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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The river of India which stopped Alexander's invasion, the army surrendered


Alexander started his campaign to conquer the world from Macedonia, Greece. By 327 BC, his powerful army had reached close to India after conquering Iran. Many kings surrendered before fighting. King Porus gave him a tough fight in the war but the result was in favor of Alexander. However, there is a river in India recorded in history, which even Alexander, who conquered the world, could not cross. Let us know that story.

Alexander got a lot of help from the prince of Takshila in his Hindustan campaign. To show his loyalty towards Alexander, he gifted 65 elephants to Alexander. Actually, he was doing this so that he could get support from Alexander in the battle against the enemy Porus. This is what happened. Happy with the hospitality, Alexander moved ahead to fight Porus. The battle with Porus decided the direction of Alexander's further Hindustan campaign.

Battle of Alexander-Porus took place on the Jhelum river

The battle between Alexander and Porus was fought on the Jhelum river. The Greek king faced a big challenge of crossing the river and elephants. But he was a capable commander. He got his army across the river under the cover of a strong storm. A trick was devised to fight the elephants that the soldiers would surround the elephant and attack it with spears. Meanwhile, an archer would aim at the elephant's eye. Due to this, the elephant would become uncontrolled and start moving here and there and crush its own people.

In this fierce battle, many people from both sides were killed and a large number of people were also injured. Alexander's horse Bucephalus also died in the battle. In memory of his horse, Alexander founded a new city near the battlefield and named it Bucephalus. In the end, Alexander won. But seeing Porus's bravery, Alexander not only returned the land he had won from Porus but also handed over some additional land around him.

Alexander returned from this river

Alexander wanted to go further and reach the banks of the Ganges but he could not go beyond the Hyphasis River. The Hyphasis River is today known as the Beas. Greek historian Arrian has written, 'The country beyond the Hyphasis River was considered prosperous and its inhabitants were capable farmers and brave fighters… These Indians had many more and bigger elephants than the rest of the kingdoms.' Hearing all this, Alexander wanted to go further. But the Macedonians were by now quite tired of their king's plans.

The soldiers had spent 8 years marching and fighting continuously. They were now missing their families and home. An old soldier reminded Alexander on behalf of the entire army that many of his comrades had died in the campaign to conquer the world and those who survived had marks of the campaign all over their bodies. Their own clothes had been damaged. Now they had to wear Iranian and Indian clothes under their armor.

Alexander did not like his soldiers' words. He went to his tent and did not talk to them for three days. He kept waiting for his soldiers to apologize to him, but it did not happen. A high-ranking soldier advised Alexander to return home and set out on another campaign with new recruits. Ultimately Alexander had to listen to his soldiers and he returned to Greece without crossing the Beas River.

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