The historical site of Mohenjo-daro is a magnificent look into the ancient Indus Valley Civilization (also known as the IVC). Mohenjo-Daro, which translates to ‘Mount of the Dead’ in Sindhi, was built in 2600 BC. The people of Mohenjo-daro inhabited the Earth at the same time as the ancient Egyptians.
The city is a fascinating insight into the brilliance of the IVC for their time. The entire city is well planned with buildings laid out in an organized grid. Most of the buildings were made of fired mortar and brick along with sun-dried and wooden structures. There are numerous public buildings such as a market place and public bath. Other buildings which should not be missed include the famous well and Buddhist Stupa. At the height of its time, it is estimated that Mohenjo-Daro was home to nearly 35,000 residents.
The artifacts of Mohenjo-Daro are a treat to look at. There are a great number housed at the Mohenjo-Daro museum. One of the most popular of the discoveries included a statue named ‘The Dancing Girl’. British archeologist Mortimer Wheeler describes this statue as one of his favorites:
“There is her little Balochi – style face with pouting lips and insolent look in the eyes. She’s about fifteen years old I should think, not more, but she stands there with bangles all the way up her arm and nothing else on. A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There’s nothing like her, I think, in the world.”
There is also a famous “Priest King” statue though there is no evidence of the city having a King, Queen or other royalty. It is thought that the people of Mohenjo-daro lived in a rich society. The artifacts that have been discovered include ivory, lapis, carnelian and even gold beads.
Lodging and Visit to Larkhana
Though there are multiple hotels in Larkhana that can be used to visit Mohenjo-Daro, the PTDC (Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation) has a pretty nice rest house very close to the excavated site. The resident cook there is excellent at making local dishes which are a treat not to be missed. If you’re looking for a side adventure, then go out at night and sit with the locals around their fire. They’re usually very friendly and have tons of fun stories to share. Many people plan an extra day to visit Larkhana. Though the streets are not an impressive sight, shopping for shawls and other fabrics is a good activity for any ladies on the trip. Just be ready to rough it out on the one hour drive to the city.
Advice for Travelers
- The Mohenjo-daro airport is definitely not known for its on-time flight schedules. Waiting 12 hours for the plane to arrive is not unheard of so make sure to pack a book, cards and other activities incase your flight gets delayed
- The food available at Mohenjo-Daro and Larkhana can be difficult on the stomach if you’re not used to everyday Pakistani food. Take supplies if you feel this can be an issue
The area around Mohenjo-Daro is relatively deserted. If you go out on walks, especially at night, don’t go alone and definitely don’t wander far from the hotel.