Kalibangan (literally black bangles) is located at Pilibangān, between Suratgarh and Hanumāngarh in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. It was one of the main sites of the Indus Valley Civilization and most scholars agree that it was located on the bank of River Saraswati which dried up by 2000 BC. Kalibangan has given the evidence of both Pre-harappan culture in the lower layer and harappan civilization in the upper layer. The Kalibangan flourished for at least 450-600 years.
Kalibangan site was discovered by Luigi Pio Tessitori, an Italian Indologist and linguist. He died at a tender age of just 32 years but did a remarkable work in the arena of Indian Pre-history. He was a degree student at Florence and was doing work on Ram Charit Manas of Tulsidas, when he was appointed to head the Bardic and Historical Survey of Rajputana under the Asiatic Society of Bengal. He worked and got very useful information about the Bardic culture. He also worked for archaeology and sought direction from J Marshall. He discovered inscriptions, sculptures, earthenware pottery, coins and seals in that Pilibangan Area at the border of Hanumangarh and Suratgarh and thus a great site of Indus Valley Civilization, Kalibangan was discovered. However, he fell ill in 1919, and just after a short illness died at Bikaner in Rajasthan.
By that time the works on Harappa excavations were at full swing. Nobody could even imagine that the site which Luigi Pio Tessitori discovered could be a Pre-Mauryan or Pre Historic site. But it was and the credit does to Luigi Pio Tessitori.
Most extensive work on Kalibangan was done by A Ghosh in 1951-55 and later by BB Lal & B K Thapar in 1961.
Student Notes on Kalibangan
- “Kalibangan in Rajasthan has given the evidence of the earliest (2800 BC) ploughed agricultural field ever revealed through an excavation” – Dr. B Lal
- Kalibangan is also a site which has given an evidence of earliest recorded “Earthquake”. The earthquake is dated back to 2600 BC and is considered to have contributed to the end of this remarkable site of the Indus Valley Civilization.
- The Fire altars discovered at Kalibangan reveal that the people were ritualistic and believed in worship of fire.
- A charging bull which is considered to signify the “realistic and powerful folk art of Harappan Age” has been found at Kalibangan.
- The most important discovery of Kalibangan is a ploughed field.
- A wooden furrow has been found, 7 fire altars in a row have been found and they suggest the practice of sacrifice.
- Bones of camel have been found at Kalibangan.
- At Kalibangan a tiled floor which bears the intersecting signs of circleshas been found.
- The burials have been found in two types of pits viz. circular graves and rectangular graves.
- The bricks used in Kalibangan were earthen ones and Kalibangan was not as better planned.
- There was no drainage system in Kalibangan.