Rupnagar is a city and a municipal council in Rupnagar district in the Indian state of Punjab. The ancient town of Rupnagar is said to have been named by a Raja called Rokeshar, who ruled during the 11th century and named it after his son Rup Sen. It is also one of the bigger sites belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. There are many historical places in Ropar and religious places include gurdwaras like- BHHATHA SAHIB, TIBBI SAHIB, SADABARAT SAHIB etc.
Ropar - witness to Indus Valley Civilization
Ropar is situated on a high ancient mound overlaying the Shiwalik (also spelt Sivalik) deposition on the left bank of the river Satluj where it emerges into the plains. It has yielded a sequence of six cultural periods or phases with some breaks from Harappan times to the present day. The excavations were carried out by Dr. Y.D. Sharma of the Archaeological Survey of India.
At Ropar excavations at the lowest levels yielded Harappan traits belonging to Period 1. Findings include a steatite seal with Indus script probably used for trading goods, impressions of seals on a terracotta lump of burnt clay, chert blades, copper implements, terracotta beads and bangles and typical standardised pottery of the Indus Valley civilization.
The earliest houses at Ropar were built with river pebbles available in abundance but soon they made use of cut slabs of lime with the same ratio of 4:2:1. Sun baked bricks were sometimes used in the foundations. Houses were built to suit climatic conditions. Walls were plastered with water repelling sticky clay. In the north, flat roofs were common but deep-pitched roofs were used along the west coast—Bengal and Assam—due to heavy rainfall.
Period II belongs to the Painted Grey Ware period which followed the Period I. Typical pottery of this period consisted of fine greyware painted black, terracotta bangles, semi prescious stones, glass, bone arrowheads, ivory kohl sticks and copper implements. A new settlement sprang up here by about 600 BC—chronologically Period III at Ropar. Grey pottery of Period II still continued. This period belongs to circa 600 BC to 200 BC. It yielded early coins (punch marked and uninscribed cast coins), copper and implements.
An important find was an ivory seal inscribed in the Mauryan Brahmi script (4th and 3rd centuries BCE). A 3.6 metre wide fired brick wall traced to a length of about 75 metres probably encompassed a water tank which collected water through inlets. The upper levels have soak wells lined with terracotta rings of the Sunga and Kushana periods.
Period III To V
From Period III to V there are fairly rich dwelling complexes with houses of stone and mud bricks. Full layouts of buildings could not be exposed owing to the vertical nature of excavations carried out.
The next phase, Period IV revealed evidence of the Sunga, Kushan (also spelt as Kushana) and Gupta periods. With a hoard of copper coins from the Kushan and Gupta periods being found. This includes a gold coin issued by Chandragupta Kumardevi of the Gupta dynasty, which is also known as the golden age in ancient Indian history. An archaeological museum has been set up to house some of the antiquities found along with photographs displaying excavation material.