1. Education

Alexander the Great Pictures


7 of 8

Map of Alexander's Conquest of India
The Macedonian Empire, The Diadochi 336-323 B.C. Insets: Leagues, Tyre

The Macedonian Empire, The Diadochi 336-323 B.C. Insets: Leagues, Tyre Shepherd, William. Historical Atlas. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1911.

PD Shepherd Atlas
Although Alexander the Great brought his empire into the Indian subcontinent, he didn't actually get very far. Taking almost 2 years to accomplish it, Alexander's army marched from Kabul to the Beas (Hyphasis, on the rivers of the Punjab) and from the Beas to the lower Indus River. By the Battle of Ipsus, in 303 B.C., the Diadochi had lost most of the Indian territory, and by 200, their control did not extend into the Indian side of the Indus River.

Alexander had gone into India as far as Beas -- the Hyphasis River, which you can see under the Aetolian League inset map to the left of the "d". West of the Jhelum (Hydaspes) River, notice the city (Bucephala) named for Alexander's famous horse and Taxila, the ancient capital of the area of the Punjab located between the Hydaspes and Indus. The name of the city means "City of Cut Stone" or "Rock of Taksha".

Taxila was an important point along the Silk Road that was destroyed in the 5th century by Huns. The Persian King Darius I had added Taxila to the Achaemenid empire but it was lost again by the time Alexander invaded India.

The king of Taxila, Amphi (Omphis), welcomed Alexander with feasting and gift-exchanges. Then, leaving the people of Taxila in peace, although Amphi may have been under the military suzerainty of one of Alexander's men (Philip; later, Eudamos) and an occupation army, Alexander went to Hydaspes to help Amphi, by fighting a pitched battle against a numerically superior force, supplemented with elephants, led by King Porus, who ruled the area between the Hydaspes (Jhelum) and Acesines (Chenab) rivers. Although Alexander won the battle, he reinstated Porus' kingdom, added to it, and made him and Amphi reconcile their differences.


  • "Alexander and India"
    A. K. Narain
    Greece & Rome, Second Series, Vol. 12, No. 2, Alexander the Great (Oct., 1965), pp. 155-165
  • "Mauryya Chronology and Connected Problems"
    N. K. Bhattasali
    The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No. 2 (Apr., 1932), pp. 273-288
  • Jona Lendering Taxila
  • "Taxila" Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names. John Everett-Heath. Oxford University Press 2005.
  • Taxila. (2010). In Encyclopædia Britannica.
  • World 66 Travel Guide Taxila

More on Alexander and India

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.