There are many archaeological sites of historical and cultural importance all along the banks of river Sarasvati and Drishadvati right from Adi Badri in the Siwaliks to Bhatner desert and further joining at the confluence on the Indian Ocean in Gujarat. The excavation at Bhirdana in district Fatehabad has revealed the antiquity of the civilization, which dates back to 4500 BCE. Kunal, an another important Harappan site in the same district has yielded pit dwelling settlement, pottery resembling that of the Baluchistan region, bead manufacturing centre, two crowns of Harappan period and many more. Banawali, a Harappan site on the bank of Sarasvati in the same district has unearthed antiquities pertaining to the early Indus and matured Indus civilization which includes antiquities of typical Harappan settlement of grid pattern, wells, terracotta plough, micro weights and many more.
Balu (Kaithal), a Harappan site on the bank of river Apaya or Apaga, a tributary of Sarasvati has also yielded the potteries and other antiquities of pre Harappan and Harappan times. Bhagwanpura (Kurukshetra) is a unique site showing the interlocking phase of late Harappan and Painted Grey Ware culture which is identified as the culture of Mahabharata period on the right bank of river Sarasvati. Daulatpur (Kurukshetra) is a site yielding the antiquity from late Harappan to Medieval period. This site is located on river Drishadvati, the major tributary of Sarasvati. Another important Harappan site located on the same river is Rakhigarhi in district Hisar. Rakhigarhi is one of the five known biggest townships i.e. Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Ganveriwala (Pakistan) and Dholavira (India) of Harappan civilization on Indian sub-continent. Here five interconnected mounds are spread in a huge area. The site has been excavated by Archaeological Survey of India. If properly preserved this site, it can be developed into a World Cultural Heritage Site as at present in Haryana no archaeological site or monument has been included into this category. Out of more than hundred archaeological sites belonging to pre Harappan period, more than fifty sites of mature Harappan period and about three hundred sites of late Harappan period most of the archaeological sites are located on the basin of river Sarasvati and its tributaries.
Other than the above-mentioned archaeological sites, many pilgrimages are lying on the bank of river Sarasvati and its tributaries from Adi Badri to Sirsa. Kurukshetra revered all over India for its sanctity and rich cultural heritage is vast region which according to the epic Mahabharata is a land sandwiched between river Sarasvati and Drishadvati which at present encompasses five districts of present day Haraya. The pilgrimages located on the bank of sacred Sarasvati and its tributaries. Local tradition recalls of 360 pilgrimages of the region out of which some of the pilgrimages have been lost in the oblivion. The tirthas at Kurukshetra and Pehowa are still visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. Sarasvati tirtha at Pehowa is considered second to Gaya (Bihar), which is attained by the pilgrims from Punjab and northwestern India. Visit to the pilgrimages of Kurukshetra located on Sarasvati since time immemorial had contributed in declaring Kurukshetra one of the most ancient seats of pilgrimage in the world. For this reason Kurukshetra has been rightly called as the ‘tirtha par excellence’ in Mahabharata. The glory of the land had even migrated to the south East Asian countries like Laos and Cambodia. The inscription found at Laos of the 5th century AD eulogies Kurukshetra. Influenced by the sanctity of Kurukshetra Devanika, the King of Laos established a new Kurukshetra at Laos for his own subjects. Subsequently new Kurukshetra were established in many South East Asian countries.
A Buddhist site has been excavated by Archaeological Survey of India at Adi Badri. This site can be of a great tourist interest to the Buddhist pilgrims if proper marketing of the site is done by linking it with other monuments and sites of Buddhist interest in the state. The township of Sugh was visited by Lord Buddha during his visit to the Kurudesha. The stupa of Chaneti, the ancient site of Topra, stupa at Assandh and Thanesar can be included in the Buddhist pilgrims’site. Kapalmochan is another important pilgrimage on the downstream of river Sarasvati in district Yamuna Nagar. It is an ancient place of pilgrimage for both Hindus and Sikhs. Every year, nearly thousands of pilgrims visit the place during the annual, “Kapal Mochan Mela” which falls in the month of November. After Kapalmochan river Sarasvati flows through Bilaspur, Mustafabad, Bhagwanpur, Pipli and enters in the ancient city of Thanesar.
