The Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Bronze Age civilization, was spread over a large land area, i.e., from northwest India to northeast Afghanistan and Pakistan. Town planning was an exceptional feature of the Indus Valley Civilization. The town planning of the civilization shows that these people were living a very civilized and developed life. Their town planning has surprised archaeologists throughout the world. The people of the valley had built their cities with proper planning and with a fixed pattern. Some essential structures of the town are the streets, closed drainage system, the great bath, granaries and buildings.
Pattern of streets
The streets were straight and cut each other at right angles. The roads were made to divide the city into rectangular blocks and were made using burnt brick. Lamp posts have been found at regular intervals that the street lights existed at that time. Dustbins were found on the streets, which meant an excellent municipal administration was also present.
The great bath
The most crucial structure of Mohenjodaro was the great bath. The excavation indicates that the great bath was a large rectangular tank inside the city. Burnt bricks were used to make the floor of the great bath. Like a modern-day swimming pool, it was used for special rituals and ceremonial baths. It was coated with gypsum to prevent water leakage from the tank. There was a flight of steps on both sides of the tank. There was a considerable drain that was used to drain the water. There were rooms near the great bath that were used as changing rooms.
A unique feature of this civilization was the closed drainage system, which most cities featured. Every house was home to a courtyard, a bathroom, and vertical and horizontal drains. The drains of the kitchen and the toilet were connected to the gutters of the streets. Most houses in Kalibangan had wells. The roads had underground drains. Stone slabs were used to cover these drains. The wastewater travelling from flushing toilets went into one of several sewage pipes that carried out this water into the river or sea.
It was found during excavations that the cities were divided into two sections. i.e. the citadel and the lower house. The higher areas were smaller and belonged to the citadel. The lower regions belonged to the lower town that had extensive areas. The rich lived in big houses with multiple rooms, while poor people had smaller homes. The significant buildings had courtyards attached to them. The big houses and the public buildings were located on the streets. The tiny houses had two rooms, while the significant dwellings had multiple rooms. The priests and higher class used to live in citadels.
There was a massive brick wall that surrounded the citadel and the city. The arrangement of the houses was in grids with streets that cut across each other at right angles. Almost all the houses had baths, wells, and drains covered and connected to the road drains. There was minimal ventilation in ordinary places because the doors and windows were hardly ever fixed on the outer walls. Large buildings had large doors.
The houses of the Indus Valley civilization were built using burnt brick instead of stones. However, it was also found that sunburned bricks were also used. Primarily the size of the bricks was equal. The burnt bricks were used in the part of buildings where contamination because of water was a possibility. The wood was readily available, which means baked bricks were used in large quantities. There was also evidence of mud mortars and gypsum cement used. The frames for the doors and windows were made of wood.
The Indus Valley civilization was among the oldest and most developed societies. The town planning system of the Indus Valley civilization has impressed many archaeologists. They systematically planned their residential houses, public buildings, and streets and had proper drainage systems. All homes were well-connected to the drains of the roads. The gutters were covered with wood or stone slabs that indicate that they knew about water pollution. The people followed an excellent pattern of building houses and buildings. The Indus Valley civilization lived a well-developed life.