The most striking feature of Harappan civilization is its town-planning and sanitation. The basic lay-out of large Harappan cities and towns shows a regular orientation. One finds the streets" and lanes lay out according to a set plan: the main streets running from north to south and the cross-streets and lanes running at right angles to them.
The Harappan cities were the creation of careful forethought and planning, as is indicated by the striking regularity of the divisions, the successfully aligned streets, the orientation of all principal streets to the points of the compass, the correspondence of the houses and public buildings with the orientation of thoroughfares, etc.
Streets varied from 9 feet to 34 feet in width and ran straight sometimes as far as half a mile. They intersected at right angles dividing the city into square or rectangular blocks. Inside this square or oblong, the area is intersected by a number of narrow lanes crowded with houses. At Mohenjodaro each lane had a public well, and most of the houses had a private well and bath. Nowhere was a building allowed to encroach on a public highway as in Sumer.
Important Harappan cities, such as Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Kalibangan, Dholavira and Surkotada, were divided into two parts - a fortified settlement on the high mounds designated as 'citadels' and the main residential areas to the west of it called 'lower town'.
At Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Kalibangan and Surkotada, there was a 'citadel', smaller in area than the 'lower town' and invariably located to the west of it. The citadel at Mohenjodaro contained many imposing buildings; all made of kiln-burnt-bricks, for example, the great bath, the college, the granary and the assembly hall.
Harappa was regarded as another capital of the Indus Empire. Here to the north of the citadel, lay the workmen's quarter, their working platform, and a granary; the entire complex suggesting a high degree of regimentation of their population.
Situated on the left...