Excavated Arcaeological Sites on the Course of Sarasvati River in Haryana
|Name of the Site||District||Excavated by||Lat, Long||Year||Period||Historical Significance||Reference||Protection|
|Agroha Early Historic to Medieval||Hisar||Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana||29°19′54″N 75°37′10″E||1978-79 1979-80 1980-81||3rd-4th century B.C. to 13th-14th century A.D||Defense wall, shrine cells and residential houses||IAR 1978-79, pp. 68-69; 1979-80, p. 31; 1980-81, pp. 15-16.||ASI|
|Adi Badri Early Historic||Yamunanagar||ASI||30.27°N 77.27°E||2002-2003||1st century BC/AD (Kushana) to Medieval||Buddhist Monastery||IAR 2003-04||ASI|
|Balu Early Harappan||Kaithal||Kurukshetra University||29° 39′ 0″ N, 76° 21′ 57.6″ E||1978-79; 1979-80; 1983-84 1984-85 to 1986-87; 1992-93; 1994-95||3500-2500BC||Earliest evidence of garlic.||IAR 1978-79, p. 69; 1979-80, pp. 31-32; 1983-84, pp. 28-29 & 1984-85, pp. 20-22; 1985-86, pp. 29-30; 1986-87, p. 34; 1992-93, pp. 34-36; 1994-95, pp. 27-28||SAM|
|Banawali Harappan||Fatehabad district||Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana in collaboration with ASI||29°32′44″N 75°17′51″E||1983-84; 1986-87; 1987-88||Period I: Pre-Harappan (Kalibangan)(c.2500-2300 BCE) -Period IA: Pre-defense Phase -Period IB: Defense Phase -Period IC: Transitional Phase (Proto-Harappan) Period II: Mature Harappan (c.2300-1700 BCE) Period III: Post-Harappan (Banawali-Bara)(c.1700-1500/1450 BCE)||Barley, terracotta figure of plough||IAR 1983-84, pp. 24-29; 1986-87, pp. 32-34; 1987-88, pp. 21-27||ASI|
|Bhagwanpura PGW||Kurukshetra||ASI||30°04′N 76°57′E||1975-76||Sub-period IA: late Harappan culture (c. 1700–1300 BCE) Sub-period IB: Overlap between late Harappan and PGW culture (c. 1400–1000 BCE)||The site is notable for showing an overlap between the late Harappan and Painted Grey Ware cultures. Painted Grey Ware is generally associated with the Vedic people, so this area can be said as the junction of two great civilizations of India.||IAR 1975-76, pp. 16-17.||ASI|
|Bhirrana Harappan||Fatehabad||ASI||29°33′15″N 75°33′55″E||2003-04, 2004–05, 2005-06||Period IA: Hakra Wares Culture (c.7570 -5950 BCE) The Period IB: Early Harappan Culture (c.5950-4450 BCE) The Period IIA: Early Mature Harappan Culture (c.4450-2950 BCE) The Period IIB: Mature Harappan Culture (c.2950-1700 BCE)||Bhirrana is the oldest Indus Valley Civilization site, dating back to 7570-6200 BCE. Graffiti of a dancing girl on pottery, which resembles dancing girl statue found at Mohenjo-daro||Man and Environment Volume 32, No.1, 2007, published by the Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies
|Daulatpur PGW||Kurukshetra||Kurukshetra University||30°18′N 77°12′E||1968-69; 1976-77 & 1977-78||Period I: Overlap between late Harappan and PGW culture (c. 1400–1000 BCE) Period II Painted Grey Ware Culture (c. 1000–600 BCE) Period III Yaudheya (600 BCE onwards)||Excavations have revealed a relationship between the late phase of the Harappan and Painted Grey Ware cultures.||IAR 1968-69, pp. 8-9.; IAR 1976-77, p. 19 & 1977-78, p. 23.||Unprotected|
