Would you like to know more about the battle that ensued between Alexander’s army and Indian troops on elephants? Read on for facts & information…
Alexander had conquered the better part of the world when he made his foray into India in 327 BC with the hopes of conquering the eastern world. But this was to be one of his last battles before the Macedonian army conceded defeat at the prospect of the sheer size of the Indian subcontinent. Tired and weary, the soldiers wanted to retreat and no amount of coaxing from Alexander, which had worked before so many battles in the past, could change their mind.
Alexander entered India under the misconception that India was smaller than the Persian Empire and that conquering this brief stretch of land would lead him to the water body that encircled the globe and his eventual victory over the world. He misconstrued the sheer size of the land mass and the many kingdoms that he would have to fight with before reaching his long awaited victory. Some historians also believe that the Macedonians were simply not prepared to meet the great army of Magdha, a kingdom that extended from the northern to the central parts of India.
When Alexander entered India he had to face opposition from various factions of the tribal communities that bordered the Jhelum River. When he waged a war against a brave Indian King called Porus a fierce battle ensued between Alexander’s army and Indian troops on elephants. The Greeks were simply not prepared to face the mammoth battle elephants. They had never faced the massive beasts in all their conquests across the world.
Even though Alexander’s army and Indian troops on elephants were locked in bitter battle for days, Alexander finally defeated King Porus killing his two sons. He then forced Porus into an alliance, a policy which he had utilized in his other conquests as well.
But after relentless fighting for years the Macedonians had all but lost their steam and upon inquiry they found that there were hundreds and even thousands of more kingdoms to conquer before they would meet with the mystical water body. They finally gave up and Alexander, forced by his troops’ mutiny eventually had to give in and decide to return to Macedonia. But the Macedonians could not contend with their return through the Himalayas and Afghanistan, a perilous and treacherous terrain. Instead it was thought that it would be best to sail down the Indus River to the Indian Ocean.
It took the Macedonian army a year to build a fleet. While half the men took the sea course, Alexander with the other half traveled by land. They had to fight their way through the Indus valley, which had many flourishing and powerful kingdoms. It is here that Alexander was injured by an arrow and was pretty close to death for almost three weeks before regaining his vigor. Eventually the army along with their hero did make it to Persia.