HINDUISM AND SANATAN DHARMA

Cosmos ,Sanatan Dharma.Ancient Hinduism science.

GREEK INVASION OF INDIA

Greek Invasion of India

The Greek invasion began in 326 BC. After conquering the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, the Macedonian king, Alexander, launched a campaign into the northwestern India.

Alexander invited all the chieftains of the former satrapy of Gandhara, in the north of what is now Pakistan, to come to him and submit to his authority. Ambhi (Greek: Omphis), ruler of Taxila, whose kingdom extended from the Indus to the Jhelum (Greek:Hydaspes), complied. The battle of the Hydaspes river against another king of Punjab, Porus, would turn out to be the most costly battle that Alexandrian armies had fought (according to many historians, Peter Connolly being one of them). This would also be Alexander’s last battle. Before this battle, the chieftains of some hill clans including the Aspasioi and Assakenoi sections of the Kambojas (classical names), known in Indian texts as Ashvayanas and Ashvakayanas (names referring to the equestrian nature of their society from the Sanskrit root word Ashva meaning horse), refused to submit.

>> Battle of the Hydaspes River

The Battle of the Hydaspes River was fought by Alexander in July 326 BC against king Raja Purushottama (Poros) a Kshatriya on the Hydaspes River (Jhelum River) in the Punjab of ancient India, near Bhera.

Porus wiz Puru was a great King of Indus/ Asiatic continent. Arrian writes about Porus, in his own words “One of the Indian Kings called Porus a man remarkable alike for his personal strength and noble courage, on hearing the report about Alexander, began to prepare for the inevitable. Accordingly, when hostilities broke out, he ordered his army to attack Macedonians from whom he demanded their king, as if he was his private enemy. Alexander lost no time in joining battle, but his horse being wounded in the first charge, he fell headlong to the ground, and was saved by his attendants who hastened up to his assistance”.

Porus drew up on the south bank of the Jhelum River, and was set to repel any crossings. The Jhelum River was deep and fast enough that any opposed crossing would probably doom the entire attacking force. Alexander knew that a direct crossing would fail, so he found a suitable crossing, about 27 km (17 mi) upstream of his camp. The name of the place is ‘Kadee’. Alexander left his general Craterus behind with most of the army while he crossed the river upstream with a strong part of his army. Porus sent a small cavalry and chariot force under his son to the crossing.

According to sources Alexander first encountered Porus’s son in the past, so the two men were not strangers. Porus’s son killed Alexanders’s horse with one blow and Alexander fell to the ground. Arrian also writing about the same encounter adds that “Other writers state that there was a fight at the actual landing between Alexander’s cavalary and a force of Indians commanded by Porus’s son, who was there ready to oppose them with superior numbers, and that in the course of fighting he (Porus’s son) wounded Alexander with his own hand and struck the blow which killed his (Alexander’s) beloved horse Buccaphalus.”

The force was easily routed, and there isn’t any mention in any account that Porus’ son was killed. Porus now saw that the crossing force was larger, and decided to face it with the bulk of his army. Porus’s army were poised with cavalry on both flanks, the war elephants in front, and infantry behind the elephants. These war elephants presented an especially difficult situation for Alexander, as they scared the Macedonian horses.

Diodorus wrote about the battle tactics of war elephants – “Upon this the elephants, applying to good use their prodigious size and strength, killed some of the enemy by trampling under their feet, and crushing their armour and their bones, while upon other they inflicted a terrible death, for they first lifted them aloft with their trunks, which they and twisted round their bodies and then dashed them down with great violence to the ground. Many others they deprived in a moment of life by goring then through and through with their tusks”

Alexander started the battle by sending horse archers to shower the Porus’s left cavalry wing, and then used his cavalry to destroy the Puru’s cavalry. Meanwhile, the Macedonian phalanxes had advanced to engage the charge of the war elephants. The Macedonians eventually surrounded Porus’s force.

