Social, Economic, and Religious life of Indus Valley Civilization

Social, Economic, and Religious life of Indus Valley Civilization

    The ancient history of India begins with the Harappan Civilization. We get to see the early signs of Indian social condition, economic condition, a religious condition in the Indus Civilization. The people of Indus civilization were familiar with modern technology. His way of life was very urban. Today in this blog we will discuss the social, economic, and religious life of the Indus Valley Civilization. If you like this article please share it with your friends

Social, Economic, and Religious life of Indus Valley Civilization

What is meant by Indus Valley Civilization?

       In fact, no one has seen how the life of the people of the Harappan civilization of the Indus civilization was lived, it is estimated by looking at the remains found in the excavation, what kind of work the inhabitants used to do there, and How do you spend your life? According to historians, its characteristics can be derived in this way.

Economic Life of Indus Civilization

     There are many sites related to the Indus civilization, the remains found from the excavation prove that the economic life of the Indus people must have been very pleasant. The economic life of the Indus people can be described as follows:


     Indus people used to cultivate wheat, barley, rye, peas, dates, pomegranate, etc. In agriculture, wooden hulls and stone tools for harvesting were made and used. For irrigation in the fields, ponds were made from rivers and rainwater, etc. And it is believed that there were huge other stores to store the grain, and grinding arrangements were made outside the stores.

Animal Husbandry- 

      The residents here also took interest in animal husbandry. These people kept bulls, camels, buffaloes, sheep, donkeys, goats, pigs, elephants, dogs, cats, etc.


      It is believed that Mohenjodaro and Harappa were their famous trading centers. Both internal and foreign trade were in good shape. Internal trade was done by bullock carts. And foreign trade extended to Sumeria. Three copper and precious stones were imported from outside. and used to sell cotton clothes to western countries.

Measuring and weighing - 

      Square weights have been found in the excavation, perhaps the residents here would also be using scales made of metal.

Arts in Indus Civilization

    Earthen pots- 

      Indus people used to make beautiful clay pots. Various types of artifacts were made on Anu. Images of humans have also been found in pottery.

Social, Economic, and Religious life of Indus Valley Civilization
Harappan cooking pots in use during the Indus civilization, c. 2300–2200 bce.

    Seals - 

Social, Economic, and Religious life of Indus Valley Civilization
Assortment of seals with animal motifs in use during the time of the Indus civilization, 3rd–2nd millennium bce. CREDIT-BRITANNICA.COM

     There are also artifacts in the seals found from Harappa. The paintings of buffalo garden and rhinoceros inscribed on seals made of various metals indicate that the Indus people were artisans of a high order.


    Hindus were skilled in making idols. The idols were made by cutting soft stone and rocks. Most of the sculptures were made of women.

Copper plates - 

square rectangular copper plates have been found in the excavations of Harappa and Mohenjodaro. On one side the figure of a man or animal is made and on the other side, there is an article. These copper plates look like amulets.


Metal Art- 

Social, Economic, and Religious life of Indus Valley Civilization
Steatite seal, the Indus valley civilization, c. 2300–c. 1750 bce; in the National Museum of India, New

     The people of the Indus Civilization were very skilled in making various different objects. These people used to make beautiful ornaments by cutting and sorting precious stones. Beautiful ornaments were made from gold and silver. Many items of silver, brass, and copper were made. Apart from this, various types of items were also made from conch shells.

Script of the Indus Valley - 

Social, Economic, and Religious life of Indus Valley Civilization
Steatite seal, Indus valley civilization, c. 2300–c. 1750 bce; in the National Museum of India, New Delhi.Credit-BRITANNICA.COM

     The Indus people had knowledge of the script, but to date, this script has not been fully read. The script was pictorial. There are about 400 characters in this script, in this script, some characters and some signs were used for spiritual images.

What do you know about the social life of the Harappan civilization?

       In view of the huge cities found in the excavation, “Dr. Pusalkar believes that the social status of that time must have been very high. The social life of the Harappan civilization can be described in this way.

Social, Economic, and Religious life of Indus Valley Civilization
Statue of Indus priest or nobleman, carved from steatite (soapstone), from Mohenjo-daro; in the National Museum of Pakistan,


    Social organization- It is evident from the sources obtained from the Indus Civilization that at that time society was not divided into classes. But there was an arrangement for living in different families. The houses were constructed very efficiently.

