Five Excavation Sites To Explore Across India

If you are fascinated by excavations and the history of previous civilisations, check out these five sites
A female skeleton from the Harappan civilisation
A female skeleton from the Harappan civilisationShutterstock

India, a land steeped in ancient traditions and diverse cultures, boasts a wealth of archaeological treasures waiting to be discovered. Beyond the iconic Taj Mahal and majestic forts, delve into the mysteries of the past by exploring these five captivating excavation sites.

Chandraketugarh, West Bengal

Artefacts of Chandraketugarh
Artefacts of ChandraketugarhWikimedia Commons: Indrajit Das

Located around 43km from Kolkata, Chandraketugarh served as the kingdom of King Chandraketu. The place dates back to the 3rd century which was before the Mauryan era. A popular theory is that the area was part of the ancient kingdom of Gangaridai.

Archaeological studies claim that the place was once an important port city with massive walls and that people here were involved in several handicraft activities. Some of the artefacts recovered from this site include Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) relics, silver punch-marked coins and a few gold coins.

Khopadi, Maharashtra

The Nag river
The Nag riverWikimedia Commons: Ganesh Dhamodkar

In 2014, an archaeological excavation found evidence of a 3000-year-old early Iron Age habitation at this village. The site is spread over 10-15 hectares along the banks of the river Nag. Pottery, slipwares, and stone and iron artefacts were discovered. Other prime findings included many bones and bone beads.

Sivasagar, Assam

The Shiva Dol temples
The Shiva Dol templesWikimedia Commons: Br78bf

Surrounded by rainforests, this medieval town in Assam served as the capital of the mighty Ahom kingdom for almost a century. In 2019, a centuries-old tunnel was discovered in Sivasagar, which reportedly housed monuments dating back to the Ahom era.

In April 2022, a well was found at the sanctum sanctorum of the Shiva Dol, a group of structures comprising three Hindu temples. The excavation team also found evidence of water in the ancient underground royal well, which is believed to have been used by the priest in the Ahom period to collect water for worship.

Kalibangān, Rajasthan

Western mound known as the Citadel can be seen here in the ruins of Kalibangān
Western mound known as the Citadel can be seen here in the ruins of KalibangānWikimedia Commons: Kk himalaya

Located around 210km from Bikaner, Kalibangān was built on the banks of the river Ghaggar, believed to be a remnant of the ancient Saraswati river. The town flourished from 3500 BCE to 1750 BCE and was discovered for the first time in the 1900s. Significant discoveries at the place include the world's first ploughed field and ritualistic fire altars.

Rakhigarhi, Haryana

Harappan burial remains from Rakhigarhi
Harappan burial remains from RakhigarhiWikimedia Commons: Aadrit28

One of the biggest sites of the Harappan civilisation, this area is located about 150km from Delhi and existed from 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE. Excavation began in 1963 and continues to this day. While excavating, the archaelogists discovered that Rakhigarhi was an exceptionally well-planned city with great roads and an urbanised sewage system. Several terracotta statues, bronze toys and other artefacts were unearthed.

The Haryana government has announced that it would give licenses to Rakhigarhi villagers to open homestays in the area. The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in 2020 announced that Rakhigarhi would be developed as an iconic site. A museum and interpretation centre is currently being developed.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller