Extent and major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization. The shaded area does
not include recent excavations such as Rupar, Balakot, Shortughai in
Afghanistan, Manda in Jammu, etc.
The Indus Valley Civilization extended from Balochistan to Gujarat, with an upward reach to Punjab from east of the river Jhelum to Rupar on the upper Sutlej; Recently, Indus sites have been discovered in Pakistan's NW Frontier Province as well. Coastal settlements extended from Sutkagan Dor in Western Baluchistan to Lothal in Gujarat. The Indus Valley Civilization encompassed most of Pakistan as well as the western states of India.
An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus river at Shortughai in northern Afghanistan, in the Gomal river valley in north-west Pakistan, at Manda on the Beas River near Jammu, India, and at Alamgirpur on the Hindon River, only 28 km from Delhi. Indus Valley sites have been found most often on rivers, but also on the ancient sea-coast, for example Balakot, and on islands, for example, Dholavira.
There is evidence of dry river beds overlapping with the Hakra channel in Pakistan and the seasonal Ghaggar River in India. Many Indus Valley (or Harappan) sites have been discovered along the Ghaggar-Hakra beds. Among them are: Rupar, Rakhigarhi, Sothi, Kalibangan, and Ganwariwala. According to J. G. Shaffer and D. A. Lichtenstein the Harappan Civilization "is a fusion of the Bagor, Hakra, and Koti Dij traditions or 'ethnic groups' in the Ghaggar-Hakra valley on the borders of India and Pakistan."
According to some archaeologists over 500 Harappan sites have been discovered along the dried up river beds of the Ghaggar-Hakra River and its tributaries, in contrast to only about 100 along the Indus and its tributaries, consequently, in their opinion, the appellation Indus Ghaggar-Hakra civilisation or Indus-Saraswati civilisation is justified. However, these arguments are disputed by other archaeologists who state that the Ghaggar-Hakra desert area has been left untouched by settlements and agriculture since the end of the Indus period and hence shows more sites than found in the alluvium of the Indus valley; second, that the number of Harappan sites along the Ghaggar-Hakra river beds have been exaggerated and that the Ghaggar-Hakra, when it existed, was a tributary of the Indus, so the new nomenclature is redundant.