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Alexander's Invasion

Regarded as one of the greatest conquerors of all times, Alexander the Great was the King of Macedonia. He had an ambition to conquer the entire world. After conquering Persia, his forces moved towards the Indian sub-continent. It is estimated that Alexander lived from 356 B.C to 323 B.C. Though Alexander's invasion affected only the North Western parts of India, the event marks an important landmark in the history of India. Here is a brief write up on India's invasion by Alexander.

India was not unknown to the Greeks before the invasion by Alexander. Many Indian territories were ruled by the Persians who gained revenue from here in the form of gold. Herodotus, the Greek historian was aware of the riches that India had since he knew about the revenue collected by the Persian Empire. Roughly around 326 B.C Alexander decided to enter India from the northern frontiers. He crossed the Indus River and met King Ambi in Taxila. The king bowed down to the supremacy of Alexander and did not show any resistance.

His greatest battle was with King Porus, who was considered to be a very powerful Indian ruler during that time. The army of Greeks and Porus clashed during a fierce thunderstorm near River Hydaspes. Porus put up strong resistance against the Greeks. It was so fierce and violent that even Alexander was impressed by chivalry and power of Porus. It was during this battle that the faithful horse of Alexander got injured and died. Alexander named a city Buckephalia after the name of the horse Bucephalus. Ultimately Porus was defeated and was captured. But Alexander was impressed with the heroic Porus and decided to let him go and return his kingdom.

Alexander wanted to cross the Ganges River next but his army and deputies advised him otherwise. They told him to leave India since it was not easy to cross the river Ganges. Moreover, they had heard that the Nandas at the other side of Ganges were very powerful and possessed elephants and a gigantic army of soldiers. Thus, it would become difficult to defeat them. The Greeks were also becoming homesick and wanted to return. Halfheartedly, Alexander had to return due to the increasing pressures on him. Thus, the army of Alexander arranged and built ships in order to reach the ocean and take the oceanic route westwards to Greece. Half of the army came on the ships and the rest traveled along the coast.



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