Dholavira, locally known as Timba Prachin Mahanagar Kotada, is an archaeological site in the Kutch District of Gujarat. Belonging to the Indus Valley civilization, Dholavira is one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in India. It is located on the Khadir Bet Island of the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary.
Discovered in 1967 by J.P. Joshi, this is one of the 5 Harappan remains in the Indian subcontinent. The sophistication and forethought in the city planning of the Harappans is evident in these ruins. Artifacts like seals, ornaments, vessels and utensils made of gold, silver and terracotta; bones and a few items of Mesopotamian origin were found among these ruins. Based on these, archaeologists believe that Dholavira was an important local, as well as cross boundary trade center.
The city is structured as a central fort with much fortification, a surrounding tier of settlements and a lower town. Many reservoirs can also be found here. The water management system was equally sophisticated as the city planning. Stone waterways and reservoirs, making use of the lay of the land, were used for storing and directing the scarce rainwater.
A vast spherical structure, believed to be a burial chamber or memorial, is present in Dholavira. However, no bones or remains can be found inside the structure. In addition, many funerary constructions are present in the area, with several articles like mud seals, bangles and ring engravings¬ along with them.
Dholavira is accessible by road with the nearest point of access being Ahmedabad. Roads from Ahmedabad upto Rapar Town are good, after which, one can only find Kachcha roads. By rail, the nearest railway station is in Samakhyali, located 160 km from Dholavira. The nearest airport is Gandhidham, about 250 km away.
The best time to visit is between the months of November and March.