Harappa: Delve Into the Mysterious Past

Harappa, Pakistan is a must-visit Asian destination for people who are passionate about history. Dating back to the 3rd millennium BC, Harappa holds an important place in world history as an Indus Valley Civilization site. Though a very interesting site, the ancient city of Harappa is quite hard to reach. People with an adventurous mind and a specialist guide can explore the site. However, those who can not reach the site will not be disappointed as Harappa has something to offer to all its tourists.

Let’s have a look at some of the popular tourist destinations of Harappa.

Eid Gah – Masjid

One of the popular attractions Eid Gah was built between 15th and 17th C. It is presumed that it was build during the lifetime of Baba Nur Shah Wali, the well known Sufi saint. The bricks taken from Harappa’s ruins were used to build this mosque.

Citadel Area: Mound AB

Dating back to 2200 BCE this mound exists as a reminder of the well planned historical city. You will be amazed to see the drains covered by bricks, west-east streets as well as the sewerage treatment areas. The mound also revealed the houses in the south and north of the city. The houses were well connected with the lanes. Many bricks used in the upper formations were taken away in the 1870s, during the construction of the Lahore-Multan railroad link. You can find a larger well as well as a bathing area in the center of the Mound.

Rakh Forest

Rakh Forest
Rakh Forest

The Rakh Forest comprising of Prosopis cineraria, Salvadore oleodes, Capparis decidua, and Tamarix aphylla is one of the most interesting tourist destinations of Harappa. You can find many indigenous thorn forest vegetation in this area. This forest has formed the most beautiful landscape of Punjab.

Harappa Museum

Harappa Museum
Harappa Museum

Several works of art excavated from the Harappan site have been stored in the Harappa Museum. You can find a woman’s skeleton with ornaments. The potteries exhibited around to reflect the Harappan burial custom. Exploring this museum will be an unforgettable experience for you.

Baba Nur Shah Wali Shrine

Baba Nur Shah Wali Shrine
Baba Nur Shah Wali Shrine

Dating back to the 17th or 18th C, Baba Nur Shah Wali shrine has a tomb about 9 meters long. Located just behind the Mughal Masjid, this tomb is a major attraction of Harappa.


Harappa is an ancient city located in the Indus River Valley of present-day Pakistan. It was one of the largest cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished between 2600 BCE and 1900 BCE.

The Harappan Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that developed advanced urban planning and architecture, including an extensive water management system, public baths, and a grid-like street system. Harappa was one of the most important cities of this civilization, along with Mohenjo-Daro, which is located about 400 kilometers to the south.

Archaeological excavations at Harappa have revealed a complex urban society with a sophisticated system of writing, trade, and crafts. The people of Harappa were skilled in metallurgy, pottery, and weaving, and traded with other cultures in the region. They also had a unique script, which has not yet been fully deciphered, as well as a standardized system of weights and measures.

The Harappan Civilization declined around 1900 BCE, possibly due to environmental factors such as climate change, overuse of resources, and natural disasters. The exact reason for its decline is not known, as the Harappan script has not been fully deciphered, and few written records from the civilization have been found.

Harappa was rediscovered in the 1920s, when archaeologists began excavating the site. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist attraction in Pakistan, attracting visitors interested in the ancient history and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization.

What to See

If you are interested in visiting Harappa, there are several sites and artifacts that you may want to see:

  1. Harappa Archaeological Museum: This museum is located on the site of the Harappa ruins and contains a collection of artifacts that were excavated from the site. The museum displays include pottery, jewelry, figurines, and tools used by the Harappan civilization.
  2. The Great Granary: The Great Granary is one of the most impressive structures in the Harappa ruins. It is a large building with a complex system of underground storage rooms, which were used to store grains and other food items.
  3. The Great Bath: The Great Bath is one of the most iconic structures of the Harappan Civilization. It is a large, rectangular pool surrounded by steps, which is believed to have been used for ritual bathing or other religious ceremonies.
  4. The “Dancing Girl”: This small bronze statue is one of the most famous artifacts found at the Harappa site. It depicts a young woman in a pose that suggests she is dancing, and is believed to have been created around 2500 BCE.
  5. The Harappa Ruins: Of course, the main attraction of Harappa is the ancient ruins themselves. Walking around the site, you can see the remains of buildings, streets, and other structures that were once part of this ancient city.

It is worth noting that the Harappa site is quite large and can take several hours to explore. It is also important to note that the site is located in a remote area, so it is best to visit with a tour guide or as part of an organized tour.

Where to stay

If you are planning to visit Harappa, there are several options for accommodation in the nearby city of Sahiwal, which is about 45 kilometers from the Harappa ruins. Some of the popular options include:

  1. Hotel One Sahiwal: This is a modern hotel with comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi, and an on-site restaurant. It is located in the heart of Sahiwal and is about a 45-minute drive from the Harappa ruins.
  2. Hotel Grand Regency: This is a budget-friendly hotel with clean and comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi, and an on-site restaurant. It is located in the center of Sahiwal and is about a 45-minute drive from the Harappa ruins.
  3. Pearl Continental Hotel Bhurban: If you are looking for a more upscale accommodation option, this is a luxury hotel located in the nearby city of Bhurban, which is about a 2.5-hour drive from the Harappa ruins. It features a range of amenities including multiple restaurants, a spa, and an indoor pool.
  4. Guest Houses: There are also several guest houses and homestays available in the area, which can provide a more local experience. These are typically smaller and more affordable than the larger hotels, but may not have as many amenities.

It is important to note that the Harappa ruins are located in a remote area, and there are not many accommodation options nearby. It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance and plan your visit with a tour guide or as part of an organized tour.

How to reach

Harappa is located in the Punjab province of Pakistan, and the closest major city is Sahiwal, which is about 45 kilometers away. Here are some ways to reach Harappa:

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Harappa is the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, which is about 160 kilometers away. From Lahore, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Sahiwal, and then take a private car or taxi to the Harappa ruins.
  2. By Train: Sahiwal is connected to major cities in Pakistan by train, including Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. From Sahiwal, you can take a private car or taxi to the Harappa ruins.
  3. By Road: The most convenient way to reach Harappa is by road. Sahiwal is well-connected by road to major cities in Pakistan, including Lahore, Multan, and Faisalabad. You can take a bus or hire a private car or taxi from any of these cities to Sahiwal, and then take a private car or taxi to the Harappa ruins.

It is important to note that Harappa is located in a remote area, and the roads leading to the site may not be in the best condition. It is recommended to hire a private car or taxi with a local driver who is familiar with the area. Additionally, it is recommended to plan your visit with a tour guide or as part of an organized tour, as this will ensure a smoother and more enjoyable experience.

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