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Alexander in India

First Online: November 01, 2007
Page Last Updated: January 04, 2018

In the year 325 B.C., Alexander the Great arrived in India passing through the Hindu-Kush mountain ranges, having conquered the Persian empire. His bravery and legend had preceded him, and many of the Hindu rulers submitted to the  supremacy of his military. Alexander had thought that India was the end of the world, and he would go back after a victory.

But Alexander's army was met with some unexpected resistance by some Hindu rulers, notably by Puru (Porus in Greek records) on the banks of Hydaspes River (now the Jhelum river). It is said that Alexander's army had never seen elephants and didn't know how to fight them. Alexander defeated Puru, yet allowed him to continue to rule in the name of the Alexander.

By the time Alexander headed south, his military was tired, and the rumors were spread about the mythical powers of various tribes of India and the power animals used in Indian armies. For instance, Alexander was told that the next kingdom on his way had 10,000 war elephants, and Alexander decided to return.

As elsewhere, Alexander's entourage included historians, and scholars who were to interact with native pundits in the subsequent years and have documented the period life and norms in India. These Greek and Macadonean accounts have proved to be a valuable source of reconstructing the history of India.

See Also:

The History of India
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