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The Buddhist stupa as seen from the Great Bath.
Mohenjo-daro is an ancient city in Pakistan. Mohenjo-daro means "Mound of the dead" and was built around 2600 BCE. Today this popular archaeological attraction offers a glimpse into the past at what once was the largest civilization in the Indus Valley.

The entire site is built by unbaked brick and is comprised of 2 main sections, a stupa mound in the west and the lower city in the east which runs along the Indus river. The ruins show evidence of sophisticated city planning with areas for commercial shops, residences, wells, public houses and systems of sanitation and drain management.


The Great Bath

Mohenjodaro is the most ancient and best-preserved urban ruin on the Indian subcontinent, dating back to the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, and exercised a considerable influence on the subsequent development of urbanization on the Indian peninsula.

The archaeological site is located on the right bank of the Indus River, 400 km from Karachi, in Pakistan's Sind Province. It flourished for about 800 years during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. Centre of the Indus Civilization, one of the largest in the Old World, this 5,000-year-old city is the earliest manifestation of urbanization in South Asia. Its urban planning surpasses that of many other sites of the oriental civilizations that were to follow.

Of massive proportions, Mohenjodaro comprises two sectors: a stupa mound that rises in the western sector and, to the east, the lower city ruins spread out along the banks of the Indus. The acropolis, set on high embankments, the ramparts, and the lower town, which is laid out according to strict rules, provide evidence of an early system of town planning.

The stupa mound, built on a massive platform of mud brick, is composed of the ruins of several major structures - Great Bath, Great Granary, College Square and Pillared Hall - as well as a number of private homes. The extensive lower city is a complex of private and public houses, wells, shops and commercial buildings. These buildings are laid out along streets intersecting each other at right angles, in a highly orderly form of city planning that also incorporated important systems of sanitation and drainage.
Stupa (rear view).

Of this vast urban ruin of Mohenjo-daro, only about one-third has been reveal by excavation since 1922. The foundations of the site are threatened by saline action due to a rise of the water table of the Indus River. This was the subject of a UNESCO international campaign in the 1970s, which partially mitigated the attack on the prehistoric mud-brick buildings.[2]

The city lacks ostentatious palaces, temples, or monuments and there are no obvious central seat of government or evidence of a king or queen. The city's wealth and stature is evident in artifacts such as ivory, lapis, carnelian, and gold beads, as well as the baked-brick city structures themselves. A watertight pool called the Great Bath, perched on top of a mound of dirt and held in place with walls of baked brick, is the closest structure Mohenjo Daro has to a temple.

Get in[edit]

It's recommended to first fly into Karachi and then take a connecting flight into Mohenjodaro Airport (MJD), Pakistan. Visitors will then need to head to Larkana city and obtain vehicle transport to the site. Guided tours are offered by the Sindh Tourism Development Corporation (STDC)

The place is approachable by daily regular flight in the morning and evening from Karachi and the Airport is located at a walking distance from the Site. Every train plying on Kotri-Habib Kot Railway station stops at Mohenjo-daro railway station. The place can also be reached by road branching off from Indus Highway at Mehar, via Radhan (c. 44 kilometers) Nasirabad, via Badeh (25 Kilometers) and Larkana, via Bakrani (25 K.M) Taxi can be hired from Larkano and Mohenjo Daro railway station (11 Kilometers) and tonga from the latter only. Regular Suzuki (Chingchi motorcycle rickshaw) and casual Bus and Van service from Dokri (7 Kilometers) to Mohenjo Daro can also be availed.

Get around[edit]

Early map of Moenjodaro

Within the vast grassy lawns divided by walkways, hedges and water channels, the archaeological campus is accessible through a modern monumental gate. On west of the main road could be seen three blocks of buildings i.e the Archaeological Museum, Dak Bungalow and the Water & Soil Investigation Laboratory, besides the residential quarters behind. On the eastern side of the road, are the offices of other sister organizations and some residential buildings. The site is relatively small and can only be traversed by foot. It is surrounded by a wall and can be entered at the main entrance gate.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Mohenjo-daro Archaeology Museum.. A well proportioned white Brahmani Bull rendered in bas-relief engrosses the attention of every on looker to the magnanimous museum building . Entry to the site and the museum is by ticket purchasable from the main entrance gate of the campus and at the reception counter at museum. Antiquities un-earthed from various parts of Mohenjo Daro are displayed at first floor of the museum. Few reliefs of some important objects and pictorial illustrations and maps on walls and curatorial staff offices occur on the ground floor. A beautiful conjectural view of the city of Mohenjo Daro with river Indus on its background drawn on the wall of first floor is flanked by Museum showcases. Displayed in forty showcases illuminated by natural light are the chronologically arranged antiquities from Mohenjo Daro and sites antedating to it. [1]  edit
Remains of the settlement.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Both the gift shop and local vendors sell souvenirs from the site. The most famous being the model of a Dancing girl, Statue of priest and the models of seals.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Food and beverages are offered at the nearby PTDC hotel, the Archaeology Resthouse and sundries vendors located outside the complex.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

As it is built on an archaeological site there are not a plethora of lodging facilities in town. Seeing as most of the site can be toured within a few hours many visitors choose to stay in the nearby town of Larkana which is only short drive away .

  • Archaeology Resthouse, Mohenjo-daro Rd, +92 21 3452-1670. Renovated in 2013 this Rest House run by Pakistan's archaeological department features 3 VIP rooms, each with A/c, lounge area and en suite and is available at affordable rates. Rs 500-1,000.  edit
  • PTDC Motel, Mohenjo-daro Rd, +92 74 408-4009. TPTDC Motel Moen Jo Daro has 9 rooms and a Restaurant other facilities include TV and telephone. Ideal for an overnight stay during visit to Mohenjo-daro ruins. Rs 2,000-3,000.  edit


For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Sindh Tourism Development Corporation (STDC)

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