Day 1 – Q 3.Have you ever thought about the lifestyle of the people belonging to the Harappa civilisation? If you were to describe their customs, values and daily life, what would be the most important elements of your description? Comment.

  • IASbaba
  • January 31, 2022
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Art & Culture, GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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3. Have you ever thought about the lifestyle of the people belonging to the Harappa civilisation? If you were to describe their customs, values and daily life, what would be the most important elements of your description? Comment. (15 Marks)

क्या आपने कभी हड़प्पा सभ्यता के लोगों की जीवन शैली के बारे में सोचा है? यदि आप उनके रीतिरिवाजों, मूल्यों और दैनिक जीवन का वर्णन करें, तो आपके विवरण के सबसे महत्वपूर्ण तत्व क्या होंगे? टिप्पणी करें।


Introduce the lifestyle of the people belonging to the Harappa civilisation and then give your views on what should be the most important elements when describing the customs, values and daily life of the Harappa civilisation. 


The Harappan Civilisation lifestyle was urban in nature with exceptional skill in building and town-planning in their civic life. Major excavations undertaken at the Indus sites have given us a fair idea about other aspects of civilization including society, customs, values and daily life, technology, economy, religion, etc.


Customs, Values and Daily Life of Harrappan Civilization: The Most Important Elements

The social and economic life of the people of Harappan Civilization was systematic and organized.


  • Their dress habits were simple. One statue shows the use of two pieces of cloth—one for the upper portion and the other for the lower portion of the body. 
  • The upper garment was like a modern shawl that was drawn over the left shoulder and under the right so as to leave the right arm free and in the sitting posture it came down up to the feet. The lower garment was like a modern dhoti. 
  • There was very little difference in the garments worn by males and females. 
  • Both men and women of the Harappan society were fond of wearing ornaments. There were some common ornaments that were used by both. They included necklaces, fillets, armlets, rings and bangles. 
  • Ladies used some specific ornaments like girdles, nose-studs, ear-rings and anklets. There was a great variety in the shape and design of these ornaments. 
  • The wealthy people used ornaments made of gold, silver, ivory and other semi-precious stones whereas ornaments of the poor were made of copper, bronze, shell and terracotta. 
  • Beads of various designs and metals were also used in large numbers. 


  • The Harappan culture was a religious one. The people of Harappan civilization worshipped many gods and goddesses. 
  • Foremost among them was the Divine Mother whose clay, images have been found at Mohenjo-Daro. There also the figure of a good engraved on a seal has been found. It was a three- headed horned deity seated cross legged. Around this figure are grouped various animals. 
  • Scholars have identified this as “Pashupati” Siva. Harappans were frolic worshippers.
  • The last aspect of Harappan religion attached much importance to the practice of Yoga. A large number of terracotta figurines show individuals in various yogic postures or asanas.

Daily Life

  • The civilization itself was a glorious conglomeration of people of various origins. 
  • As the civilization centred around city culture the social life of the people bore touches of an urban influence. 
  • Their civic life was highly disciplined and quite scientific. 
  • The inhabitants preferred to live in a proper hygienic atmosphere, as is proved by their town-planning systems. 
  • Since the people of Harappan culture were city-dwellers, they had various pastimes for useful recreation of their leisure. 
  • They entertained themselves by playing indoor games like dicing, dancing and singing. 
  • Further hunting, fishing, arranging animal and bird fights formed other sources of amusement. 


To conclude with the words of Sir John Marshall, “The Indus Valley Civilisation has been mainly an independent and indigenous growth, a product of the Indian soil marked by certain specifically Indian features not present in any other early civilization. Indeed, the Indus Valley civilisation is no less individual and national than other great river valley civilizations of antiquity.”

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