Lothal is India’s first port city and the world’s, oldest dockyard; found in 1954. Apart from other Harappan civilizations in the world, many characteristics make Lothal distinct. Lethal is the delight of a historian. It is one of the Harappan era’s most excavated sites, abounding in ancient ruins, and provides a profound insight into the structures and settlement of the civilization of the Indus Valley. Although Lothal is said to belong to the Dravidian era, recent results point out its connection with the scriptures of the Vedas and Sanskrit.
In the Dholka Taluka district of Ahmedabad, Lothal is situated near the village of Saragwala. It is six kilometres (south-east) of the Lothal-Bhurkhi station on the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar railway line. Lethal is just 85 km away from Ahmedabad. It is perhaps the most accessible site of the Harappan era in western India. Situated along the Bhogava River, a territory of Sabarmati. Less than 200 km away from Modhera Sun Temple in Gujarat and other major historical sites, albeit later on. being a historic site it attracts a lot of tourists and is an amam=zing place to visit with family.
The Lothal Museum
Semi-precious stones and metals, statues, beads, weapons, ornaments, seals, and workshops were found at this dig site by archaeologists. Another significant finding made here was that of a dockyard. This dockyard is believed to have been used to ship arms and other things made in Lothal to other civilizations that existed during those times. By displaying them in their restored glory, the Archaeological Museum at Lothal celebrates these fragments and relics of history. The Museum is paying a tribute to the civilization which had flourished before our times.
About the Lothal site
Archaeologists believe this historic site seems likely to be 3,700 years old. It is characterised as one of the Indus Valley Civilisation’s main port-towns. The town has thick peripheral walls that were probably built to protect the town from tidal floods of about 12 to 21 metres. A major milestone that distinguishes it from other civilisations in the world is the docks created here.
The significance can be given by a basin with a vertical wall, an inlet and outlet channels at the northern end of the city, that Lothal is the oldest docks in the world. This was described as a tidal dockyard. River channels are now dry but elevated tides, which facilitated streaming boats, would have contained a significant amount of water. The dockyard was located away from the main river to avoid the deposition of silt. Modern oceanographers found that to build tides, the Harappans must have known tides. Such a dock, as well as exemplary drainage density and maritime engineering, on the ever-shifting course of the Sabarmati.
The city was divided into two parts: the upper town and the lower town. There, the remains of the brick walls suggest broad streets, drains and platforms for bathing. Remains of the stone anchor, shells and seals identified by archaeologists are strong proof that Lothal was a port with a dock. It has a well-planned layout of wide streets, drains and rows of bathing platforms. Due to the well-functioning infrastructure and drainage system of the modern era, the Lothal included in Harappan Civilisation is known as an ancient marvel.
Economy, Agriculture and Urban Culture
A busy industrial and active business centre, Lothal had business connections with Mesopotamia, Egypt and Persia. Pure copper and manufactured artefacts such as bronze celts, chisels, spearheads and ornaments were major imports. Highly qualified were the Lothal bead-makers. Beads produced in the town are quite popular and there is evidence of a bead factory. Another flourishing industry was pottery. Lothal offers two new types of pottery, a bowl with or without a handle, and a small jar with a design that is not found in other cultures of the Indus Valley. A new form of realistic painting was introduced by Lothal artists. In their natural surroundings, paintings depict animals. The artist depicts birds with fish in their beaks on one large vessel, resting in a tree, while a fox-like animal stands below. This scene resembles the Panchatantra tale of The Fox and the Crow.
The site is located in a rural agricultural landscape with scanty vegetation and with traces of the dried tidal channel through which boats sailed upstream. Lothal was once a popular village for pottery. It was inhabited by people who used pottery (similar to terracotta) and lived on the banks of the Sabarmati river. Merchants who came by sea and later masons, smiths, seal-cutters, potters joined in around 2450 BC, created a colony.