26 November 2006

Town Planning

Built as early as 3000 BC, the Indian town had quality materials of superior finish and high standard of manipulation, giving perfect stability to construction. Straight roads at right angles, main thoroughfares running almost north to south, east to west. It possessed a network of covered drainage that was new in the ancient world.

The reconstruction of Kusingar, of the 7th century BC, had horizontally placed cylindrical rooftops so designed as to permit free flow of air and light. No other city in the ancient world outside India had such a design incorporated.

The Great Bath, built at Mohen-jo-daro is unique. The tank has a rectangular structure. It is situated in the center of a courtyard and measures 11.89 mts from north to south and 7.01 mts from east to west, the depth being 2.44 mts. A double ringed well in one of the rooms for supply of water to bath, the floor of which is approached by a flight of steps on the north and south.

An interesting feature of the construction was the care bestowed in water tightening of the structure. A 2 cms, thick damp-proof course of bitumen was used between the facing baked bricks of the basin and the intermediate wall, which inturn was retained by a mud-brick packing and the outermost baked-brick wall.

Across the lane to the north of the Great Bath there is a block with eight bathrooms arranged in two rows, one on either side of a drain. Each bathroom in Mohan-ja-daro had a staircase that was leading to the upper storey and privacy was secured by ensuring that the doors were not disposed opposite to one another.

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