Invasion of Alexander in India

The invasion of Alexander, the Great, is a landmark in the history of India, The date of his invasion is right considered to be the sheet-anchor of Indian chronology. Alexander stayed in India only for a short period of just 19 months, But his invasion had very deep effects on the Indian people.
Alexander was the son of Philip of Macedonia. The famous Philosopher Aristotle was his tutor. From his childhood, Alexander wanted to become a great hero like Hercules. When his father died in 335 B.C. Alexander ascended the throne. At that time he was hardly 20. Alexander was an ambitious ruler. He wanted to conquer the whole world.

Conquests of Alexander

Between 334 B.C and 330 B.C. Alexander defeated the rulers of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt. By 328 B C. Alexander conquered all the territories of the Persian Empire and Modern Afghanistan. He took up the title of ‘The Great King of Persia” But Alexander was not satisfied with those victories. His desire was to become the Master of India, the land of milk and honey. After consolidating his position in the hilly regions of Hindukush Mountains, he crossed the river Indus with a huge army. Ambi, the ruler of Taxila made his submission to Alexander. He recognized Alexander as his overlord waging a war.

Defeat of King Porus

Porus was the king of jhelum territory. He refused to surrender to Alexander. He apposed him. The armies of Porus and Aledander met at hydaspes on the banks of the river Jhelum in 326 B.C. Alexander found that it was practically impossible to cross the river Jhelum in the face of opposition from Porus. After long delay, Alexander hit upon a plan. His soldiers who stood in the front rows, created a lot of noise. It made Porus and his soldiers belive that the Greeks soldiers who stood at the back crossed the river hjelum at another point at about 16 miles away from the camp spot at night. Alexander’s army made a sudden and unexpected attack on the army of Porus. Porus was taken by surprise. In spite of his bravery, he was defeated. He was taken as a prisoner. When he was brought before Alexander, he was asked how he would like to treated. Porus proudly replied that he wanted to be “treated as a king”. Alexander was greatly impressed by his personality and treated him generously. His kingdom was returned.

Alexander then crossed the Chenab and subdued the teribes. He also crossed the Ravi and conquered the Kathas and Sangla. When the armies of Alexander reached the Beas, they were tired and homesick. So they refused to proceed any further. Alexander had had to return to his motherland. He divided the conquered territories into three parts. He placed them under the control of his generals. The territories in the northwestern part of India were given to Seleukos Nikator. On his way back, Alexander died in 323 B.C. at Babylon near Baghdad. He died at the early age of 33.

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