Lothal which is considered as ‘the mound of the death’, is one of the most prominent cities of the Indus valley civilisation. It is a discovery of a well organised survey conducted by Gujarat as apart of initiative for locating Harappan sites and artefacts. Located in Bhal region of the modern state of Gujarat, which goes back to 2400 BCE, its excavation started in 1953 at Rangpur, to south-west of Lothal and extended as far as south Saurashtra. Many important objects like pottery and other various objects were collected, during excavation, making it the evident site of true Harappancivilisation.
After massive flood and destruction, Harappans based around Sindh took the opportunity to develop their settlement more prominently to create a planned township. Their motive was to protect their town from consistent flood and its destruction. They divided the town into 3-6 ft. high blocks of sun-dried bricks, each protecting 20-30 houses of thick mud and brick walls. The city was then divided into Citadel-Acropolis- Lower town. The engineers at that time built the city in trapezoidal structure aiming in all four directions.
The elite class lived in the acropolis which had paved baths, underground and surface drains which was made of fired bricks and a potable water well.
The lower town was divided into two sectors: North-south Arterial Street for the commercial area. It had shops of rich and ordinary merchants and craftsmen. The residential area was on the either side of the market place.
Before the Harappans, Lothal was a small village to the river Bhogvo, near Gulf of Khambhat. Their rich economy which was attested by the discovery of copper objects, beads and semi-precious stones. Other major discovery were ceramic wares were of fine clay and micaceous red surface. Even the new technique like ‘firing pottery’ was improvised by them from black and red ware to micaceous red ware. Harappans were attracted to Lothal for their sheltered harbour, rich cotton, rice growing technique and bead making industry. West countries were demanding the beads and gems of Lothal. Inhabitants of Lothal were known as Red Ware people, and settlers adopted their lifestyle in all the possible ways like from the flourishing trade to working techniques. Not only for their progressive centre of trade and industry, they were also famous for their expertly designed underground sanitary drainage system.
THE END OF THE TOWN
Even with the expert town planning and forward technique of the people in Lothal; they were victims of constant floods that hit their city periodically over the time. Even though the city survived three floods and rose from constant thumping of nature and planned township in concern for that; the fourth flood washed the city out into complete destruction. The evident fool proof reason is yet to discovered as to why the city; despite of effective flood-planning and expert onlookers still vanished. Maybe it was short term plan for the flood-effective or the over confidence of the residents that destroyed the city to complete dead-end.
Lothal is one of the best planned cities considering it being one of the most ancient cities of our country. People knew about Vaastu techniques and had planned their city accordingly. The South-North orientation and 0 degrees north are all scientific Vaastu factors which our ancestors known for long. The waterbody and the port area near the waterbody are both on the eastern side. The entire layout of the city is in a grid format. The roads were designed in such a way that the traders used to display their goods on the roads. The entire city was made with sun dried brick houses; which in fact is a very unique feature in terms of city building and architecture. Lothal had one of the most well-maintained drainage and underground water management system; the engineering department used to look upon the water bodies as in terms of flood management and drinking purpose very well.
They have fair knowledge of the cemetery which is located at the north-west part of the city which indicates that they had very thorough knowledge about Vaastu because the wind direction on north-west goes outwards of the city; hence the flow direction of the smell is always outwards to the city. Therefore, people of Lothal in ancient times practiced the age-old Vaastu in their daily life. The Vaastu principles are intact since then, and it is only matter of time that modern generation accepts this for the betterment of the society.