05 May The ideas for first Urban/Town planning in the world
Major cities of the Indus Valley Civilization are noted for town planning, dwelling houses built with standardized burnt bricks, higher altars terracota crafts with animal motifs, solid-wheeled carts and the copper bronze craftsmanship. The circle and the wheel were an intrinsic part of their lives.
The streets of major cities such as Mohenjo-daro or Harappa were laid out in perfect grid patterns. The houses were protected from noise, odors, and thieves. As seen in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and the recently discovered Rakhigarhi, this urban plan included the world’s first urban sanitation systems.
As seen in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and the recently discovered Rakhigarhi, this urban plan included theworld’s first urban sanitation systems. Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from wells.
From a room that appears to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was directed tocovered drains, which lined the major streets. Houses opened only to inner courtyards and smaller lanes.
The ancient Indus systems of sewerage and drainage that were developed and used in cities throughoutthe Indus Empire, were far more advanced than any found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle Eastand even more efficient than those in some areas of Pakistan and India today.
The advanced architectureof the Harappans is shown by their impressive dockyards, granaries, warehouses, brick platforms andprotective walls. The massive citadels of Indus cities that protected the Harappans from floods andattackers were larger than most Mesopotamian ziggurats
Some interesting extracts relating to Town and Country planning in Arthashastra composed by Chanakya inthe Maurya period is given below:
Town, which is congested, should be freed of surplus population, which should then be housed in anew place. The towns should be so situated as they would be in a position to help each other.
There should be a ‘sangrahan’ among ten villages, a ‘sarvatik’ among two hundred, a‘dronamukh’ among four hundred and a ‘sthaniya’ among eight hundred villages.
People who come to stay at the time of a new settlement or those who come to reside later in thisnew settlement should be exempted from payment of taxes for some years. In the new villagethere should be higher proportion of agriculturists and shudras. There should be a market providedfor the sale of goods received from traders on highways.
Dams should be constructed over rivers nalas. Temples and gardens should be provided. Arrangements should be made for looking after the aged, the children and informal persons.Cereals and wealth will grow if the agriculturists are kept busy. Attempts should be made to protectand increase quarries, forests and canals