Dholavira is an archaeological site located on the Khadir island of the Rann of Kachchh, in the state of Gujarat, India. It is one of the five largest Harappan sites in the Indian subcontinent and is part of the larger Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization. Dholavira is known for its well-planned urban layout, advanced drainage system, and remarkable artifacts. 
Here are key points about Dholavira:

1. Discovery:

Dholavira was discovered in 1967 by J.P. Joshi, an archaeologist from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Discovery and Location - Harappan Civilization - Urban Layout - Water Conservation - Trade and Contacts - Key points about Dholavira

2. Location:

It is situated on the eastern border of the Rann of Kachchh, near the Arabian Sea. The site is surrounded by water channels and is located on a raised platform.

3. Harappan Civilization:

Dholavira belongs to the mature phase of the Harappan Civilization, dating back to approximately 2650–2100 BCE. It was contemporaneous with other major Harappan cities like Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.

4. Urban Layout:

The city is divided into three parts: the citadel, the middle town, and the lower town. The citadel contains the prominent structures and public areas.

5. Water Conservation:

Dholavira is renowned for its sophisticated water conservation system. The city had ten large inscriptions of the ancient Indus script, one of the longest Harappan inscriptions ever found.

6. Great Rann of Kachchh:

The site is situated on the edge of the Great Rann of Kachchh, a salt marsh in the Thar Desert. The Rann was an essential geographical feature influencing the life of the inhabitants.

7. Unique Features:

Dholavira stands out for several unique features, including a large stadium, a complex water conservation system with well-defined channels, and a series of reservoirs.

8. Artifact Discoveries:

Excavations at Dholavira have revealed various artifacts, including seals, pottery, metal objects, beads, and terracotta ornaments. The discovery of a signboard with ten large inscriptions is a notable finding.

9. Trade and Contacts:

The presence of artifacts made from materials not locally available suggests that Dholavira was engaged in trade and had contacts with other regions.

10. Abandonment:

 Like many other Harappan cities, Dholavira was abandoned, and the reasons for the decline of the Harappan Civilization remain a subject of scholarly debate. Factors such as changes in climate, ecological degradation, and shifts in trade routes have been proposed as possible causes.

11. UNESCO World Heritage Site:

 Dholavira was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021, along with other Harappan sites like Rakhigarhi, Mohenjo-Daro, and Harappa.
Dholavira provides valuable insights into the urban planning, water management, and socio-economic aspects of the Harappan Civilization, contributing significantly to our understanding of ancient Indian history.