Ancient cities in India

India is a country which from time to time has been inhabited by various civilizations. India has a long history which dates back to some 75,000 years or even more. Many cities during different period and under various rulers have been constructed, but most of them vanished because of natural or man-made disasters. When excavated, evidences of city planning, culture, life of that time and many more things were found. Here are the few important ancient cities in India that are worth mentioning.


Vijayanagara Empire: Vijayanagara was established in 1336 by princes Harihara I and Bukka Raya I of  the Sangama Dynasty. This is one of the most renowned ancient cities in India. The ancient city of Vijayanagra was the capital of Vijayanagra Empire and today is one of the major tourist destinations in India. During excavation a lot of important information about ancient settlements, rock arts and cemeteries was gathered. Most of the cities in this empire were constructed in a way to avoid foreign invasion. To accomplish this, massive stones were used to build cities. The city also had extensive network of roads consisting of both broad as well as narrow roads.

Puhar: Located in the Nagapattium district in the state of Tamil Nadu is a small town named Puhar. Earlier Puhar was known as Kaveripattinum or Poompuhar or Kaveri puhum pattinam. The city is located close to the mouth of  the Kaveri River on its north bank. It was a flourishing city during the Chola dynasty. Because of its location, the city was the main trading region at that time. Scientists believed that the major part of the town was washed away with the tsunami that occurred in 416 AD. The market place of the town was known as Naalangadi during day time and Allangadi at night. The fifth book of the Silapathikaram also has details about the city plan.

Muziris: Muziris is an ancient port city on the Malabar Coast of South India. The most probable location of the city is around the earlier town of Kodungallur that is located very near to the mouth of the Periyar river flowing in Kerala. Muziris is a Greek- Roman name. Also in the archaeological survey of 2004, remnants of Roman commerce were discovered. Scientists believed that an earthquake which occurred in the mid-13th century CE was the cause of destruction of this city. Also it may have been damaged because of the flooding of the Periyar in 1341 AD. Muziris was a major port city even before 1500 BC.

Lothal: Gujarat is home to the ancient city Lothal, which is one of the main archaeological cities in India from the Indus Valley civilization. The Archaeological Society of India (ASI) in 1954 discovered it and excavated the city between 1955 and 1960. Excavation led to interesting information about the city’s inlet channel system and connection of ravines with the river through docks. All this makes Lothal the world’s earliest dock city. The dock connected the city to the earlier course of the Sabarmati River. The city is located close to the present day village of Saragwala in Ahmedabad district. Lothal in Gujarati means ‘the mound of the dead’. The city was the most suited for naval trade, so it was famous for its docks and warehouse.

Kalibangan: In Kalibangan farming was done almost in a similar fashion that is done today. The city used to have ploughed agricultural field with grid patterns of furrow a way back in 2800 BC. Kalibangan is located Hanumangarh, Rajasthan on the southern banks of Ghaggar-Hakra River. It supposedly had two settlements, one between 3500 BC and 2500 BC and the other one, between 2500 BC and 1750 BC. The cause of the first destruction was an earthquake and the second settlement perished as the river which they were dependent on dried up. The city also displayed the early phases of pottery.

Related Information:

Ancient India

About India

India Culture

History of India

Vijayanagara Empire

Religious Places in India