|Farmana Pre Harappan||Rohtak||Deccan College, Pune in collaboration withResearch Institute for Humanity & Nature, Kyoto, Japan and Deptt of AIH&A, M.D. University, Rohtak||28°59′N 76°49′E||2007-08||3200 BC – 2600 BC Pre Harappan||Largest burial site of IVC, with 65 burials, found in India||Exploration in the Ghaggar Basin and excavations at Girawad, Farmana (Rohtak District) and Mitathal (Bhiwani District), Haryana, India by Vasant Shinde et.al. in Linguistics, Archaeology and the Human Past , published by Research Institute for Humanity and Nature Kyoto, Japan 2008, ISBN 978-4-902325-16-4||Unprotected|
|Jognakhera PGW||Kurukshetra||Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana||29°58′17″N 76°53′14″E||2008-09||Period I- 1500-1000 BC Overlap between late Harappan and PGW culture Period II 1000-800 BC. PGW||Copper smelting furnaces with copper slag and pot shards. Floods created out of breach to Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal during July 2010 caused damage to this archeological site||Book||SAM|
|Girawad Pre Harappan||Rohtak||Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana in collaboration with Deccan College, Pune, Deptt of AIH&A, M.D. University, Rohtak||28°58′41″N 76°28′47″E||2006-07||3200 BC – 2600 BC Pre Harappan||Exploration in the Ghaggar Basin and excavations at Girawad, Farmana (Rohtak District) and Mitathal (Bhiwani District), Haryana, India by Vasant Shinde et.al. in Linguistics, Archaeology and the Human Past , published by Research Institute for Humanity and Nature Kyoto, Japan 2008, ISBN 978-4-902325-16-4||Unprotected|
|Karsola, Kheda PGW- Kushana||Jind||Deccan College, Post-Graduate and Research Institute, Deemed University, Pune and the Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.||2010-11||Period I- Harappans, PGW, Overlap between late Harappan and PGW culture (c. 1400–600 BCE) Period II early historic 1st Century BC- 6th century AD (Kushana/Gupta).||SAM|
|IAR 1975-76, p. 17.||Unprotected|
|Khokhrakot PGW to Early Historical||Rohtak||Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana in collaboration with Deptt of AIH&A, M.D. University, Rohtak||28°54′N 76°35′E||1986-87||Period I 800-600 PGW Period II 600-2nd Century BCE NBP Period IIIA 2nd Century – Ist Century BCE Period IIIB Ist Century BCE- 1st century AD Kushana Period IIIC 2nd century AD – 4th Century AD Period IV 4th Century Ad- 11th century AD Gupta onwards||Possibly it was the capital of the Yaudheya Gana. A carved pillar capital found here shows winged-lions with riders assignable to Kushana period||IAR 1986-87, pp. 34-36||ASI|
|Kunal Harappan||Fatehabad||Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana||29°30′N 75°41′E||1985-86 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94||Period I : Early Harappan (3500-2500 BCE) -Period IA (3500-2850 BCE), -Period IB (2850-2600 BCE) – Period IC (2600-2500 BCE). Period II Mature Harappan (2500-1900 BCE).||Earliest Pre-Harappan site, Copper smelting.||IAR 1985-86, pp. 23-25; 1991-92, pp. 37-39; 1993-94, pp. 47-51; 1994-95, pp. 26-27||SAM|
|Mitathal Late Harappan||Bhiwani||Deemed University, Pune||28°53’31”N and 76°10’8”E)||1800 BC – 1400 BC||Exploration in the Ghaggar Basin and excavations at Girawad, Farmana (Rohtak District) and Mitathal (Bhiwani District), Haryana, India by Vasant Shinde et.al. in Linguistics, Archaeology and the Human Past , published by Research Institute for Humanity and Nature Kyoto, Japan 2008, ISBN 978-4-902325-16-4||Unprotected|
