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King Porus (from Latin Pōrus from Greek Πῶρος from Sanskrit; ; also Rai Por) was the King of Paurava. The state falls within the territory of Punjab located between the Jhelummarker and the Chenabmarker (in Greek, the Hydaspes and the Acesines) rivers in the Punjab and dominions extending to the Beas (in Greek, the Hyphasis). Its capital may have been near the current city of Lahoremarker. Porus fought Alexander the Great in Battle of the Hydaspes River in 326 BCE.

King Porus was said to be "5 cubits tall", either the implausible 2.3 m (7½ ft) assuming an 18-inch cubit, or the more likely 1.8 m (6 ft) if a 14-inch Macedonian cubit was meant.

Dynastic background

There are no known Hindu textual sources regarding Porus indicating the tribe or ethnic group he belonged to. Several ethnic groups in the Indian subcontinent have tried to claim him as their own ancestor, the strongest claim coming from Sabharwal Khukhrans; however, an opinion that he was a Yaduvanshi king from the once dominant Shoorsaini sect of Yadava kshatriyas was held by Col. James Tod and Dr. Ishwari Prashad, another renowned historian.

Col. Tod went on further to specifically point out Shoorsainis (Sourasenoi in Greek) as the Puru tribe whose king was called Porus, the legendary Indian adversary of Alexander the Great:

Other scholars have opined that king Porus, known for his legendary bravery, belonged to Shoorsaini tribe also based on the fact that his vanguard soldiers carried the image of Lord Krishna (Herakles as per Greeks) on their banners. Lord Krishna was both the ancestor and patron deity of Shoorsainis.

Conflict and comradeship with Alexander: differing opinions

Unlike his neighbour, Ambhi (in Greek: Omphis), King Porus chose to fight Alexander the Great in order to defend his kingdom, Paurava, and its people.

King Porus fought the Battle of the Hydaspes River with Alexander in 326 BC. According to Greek sources, after fierce fighting and very heavy casualties on both sides, he was defeated by Alexander in a Pyrrhic victory. The battle is often considered to be Alexander's hardest fought battle, so hard that it caused his army to mutiny against him afterwards. In a famous meeting with Porus — who had suffered many arrow wounds in the battle and had lost his sons, who all chose death in battle rather than surrender — Alexander reportedly asked him, "How would you like to be treated?" Porus replied, "As befits a king." Alexander was so impressed by the brave and admirable response of King Porus that he released him back to his Kingdom and gave him the captured land of a neighbouring Kingdom whose ruler had fled.

Later, King Porus is reported to have participated in Alexander's conquests further east in India. During the attack and destruction of Sagalamarker, Porus rallied Alexander and supplied elephants as well as 5,000 troops:
"At this point too, Porus arrived, bringing with him the rest of the elephants and some five thousand Indians" Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, V.24.4


In recognition for his support, Alexander gave him the dominion over the territories he had conquered, as far as the Hyphasis:
"He added the territories as far as the river Hyphasis to Porus' dominion, and he himself began to return towards the Hydraotesmarker." Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, V.29.2


However, the above sequence of events is doubted by Dr. Buddha Prakash, a renowned historian from India and some others.

Katoch Dynasty have been ruling the Hyphasis (river Beas)from the time untraceable & use to claim,Rajanaka Parmanand Chandra (better known as Porus) fought Alexander the Great

Satrap

King Porus seems to have held the position of a Hellenistic satrap for several years after Alexander's departure. He is first mentioned as satrap of the area of the Hydaspesmarker in the text of the Partition of Babylon on 323 BCE. His position was confirmed again in 321 BC at the Partition of Triparadisus.

Death

Greek historians record that he was assassinated, sometime between 321 and 315 BC (317 BC accepted year), by the Thracian general Eudemus, who had remained in charge of the Macedonian armies in the Punjab:

References

  1. Arrian Anabasis of Alexander, V.29.2
  2. www.livius.org
  3. "We have assigned to the Yadus of Punjab the honour of furnishing King Puru, who opposed Alexander" , History of India: (from the earliest times to the fall of the Mughal Empire) , pp 86, 91-95, Indian Press (1947), Dr. Ishwari Prashad, ASIN: B0007KEPTA
  4. "To convince the reader I do not build upon nominal resemblance , when localities do not bear me out, he is requested to call to mind , that we have elsewhere assigned to 'Yadus of the Punjab the honour of furnishing the well known king named Porus; although the Puar, the usual pronunciation of Pramar, would afford a more ready solution." Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, pp 283, By James Tod, Edition: 2, Published by Asian Educational Services, 2001, ISBN 8120612892, 9788120612891
  5. Ghazni to Jaiselmer (Pre-medieval History of the Bhatis), pp 93, Hari Singh Bhati, Publisher: Hari Singh Bhati, 1998, Printers: Sankhala Printers, Bikaner
  6. Proceedings, pp 72, Indian History Congress, Published 1957
  7. According to Arrian, Diodorus, and Strabo, Megasthenes described an Indian tribe called Sourasenoi, who especially worshiped Herakles in their land, and this land had two cities, Methora and Kleisobora, and a navigable river, the Jobares. 'As was common in the ancient period, the Greeks sometimes described foreign gods in terms of their own divinities, and there is a little that the Sourasenoi refers to the Shurasenas, a branch of the Yadu dynasty to which Krishna belonged; Herakles to Krishna, or Hari-Krishna: Mehtora to Mathura, where Krishna was born; Kleisobora to Krishnapura, meaning the "the city of Krishna"; and the Jobares to the Yamuna, the famous river in the Krishna story. Qunitus Curtius also mentions tha when Alexander the Great confronted Porus, Porus's soldiers were carrying an image of Herakles in their vanguard.Krishna: a sourcebook, pp 5, Edwin Francis Bryant, Oxford University Press US, 2007
  8. Chandragupta Maurya: a gem of Indian history‎, pp 76, Purushottam Lal Bhargava, Edition: 2, illustrated, Published by D.K. Printworld, 1996
  9. A Comprehensive History of India: The Mauryas & Satavahanas, pp 383, edited by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri, Bharatiya Itihas Parishad, Published by Orient Longmans, 1992, Original from the University of California
  10. Welman, Nick. Battles (Major) and Army. Fontys University.
  11. History of Porus, Patiala, Dr Buddha Parkash.
  12. The Campaigns Of Alexander, p. 281.
  13. History of Porus, Patiala, Dr Buddha Parkash.
  14. The midnight knock, K. R. Malkani, pp 68, Vikas Pub. House, 1978 Original from the University of California, Digitized 29 Jul 2008, ISBN 0706905814, 9780706905816


Literature

  • Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, book 5.
  • History of Porus, Patiala, Dr. Buddha Parkash.
  • Lendring, Jona. Alexander de Grote - De ondergang van het Perzische rijk (Alexander the Great. The demise of the Persian empire), Amsterdam: Athenaeum - Polak & Van Gennep, 2004. ISBN 90-253-3144-0
  • Holt, Frank L. Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions, California: University of California Press, 2003, 217pgs. ISBN 0-520-24483-4
  • Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, By James Tod, Edition
  • History of India: (from the earliest times to the fall of the Mughal Empire), Dr. Ishwari Prashad


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