        Historians say that despite not being divided into class or varna, the society was divided into four parts on the basis of occupation-

    1. Scholars - Astrologers, Vaidyas, and priests used to come in this.

    2. Warriors - Officers used to come to this class insecurity and administrative work.

    3. Businessmen- Industrialists and traders used to come in this.

    4. Laborers - farmers, fishermen, laborers, etc.

        Looking at the excavated houses of the time, it seems that these people probably did not have much difference in economic status because all the houses are almost the same.

Food: The main diet of the people of Indus civilization were wheat and rice, peas, milk and milk products, vegetables, fruits, cows, sheep, fish, turtles, chickens, etc. meat was also consumed by animals, they also ate dates. But their main diet was wheat.

Costumes and Jewellery- No cloth of the time of Indus civilization is available, so to know about the then costumes one has to depend on the idols of that time. It is known from these that two clothes were worn on the body.

Cosmetics - It seems that in the Indus Civilization as in the modern era, men and women were very fond of cosmetics. This is confirmed by the material obtained in the excavation. Women used to use mirror comb, paper Surma vermilion, hair pictures, and powder. At that time mirrors were made of bronze and combs were made of ivory. Mirrors were oval, razors made of bronze were also used by men.

 Evidences of the use of lipstick have been found from Chanhudaro

 Means of entertainment- The main means of entertainment among the inhabitants of the Indus civilization was to play hunting, dance, singing, play and watch cock fights, gambling was also one of the main means of entertainment, the meeting of various types of councilors confirmed this. does. Various types of toys were manufactured for the entertainment of the children.

Medicines- Historians say that the inhabitants of the Indus civilization were familiar with various medicines. And they used deer reindeer horns, neem leaves, and Shilajit as medicines, examples of medicine are also obtained from Kalibanga and Lothal.
Religious Life of Harappan Civilization

      To know about the Indus civilization religion, one has to resort to archaeological sources. It is not well known which deity was the most recognized in the life of the Indus civilization. KN Shastri is of the view that the male deities were more important in the Indus civilization than in the Vedic period. 

    Now we will see "Describe Harappan Culture Religious Life"! 

Religious life can be characterized as-

Social, Economic, and Religious life of Indus Valley Civilization
A mausoleum found at

 Worship of Mother Goddess -
Mother Goddess is the name of an idol found in the excavation of Indus Civilization, many idols of Mother Goddess have also been found. One of the sculptures depicts a half-naked woman, with a cap on her head and a necklace around her neck, and a strong waist. Mother Goddess was known by the names 'Mata' 'Amba' 'Kali' and 'Karali' etc.

Yoni worship(vagina worship) - From the rings made of oysters, clay, stone, etc. found in the excavation, it appears that they also used to perform vaginal worship.

Shiva worship- In the excavations of Harappa, such idols have been found, which gives knowledge about the worship of Shiva. Apart from this idol, the finding of several lingas from Harappa and Mohenjodaro also confirms that Shiva was a major deity of the Indus civilization residents. These linga stones are made of clay and Shiva, they are of different sizes, some are very small, and some are 4 feet long.

Animal Worship- In the Indus Civilization, pictures of animals like bulls, buffaloes, etc. are found on many postures. From whom it is estimated to be worshiped at that time, some historians believe that the people of Indus worshiped animals like snakes, pigeons, goats, bulls, etc.

Surya worship-
On some mudras, the signs of the sun have been real and the wheel has been found, due to which it is estimated that the people of Sindhu also used to worship the sun.

Tree Worship- In the Indus Civilization, on some seals, Peepal tree goddess or tree deity, etc. are found, in which it is proved that tree worship must have been done at that time. At that time, trees like Neem, Date, Sheesham, Acacia, etc. were worshipped. And the most sacred Peepal tree would have been considered.

River Worship - There is no exact evidence of river worship being done, but seeing the huge bathing planet, the bathing pools, historians are of the opinion that at that time water was worshiped.

Other practices- It is known from the remains of the Indus civilization that like the modern era, they also used incense and fire in worship. There are also indications of singing songs while worshiping, and in addition to the abundance of amulets, some historians say that the Indus people were superstitious.

Dead Rites -
Until some time ago, nothing was available about the Indus civilization dead rites, but in 1946 Harappa excavations discovered that at that time there was a custom of dead in the grave. It is known from the excavations of Mohenjodaro that the Indus residents used to perform the last rites of the deceased in three ways on the basis of religious beliefs-

    1. Purna Samadhi (complete tomb)-
In this, the dead body was buried with many things in the ground and made a samadhi.

    2. Partial Samadhi-
In this method, first the deceased was left in the open place to become food for animals and birds, and later his ashes were kept in the pot and kept in the ground.