|Raja Karna ka Qila Early Historical||Kurukshetra||Kurukshetra University||29°57.061’ N 076°48.201’ E||1970-71 to 1972-73; 1974-75 to 1975-76||Period I circa 400-100 B.C. Period II circa first century B.C.to third century A.D. Period III medieval times||IAR 1970-71, pp. 15-16; 1971-72, pp. 23-24; 1972-73, pp. 12-13; 1974-75, p. 16; 1975-76, p. 18.||ASI|
|RakhiGarhi Harappan||Hisar||ASI. Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana in collaboration with Deccan College, Pune||29°17.624’ N 076°06.881’ E M – I 29°17.443’ N 076°06.680’ E M –II 29°17.477’ N 076°06.759’ E M III 29°17.408’ N 076°07.075’ E M – V||1997-2007 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16||3200-2700 BC early Harappan 2700-1800 BC Mature Harappan 1997 and 2000 were published, corresponding to the three periods at the site as per archaeologist Amarendra Nath (Pre-formative, Early Harappan, and Mature Harappan). Mound RGR-6 revealed a Pre-formative stage designated as Sothi Phase with the following two datings: 6420 +/- 110 and 6230 +/- 320 years Before Present, converted to 4470 +/- 110 BCE and 4280 +/- 320 BCE||Largest Harappan Site||Nath, Amarendra, Tejas Garge and Randall Law, 2014. Defining the Economic Space of the Harappan Rakhigarhi: An Interface of the Local Subsistance Mechanism and Geological Provenience Studies, in Puratattva 44, Indian Archaeological Society, New Delhi, Nath, Amarendra (31 December 2014). “Excavations at Rakhigarhi [1997-98 to 1999-2000]” (PDF). Archaeological Survey of India. Archaeological Survey of India. p. 306. Shinde, Vasant; Green, Adam; Parmar, Narender; Sable, P. D. (2012–2013). “Rakhigarhi and the Harappan Civilization: Recent Work and New Challenges”. Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute. 72/73: 48. JSTOR 43610687||ASI|
|Sugh PGW-Early Medieval||Yamunanagar||Punjab University Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana in collaboration with Deptt of AIH&A, M.D. University, Rohtak||1963-64; 1965-66||Period I, Phase I – 800-600 PGW Period I, Phase II – 5th – 3rd century BC Period II- 2nd century BC-1st century AD Shunga- Kushana Period III 6th -12th century AD||Two terracotta sealing, one of 6th century name Vyaghraraja and other Sugha, the name of the city, in the script of 12th century AD were important discoveries.||IAR 1963-64, pp. 27-28; 1965-66, pp. 35-36.||SAM|
Sites in the valley of River Sarasvati excavated by the Department of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana
Remarks: Banawali is an archaeological site belonging to Indus Valley Civilization period in Fatehabad district, Haryana, India and is located about 120 km northeast of Kalibangan and 16 km from Fatehabad. This site at village Banwali is on the dry bed of ancient river Sarasvati. The excavations have yielded three-fold culture sequence: Pre-Harappan (Early-Harappan (2600-2400 BC), Harappan (2400-1900 BC) and Bara (post Harappan 1900-1700 BC). This site was excavated by Dr. R.S.Bhist of Archaeological Survey of India. This site at village Banwali is on the dry bed of ancient river Sarasvati. The excavations have yielded three-fold culture sequence: Pre-Harappan (Early-Harappan), Harappan and Bara (post Harappan). This site was excavated by Dr. R.S.Bhist of Archaeological Survey of India.
