Unearthed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1967, a vast semi-arid land is the site of the thriving ancient town of Dholavira and is now a significant attraction for almost every Gujarat sightseeing itinerary. Stepping into Dholavira is like taking a time-machine back 4,500 years ago. The massive city, built mostly of sandstone and limestone, has staircases, gateways, sewage drains, shower cubicles, kitchens and gigantic water reservoirs. The buildings are painted in soft pink and white hues, with signboards on important gates.
Today, the desolate ruins glow golden with the setting sun. The magical colours of the sky extend as far as the eye can see, all the way up to Mohenjo Daro, situated 450km from here with a fence dividing the two cities that were once a part of a massive cosmopolitan civilisation. In ancient times, people from as far as Mesopotamia and Arabia came here to trade and some even settled here. Today, tourists from far across the world come and stand in awe of the civilisation that once had the most complex system of drainage, urban development, water conservation and children's education.
What else to see: Just like Lothal, the museum here has more than 300 artefacts collected after multiple excavations of the site. Since ASI is still continuing the excavations in nearby areas, the museum is constantly updated.
How to reach: Dholavira is 680km from Ahmedabad, and it takes about 7 hours to reach by road. Alternatively, you can fly to Bhuj and drive from there. It's 220km and takes roughly 4 hours to reach.
Timings: 8am to 7pm in summers, and 8am to 6pm in winters. Museum timings are 8am to 6pm, everyday.
Entrance fee: The entry to the museum and a visit to the site, both are free.
Check out this amazing story of a trip to Lothal and Dholavira.