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Location : Hisar, Haryana
Famous For : Brick houses and artifacts
How to Reach : Buses are available from all the major metropolitan cities. By rail, Bhattu is the nearest railway station. By air, Delhi is the nearest airport
Banawali, an ancient Harappan and pre-Harappan site, is sprawled over an area of four hundred square kilometers. Earlier known by the name of Vanawali, this heritage site lies near Fatehbad district of Haryana. Due to repeated inhabitations, the height of the town rose to 10 meters. This Indus valley site was excavated by the famous archeologist R.S. Bisht.
The excavations at Banawali resulted in the discovery of numerous pieces of art and craft, copper coins, and precious stones. Jewelry items, bangles, shells, and other embellishments have also been unearthed here. The houses of this civilization are known to be made up of bricks and are supposed to be constructed in one of the cardinal directions. This indicates high level of town-planning. The ornaments made from shell and copper were also in full vogue. The aesthetic sense of the inhabitants is clear from the fact that the town was constructed with accurate planning and presence of numerous designs and shapes.
In the Pre-Harappan period at Banawali, the town was constructed in the shape of a chessboard. The streets ran in north-south direction, were straight and without any interruptions. Another set of roads ran in the east-west direction. The mound was supposed to be divided into two parts by a thick wall. The wall acted as divide between the inhabitations of rich and poor. The commoners resided in the eastern wing while the elite class occupied the western side. The mud houses were equipped with toilets and well planned rooms. The superb metallurgical procedures that were used at that time emphasized the exclusive craftsmanship of the artists.
The major artifacts that have bee unearthed at this excavation site include terracotta figures, seals, gold ornaments, lapis lazuli beads, faience, items, carnelian etc. the pottery that was used at that time is strikingly similar to Rajasthan; Kalibangan pottery. In addition, redware Pottery was also in full vogue. A unique object that has been found at Banawali is an item of black terracotta. Only three pieces of this artistic item have been found. During the Harappan period, the shape of the town was converted into a bilocular form.
The fortified town of Banawali is an important excavation site of Haryana; its discovery opened the gateways of civilizations that flourished in ancient times.