900-year long droughts in Himalayas wiped out Indus valley Civilization says study

Kharagpur: The famous Indus Valley Civilization stretching across India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, was reportedly wiped out by nature’s fury says research team’s evidence.

Researchers from IIT Kharagpur found evidence that a 900-year-long drought was behind the wipeout of this thriving civilization nearly 4,350 years ago. The study is yet to be published this month in the Quaternary International Journal by Elsevier, TOI reports.

Prevailing droughts in the north-west Himalayas for as many as 900 years forced the inhabitants of the civilization to move towards east and south where the rain conditions were much better to thrive.

According to the Researchers from the geology and geophysics department who had been studying the monsoon’s variability in the region for the past 5,000 years found prevailing droughts had dried up the river water source of this civilization which eventually drove them out of the region to survive.

The research team from IIT-Kharagpur had mapped a 5,000-year monsoon variability in the Tso Moriri Lake in Leh-Ladakh which has the same glacial source as the region of Indus Valley.

Anil Kumar Gupta, Research lead and a senior faculty of geology said, “The study revealed that from 2,350 BC (4,350 years ago) till 1,450 BC, the monsoon had a major weakening effect over the zone where the civilization flourished. A drought-like situation developed, forcing residents to abandon their settlements in search of greener pastures.”

He added that conditions such as droughts and no rains to thrive in the region drove the inhabitants out towards east and south. Migrants from the region moved towards the Ganga-Yamuna valley towards eastern and central Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal in the east of Madhya Pradesh, south of Vindhyachal and south of Gujarat.