    3. Cremation - In this method, after burning the dead body and keeping its ashes in the urn, it was used to sing in the ground, due to the receipt of many such urns, historians have put it. At that time this method of funeral would also have been the most popular.
Describe the town plan of the Harappan civilization

Information related to town planning and art has been collected in this way-

1. Town Planning- The main feature of the Indus Civilization is the construction of very well-planned cities. Seeing the remains found from the excavation, historians believe that the cities of the Indus civilization were built on the banks of rivers. Harappa has situated on the banks of the Ravi and Mohenjodaro river Indus. Dams were built to protect the city from rivers. Looking at the remains of the cities, it seems as if these cities were built in a planned manner by skilled engineers. The roads were unpaved, but even after having unpaved roads, full care of cleanliness would have been taken. At some places, platforms have been built on the side of the roads, possibly shops will also be set up here.

      There were drains along the road which were paved and covered. Every street also had a drain that met the street drain. Stone, bricks, and lime were used to make these drains.

 2. Building construction - The people of the Indus civilization were also skilled in building construction. This is confirmed by the remains found from Harappa, Mohenjodaro, etc. There was a complete arrangement of amenities in the houses built by them. The construction of buildings was also done in a planned manner, their building constructions can be divided into three parts-

    A. - Ordinary Buildings- Houses for the living of ordinary people were constructed on both sides of the road- the size of these houses was small or big as per the requirement. Houses were built both in the form of kutcha and pucca. Some houses obtained from excavation have also been found in which there are only two rooms. The houses were also of more than one story, stairs of stone were made to go to the top floor. Windows and doors opened into the streets. The reason for the absence of doors and windows on the main road was probably to prevent dust from entering the house.

    B. - Public and state buildings- As a result of excavation of Indus civilization-related countries, the fact has come to the fore that apart from houses there were also state and public buildings. There was a pit in Mohenjodaro which was constructed on a hill. There was a high dam all around to protect it from Badho. It had many towers. Beautiful sentiments were built on high plinths inside the pit.

    C. - Granary - Some huge buildings have been found in Harappa and Mohenjodaro which are considered granaries. The remains of a public restaurant have also been found at Mohenjodaro.

3. Public Bath - A huge bath has also been unearthed in the excavations of Mohenjodaro. The building of this bathroom is very grand. An adequate arrangement was made to drain out the bathing pool water. From this, it is estimated that the reservoir would have been cleaned from time to time. There is a well near the reservoir which would have been filled with water in the reservoir.

The political life of the Indus Valley Civilization

        Due to the paucity of written remains in the excavation, it is very difficult to determine the political situation during the Indus Civilization. The political situation at that time can be inferred only from the various sources found in the excavation.

According to Piggott,

“The variability of governance refers to a religious rule rather than a secular one.”

    Civilization was ruled by two capitals Harappa and Mohenjodaro. Looking at the planned construction work, it is estimated that there must have been an institution like a municipality in the cities.

      The inhabitants of the Indus civilization were peace-loving, and their life would have been peaceful from a political point of view, even a very small number of Astra scriptures confirm that due to peaceful political nature, the life of the then residents was full of happiness and prosperity. Will happen.

     Thus we can say that the Harappan civilization was the most civilized civilization in the world. Where people lived with scientific thinking. We can learn a lot from their town planning, drainage system, way of living. The inhabitants of Harappa were conscious of cleanliness and hygiene. No matter how civilized we may have become today, the Harappan counterparts have not yet arrived. Seeing the behavior of women in the present society, the Harappans respected women more.


 Q1. The most recognized period of Harappan civilization is

2500 BC-1750 BC

Q2. The Indus Valley Civilization was not a contemporary of which of the following civilizations?

Greek civilization

Q3. To what extent was the Indus Valley Civilization extended?

Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Sindh and Baluchistan

Q4. Where have the remains of a horse found in the Indus Valley Civilization? 


Q5. In which state is the Indus Valley site Kalibangan located?

In Rajasthan

Dr.Santosh Kumar Sain

My Name Is Dr.Santosh Kumar Sain. I Am a Goverment Teacher of History. My education qualification M.A., B.Ed., Ph.D

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