceremonial bathing. Close to the archaeological site is the Moenjodaro Museum that houses finds from the excavations. These include, amongst other things, engraved seals, ornaments, utensils, pottery weapons, figurines and toys.
Visitors wishing to stay overnight can put up at the archaeological department’s rest house or the newly built PTDC Motel, which also has a restaurant. Room charges are very reasonable. Nearby Sukkur and Moenjodaro, can be reached by air, rail and road from Karachi.