Haryana’s Harappan site Rakhigarhi to have museum
Rakhigarhi village, located about 8km from Narnaund sub-division of Hisar district, is one of the five sites of archaeological importance to have on-site museums, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced this in her budget speech on Saturday.
Rakhigarhi is one of the five biggest Harrapan civilisation sites, three of which — Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Ganveriwala — are in Pakistan, while the fifth, Dholavira, is in Gujarat.
Besides Rakhigarhi and Dholavira, other archaeological sites that found mention in the Union budget are: Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Sivasagar in Assam and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu.
Rakhigarhi village is the pre-Indus Valley civilisation settlement site going back to about 6500BCE. Later, it was also part of the mature Indus Valley civilisation, dating to 2600-1900 BCE. The archaeological department had carried many excavations on more than seven mounds located near the village and found remains and artefacts of the Harappan, pre-Harappan civilisation, including human skeletons, which have been kept at the Hisar archaeology office near Jhajpul.
In January 2014, the discovery of additional mounds made it the largest Indus Valley civilisation site, overtaking Mohenjodaro. In May 2012, the Global Heritage Fund declared Rakhigarhi one of the 10 most endangered heritage sites in Asia. The Haryana government had already planned to set up a museum with multi-facilities for the researchers.
In 2018, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered razing of more than 201 illegal houses constructed on the mounds, following which the administration brought down more than 100 houses.
Prof Vasant Shinde, the vice-chancellor of Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune, carried out excavations at Rakhigarhi and he concluded that the entire village is archaeological importance, but seven mounds spread over 100 acres were rich in remains and artefacts.