First traces of ornamental beads and Jap Mala found in Sindh

photo of beaded accessories
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

A bead is a tiny, decorative object formed in various sizes and shapes of a material such as a shell, bone, stone, wood, plastic, glass, or pearl and with a small hole for stringing or threading. 

However, do you know Chanhudaro in Sindh was the birthplace of beads, and it all started on the banks of the ancient Sarasvati River?

Chanhudaro of Sindh, Akhand Bharat

Chanhudaro is one of the most important sites of the Indus Civilization. More than 2800 sites belonging to Indus Civilization have been identified so far, and Chanhu-daro is one of the more significant sites where many scopes are identified for excavation. It is located in a desert area, but it is believed that the Sarasvati River used to flow adjacent to this place. 

Sarasvati river is believed to have dried up during the 2nd millennium BCE due to tectonic disturbances, causing the life at Chanhudaro and several hundreds of dwellings situated on the banks of Sarasvati to become very hard. The people there probably had to abandon their dwelling places. It is thought that the drying up of Maa Sarasvati is one of the reasons for the decline of these dwellings (villages and cities), which contributed to the decline of the Indus Civilization itself.

Chanhudaro Beads

Sindh’s Chanhudaro is one of the birthplaces of beads, a real gift of Sindh to the world.

The faience for making beads starts in the Kot Diji phase and continues through the Late Harappan phase. Beads are made of hard stone, such as agate.

Soft steatite beads made by the Indus craftsmen were manufactured in particular ways, using more minor cuts made by a bronze saw with unique serrations. They were drilled with tiny copper drills and then ground to become microbeads, hundreds of which were required to make a single ornament.

Etched carnelian beads from the Indus were found in the tombs of the Royal Cemetery of Ur, dating to 2600 BCE–2450 BCE. Bead in the form of Japa mala, commonly used in Indian religions such as Hinduism, was found in Ancient Chanhudaro Site. 

The birth of Japa Mala should be celebrated, and the history of the birthplace, Sindh, must be preserved. 

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