Can Dholavira withstand a flood of tourists

SourceLiveMint

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Recently the UNESCO added Dholavira, a Harappan City, to its list of World Heritage Sites. One of the unique characteristics of Dholavira is that the city lies on the island of Khadir Bet in Great Rann of Kutch.

Read more: Dholavira in Gujarat on UNESCO World Heritage list
About few salient features of Dholavira:
  1. Trade: It was a flourishing manufacturing centre for various Harappan items like beads, bangles, copper objects. These items were traded with other Harappan cities & as well as other civilizations like Mesopotamia
  2. Water Management: Dholavira had only two seasonal streams which would swell and then dry up quickly. So administrators paid extreme attention to water management.
    • Almost 10% of the city was reserved for reservoirs that could store up to 10Million litres of water.
    • Rivulets were dammed and water was diverted to large reservoirs.
    • There was a large underground stormwater drain in the city. This collected surface run-off and channelled it to the reservoir.
  3. Building material: The main materials used here were sandstone & limestone from local quarries, while other Harappan cities used mud brick. Limestone was also transported to Mohenjo-Daro & Harappa for pillars
  4. Another modern feature: Open spaces were present between the citadels. The middle ground, which is a large rectangular ground, is possibly India’s first stadium. Archaeologists believe that this ground was also be used for other purposes- crematorium ground, Bazar, sports etc.

With the inclusion of Dholavira in World Heritage sites, it has become important to maintain the integrity of sites & regulate the number of tourism

What steps can be taken to protect the site:
  1. Creation of pathways to ensure tourists don’t clamber onto ancient structures
  2. Planned walks & good guides to regulate the flow
  3. Inspiration of other Harappan sites like Harappa for proper planning & resource management

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