Rakhigarhi in Haryana will soon emerge as a major tourist destination on the map of India.
Rakhigarhi hit headlines after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech placed it among five archaeological sites that the Centre proposes to develop as an iconic site. The sites identified for the initiative are Raki Garhi in Haryana, Hastinapur in UttarPradesh , ShivSagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat and Adichanaluru in Tamil Nadu.
- Situated around 170 kilometres from Delhi, the village is one of the most prominent and largest sites of the Harappan civilisation, popularly known as the Indus Valley Civilisation.
- 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.
- 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 twin villages of Rakhi Shahpur and Rakhi Khas were jointly earlier known as Rakhigarhi village.
- 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.
- There are nine mounds at the site of which the mound numbers one to six are residential localities of pre-formation age early Harappan settlement while mound number 7 is a cemetery where four human skeletons were recovered by the excavators.
- Archaeologists have concluded that at the most flourished point of this city 5,000 years ago, no less than 50,000 was the population of Rakhigarhi and around 14 generations of Harappans had lived before they migrated from here when the land turned dry in the absence of water in the region.
- Archaeological findings and scientific data have indicated that Rakhigarhi had been the more important centre of the Indus Valley Civilisation than the townships of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro located in Pakistan.
- 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 Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2018 ordered razing of more than 201 illegal houses constructed on these mounds.