According to Curtius Quintus, Alexander towards the end of the day sent few ambassadors to Porus: “Alexander, anxious to save the life of his great and gallant soldier, sent Texile the Indian to him (to Porus). Texile rode up as near as he dared and requested him to stop his elephant and hear what message Alexander sent him, escape was no longer possible. But Texiles was an old enemy of the Indian King, and Porus turned his elephant and drove at him, to kill him with his lance; and he might indeed have killed him, if he had not spurred his horse out of the way in the nick of the time. Alexander, however, far from resenting this treatment of his messenger, sent a number of others, last of whom was Indian named Meroes, a man he had been told had long been Porur’s friend”.(Arrian Page 180)

From the above Greek accounts it is clear that Alexander was willing to have treaty to be done to avoid further damage to his side. These writers do not state precisely whether Alexander won and Porus lost the war. Plutarch writes in his book on page number 212 as follows ” The combat then was of a more mixed kind; but maintained with such obstinacy, that it was not decided till the eight hour of the day.” It means till the eighth hour of the day the victory was not achieved, neither by Alexander nor by Porus.

Porus was one of many local kings who impressed Alexander. Wounded in his shoulder, standing over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) tall, but still on his feet, he was asked by Alexander how he wished to be treated. “Treat me, Alexander, the way a King treats another King” Porus responded.

>> Revolt of the army

East of Porus’s kingdom, near the Ganges River (the Hellenic version of the Indian name Ganga), was the powerful Nanda Empire of Magadha and Gangaridai Empire of Bengal. Fearing the prospects of facing other powerful Indian armies and exhausted by years of campaigning, his army mutinied at the Hyphasis River refusing to march further east.

As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For they were told that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand fighting elephants.

Gangaridai, a nation which possesses a vast force of the largest-sized elephants. Owing to this, their empire has never been conquered by any foreign king: for all other nations dread the overwhelming number and strength of these animals. Thus Alexander the Macedonian, after conquering all Asia, did not make war upon the Gangaridai, as he did on all others; for when he had arrived with all his troops at the river Ganges, he abandoned as hopeless an invasion of the Gangaridai when he learned that they possessed four thousand elephants well trained and equipped for war.

Alexander, using the incorrect maps of the Greeks, thought that the world ended a mere 1,000 km (away), at the edge of India. He therefore spoke to his army and tried to persuade them to march further into India but Coenus pleaded with him to change his opinion and return, the men, he said, “longed to again see their parents, their wives and children, their homeland”. Alexander, seeing the unwillingness of his men agreed and turned south, marching along the Indus. Along the way his army conquered the Malhi (in modern day Multan) and other Indian tribes and sustained an injury during the siege.

>> Aftermath

Alexander sent much of his army to Carmania (modern southern Iran) with his general Craterus, and commissioned a fleet to explore the Persian Gulf shore under his admiral Nearchus, while he led the rest of his forces back to Persia by the southern route through the Gedrosian Desert (now part of southern Iran) and Makran (now part of Pakistan). In crossing the desert, Alexander’s army took enormous casualties from hunger and thirst, but fought no human enemy. They encountered the “Fish Eaters”, or Ichthyophagi, primitive people who led a miserable existence on Makran coast of Arabian Sea, who had matted hair, no fire, no metal, no clothes, lived in huts made of whale bones, and ate raw seafood obtained by beachcombing. During the crossing, Alexander refused as much water as possible, to share the sufferings of his men.

In the territory of the Indus, Alexander nominated his officer Peithon as a satrap, a position he would hold for the next ten years until 316 BC, and in the Punjab, ancient India he left Eudemus in charge of the army, at the side of the satrap Porus and Taxiles. Eudemus became ruler of a part of the Punjab after their death. Both rulers returned to the West in 316 BC with their armies. In 321 BC, Chandragupta Maurya of Magadha, founded the Maurya Empire in India and conquered the Macedonian satrapies during the Seleucid–Mauryan war (305-303 BC).

On either 10 or 11 June 323 BC, Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon, at age 32.

One comment on “GREEK INVASION OF INDIA

  1. mani seekaran
    March 21, 2015

    Everything begins here,maha bharat human beings took root here first,all and everything has the begining from this great land..i love india…jai hind

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on October 22, 2014 by in HINDUISM SCIENCE and tagged , , .

Follow me on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: