Dense forests flourished in India during the ancient times. To create a new town, it was customary to clean out some forest area. Krishna & Arjun burned down the Khandav Forest, to build Indraprastha.
A state consisted of one or two capital cities and numerous small supporting towns. Kings maintained huge cattle herds within the periphery of the state. These herds formed the wealth of the kingdom. Kings visited these places often to count and mark their cattle. Kingdoms were attacked so as to capture these herds.
All cities were planned. They had protection walls and moats. Soldiers were placed within the city for security. The roads were built in a grid pattern, the rectangular areas defined sectors within the city. The big cities had huge market places (Hastinapur was one such centre.) Great halls were built for public meetings (Sudarshan Sabha of Dwaraka). The cities had giant water reservoirs. Agriculture was not dependant on monsoon alone. Beatiful gardens, fountains, and lakes dotted the city.
Two or three storied houses were built of mud-brick. The houses generally had an open courtyard in the centre, surrounded by rows of rooms on all sides. Each house had a bathroom, connected to an underground drainage system.