Year: 1985-86, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94 Area: Kunal Excavated by: Deptt Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana
Remarks: Kunal is a pre-harappan settlement located in Fatehabad district, Haryana, India. This site is located on Sarasvati plain. Kunal is a rural town or village and its artifacts have not been seen elsewhere which includes natural motif, script, cakes, terracotta and seals. The pottery of Kunal depicts the letters of Harappa. The natural motif has also been found with both the bio chrome and monochrome which implies and depicts the full mature culture of Harappa transition from the culture of pre Harappa. This site was excavated by Dr. Madhava Acharya of Department of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana.Year: 2006-07 Area: Ghaggar Basin- Girawad, Farmana & Mitathal Excavated by: Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana in collaboration with Deccan College, Pune and Department of Ancient Indian History & Archaeology, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak.
Remarks: Mitathal is a village in the Bhiwani tehsil of the Bhiwani district in the Indian state of Haryana. Part of Hisar division, it lies 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north of the district headquarters Bhiwani . Mitathal is situated on the alluvial plain near a channel between the Chautang and the Yamuna Rivers. Mitathal is an important site for scholars investigating what Possehl (1992) has called the “Eastern Domain” of the Indus Valley or Harappan Civilization. The excavations have yielded two-fold culture sequence: pre-Mature Harappan (Period I -c. 2000-1900 B.C.) & Mature Harappan (Period II- c. 1900-1500 B.C.) The pottery assemblage consists of classical Harappan pottery along with local chalcolithic types. It is believed that the entire inscription connotes the repertoire of the artisan: casting metal workshop with smithy (forge) and fire-altar (furnace). The beginning of the Harappan period in Mitathal is around 2200 BCE.Year: 2007-08 Area: Farmana Excavated by: Deccan College, Pune in collaboration with Research Institute for Humanity & Nature, Kyoto, Japan and Deptt of AIH&A, M.D. University, Rohtak.
Remarks: Farmana, in Rohtak district, is another archaeological site which has furnished a burial site belonging to mature Harappan period. Apart from this, evidences of habitation site have also been found here with houses bordering a well laid out road. The findings have provided a clear idea of the culture prevailing in ancient time. It has been deciphered that inter-regional marriage was common among Harappans which helped in the augmentation of trade.Year: 2008-09 Area: Jognakhera Excavated by: Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana.
Remarks: The ancient site at Jognakhera lies on the north-western bank of the Sarasvati in district Kurukshetra. The site was excavated by Madhava Acharya and R.S. Dahiya including the then Deputy Director Shri D.S. Malik of Department of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana. The excavations have yielded two-fold culture sequence: PERIOD-I (c. 1500-1000 B.C.) b and PERIOD-II (C.1000-808 B.C.) Copper smelting furnaces along with copper slag have been recovered from Jognakhera.
Year: 2013-14, 2014-15 Area: Rakhigarhi Excavated by: Deptt of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana in collaboration with Deccan College, Pune.
Remarks: Rakhigarhi, is a village in Hisar District in the state of Haryana in India, situated in the north-west about 150 kilometers from Delhi. In 1963, It is situated on the dry bed of the Sarasvati river, which had once flown through this place and dried up around 2000 BC. According to the archaeologists, Rakhigarhi is an ideal nucleus from where the Harappan civilisation began in the Ghaggar basin in Haryana and gradually grew from here and slowly expanded to the Indus valley.Rakhigarhi, being the largest Indus Valley Civilization site, will likely be placed in the UNESCO’s World heritage site list.
The size and uniqueness of Rakhigarhi has drawn much attention of archaeologists all over the world. Excavation revealing the size of the lost city (at least 3.0 km²) and recovering numerous artefacts, some over 5,000 years old. Rakhigarhi was occupied at Early Harappan times. Evidence of paved roads, drainage system, large rainwater collection, storage system, terracotta bricks, statue production, and skilled working of bronze and precious metals have been uncovered. Jewellery, including bangles made from terracotta, conch shells, gold, and semi-precious stones, have also been found.