Lothal is a historic site located around 80 km south-west of Ahmedabad
, in Gujarat
. It is one of the southernmost outposts of the Indus Valley Civilization
and certainly one of the most interesting specimen of Harappan town planning. Lothal is situated within the revenue jurisdiction of Saragwala village in the taluk
of Dholka, Ahmedabad District
The town derived its name after the Gujarati word ‘Loth’ which means ‘dead’. It is a combination of two words Loth and ‘tahl’ (place).
Even though Lothal was a full-fledged settlement of the Harappan era dating back to 2nd millennium BC, the town was only discovered in 1954. The excavations done here had revealed five phases of seemingly continuous occupation. The first four are the premature Harappans and the fifth, the later phase of the culture. The Harappan Culture in all its variant forms is well represented here. A dockyard unearthed here during excavations could probably be one of the most important ports on the subcontinent.
The Harappans were attracted to Lothal by its sheltered harbor with rich cotton and rice-growing hinterland and its bead-making industry. The town enjoyed great prosperity owing to foreign trade and became a busy industrial center importing pure copper and producing bronze belts, fish-hooks, chisels, spearheads and ornaments.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport serves Lothal. Lothal-Bhurkhi Railway Station, on the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar meter gauge section of the Western Railways, is the nearest railhead (6 km). By road, Lothal is well connected with Bhurkhi, Ahmedabad, Dholka, Bhavnagar and Rajkot.