Vacationers in their Gujarat tour should add Lothal along with Dholavira if they are keen in exploring the ancient city of the Indus Valley Civilization unearthed in the post-partitioned India in 1954. The Indian State of Gujarat boasts on having the relics of the Harappan civilization as most of the excavated sites of the Indus Valley Civilization are now under Pakistan.
The ancient Lothal was situated in the Bhal region of modern day Gujarat around 3700 BCE. From February 13th, 1955 to May 19th, 1960- the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), took the responsibility of unearthing the whole city of Lothal that was traced in 1954. The largest and the well-planned dock was found in Lothal and it is said that it was the oldest port in the whole world. Fine engineering skills are traced in the relics of the century-old lost port of Lothal.
Alongside, it is also found that once the place was a center of commerce as most ships from other places used to harbor in Lothal. The city that is unearthed tells the story of how advanced the masons were at that time.
Today Lothal is one of the greatest attractions in Gujarat tour. Tourists from within the country and abroad, come to visit Lothal along with Dholavira to explore the ruins of the world’s ancient civilization. Engineers and engineering students also find the place attractive as they simple get awe inspire with the thought that how advanced the mechanics and builders were during the times of the Harapan Civilization.
Lothal, one of the significant sites of the Indus Valley Civilization is located at a distance of 85 Kms, South-West of Ahmedabad by Saragwala, Dholka Taluka of Ahmedabad district. Lothal is located in between River Sabarmati and River Bhogavo that is now 10 km up from the Gulf of Cambay. At a direction of 22°31′17″N 72°14′58″E, Lothal is six kilometers South-East of the nearby Bhurkhi railway station, an extension of the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar railway line. Besides, the place is also connected by the roadways from Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Dholka, Rajkot etc.
Late November to Mid-February is the ideal time to visit Lothal. Winter in India is the ideal time to explore Lothal because most of the year the place remains hot and dry. This may not offer a comfortable tour in Gujarat. Hence, winter is the best time to explore this archeological site in India.
Over the years, Lothal in Gujarat is attracting tourists with a keen interest to explore the archeological site. As most of the excavated Indus Valley Civilization is presently in Pakistan and India never stopped searching for the long lost civilization that was still under the earth. Lothal and Dholavira are the two major Harappan sites that are unearthed soon after the partition and in the gradual passage of time.
Dockyard in Lothal
Lothal had the oldest port in the world. The planning and design of the ancient dock have awe-inspired today’s engineers. The constructional skills of the people during the Indus Valley Civilization was truly amazing and it is really hard to believe how those craftsmen created such a construction without any advanced technology that the modern engineers of today’s generation are blessed with. In fact, it is said that they knew about technology and applied them in making such magnificent edifices.
The unearthed City
The city that had been unearthed at Lothal demonstrates how advanced the builders were. The city is well planned with proper water and drainage systems. Even today, the traces of nullah or the drains are found in the reminiscences of the destroyed city. Many seals are excavated from the grounds along with many potteries, jewelry and things that the people of that time used. Most of the excavated things are preserved in a local museum in Lothal. Visitors should explore the museum to catch a glimpse of the potteries, jewelry, idols etc.
The city of Harappa was mainly built with sun-dried bricks. There were both the acropolises and the lower towns where the commoners used to reside. There were the systems of public baths, advanced portable well system, water and excellent drainage system. Traces of shops and market places are also found in Lothal. Tourists can explore the traces of one of the most ancient civilizations on Earth.
Lothal also means the “mound of dead” in the Gujarati language. Many cremation grounds had been unearthed form the location. Cemeteries from the period of the Proto-Dravidians, Mediterranean and Proto-Australoids were there.
Ahmedabad is the nearest airport.
The nearest railway station to Lothal is Burkhi, located on the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar railway track.
Lothal is 85 km from the city of Ahmedabad. Buses are available from Ahmedabad to Lothal that take around 3 hours to reach the archeological site.