Alexander vs Porus Battle of the Hydaspes p1
By 326 BCE, Alexander the Great’s empire had spread from Europe to Asia. He had reached north-west India and from here on his mission was the complete conquest of India. They advanced and after conquering the present Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region, crossed the Indus River from Attock and entered the Punjab. In front of them was the kingdom of Taxila or Takshala in the region between the Indus River and the Jhelum.
The king of this kingdom “Ambhi” had accepted the obedience of Iskandar Unani. Even for Alexander, everything was going well. But beyond that, their progress was stopped by Raja Puras, the ruler of the region between Jhelum and Chenab. The Rajapuras refused to bow down or give way to Alexander the Great. So now the situation was that Rajapuras became a barrier between India and Alexander the Greek like a wall.
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Without defeating them, Alexander’s army could not advance into India. The Greek commander sent them a message to come and meet me on the banks of the river Jhelum and bow down. Rajapuras sent a reply that yes I am coming to the riverside but Alexander the Great with his army and weapons understood that the dream of conquering India is not possible without defeating Rajapuras. So in 326 BCE, the Greek army encamped in Haranpur area on the western bank of Jhelum river.
While on the eastern bank of the river, Raja Porus was present with his army. It was monsoon season. The river Jhelum was overflowing due to torrential rains. Crossing the Jhelum was a challenge for Alexander the Great. So did they accept this challenge? How did Rajapuras stop Alexander the Greek’s invasion? we will show you the historic battle of Raja Porus and Alexander the Great. The army that Alexander brought for the battle of Jhelum was about 40,000 foot soldiers and 7,000 soldiers.
Cavalry was involved. Apart from this, his ally Raja Ambhi of Taxila also sent five thousand Indian soldiers to help Iskandar. Together, the number of the Greek army was fifty-two thousand. In comparison with this army, Rajapuras had thirty-five thousand foot (infantry) and four thousand, four thousand cavalry (cavalry). Apart from this, they had at least one hundred and thirty elephants and three hundred chariots.
All this army together was about fifty thousand, fifty thousand. In other words, Alexander the Great’s army was more than that of Raja Porus by a small difference. Rajapuras had a temporary advantage here as the monsoon rains made the Jhelum river temporarily impassable for the Greek army. Due to which Rajapuras had time to prepare his military strategy. The Raja established small outposts for miles around his position.
The Indian soldiers stationed in these outposts were keeping an eye on the Greek army round the clock. Apart from this, the Indian cavalry patrolled along the river to stop the enemy from crossing the river from anywhere. Another arrangement Rajapuras had made was to station his elephants along the river right in front of the Greek army. When these giant animals moved around and snarled, the horses of the Greek army on the other side of the river would start to bark in fear.
Alexander the Great was convinced that if he tried to cross the river in the presence of these elephants, his cavalry would be destroyed. But in any case, to advance, Alexander had to cross the river Jhelum and for that he needed a large number of strong boats. But the problem was that they left their boats near Attock along with some soldiers in the river Indus. So the solution was found that on their orders, the Greek soldiers broke these boats into separate parts and loaded them on bullock carts and brought them to the banks of the river Jhelum.
Here the boats were completed twice by joining these parts. But the problem was that the river could not be crossed in the strength of Raja Porus’s army. And if the Greek army wanted to leave their camp and cross the river from another place, the Indian army could also reach there. So the only way to cross the river was to deceive the Rajapuras that the Greek army would not cross the river until the end of the monsoon, but would remain here.
Then, in the meantime, the Jhelum river should be crossed from a place where the Indian army is not present. Alexander the Greek followed the same method. He ordered that the Greek troops should stand on the banks of the river and give the impression every day that they were about to cross the river. From this order onwards, the Greek cavalry and foot soldiers would stand daily on the banks of the river, sounding war-cries and giving the impression that they were about to jump into the river and begin the attack.
Seeing this, the soldiers of the Indian Army would also have lined up in response. But it would happen that after some time the Greek forces would return to their camp and the Indian soldiers would also have to retreat. The Indian soldiers began to get tired of this useless exercise day after day. On the other hand, on the orders of Alexander the Great, the Greek cavalry started collecting food stocks from various villages etc. on the western bank.
The Indian horsemen who patrolled the banks of the river would daily see six-loads of sloops laden with food arriving at the Greek camp. From these reports, he believed that the enemy was collecting food for the monsoon. It means that it rainswill not attack before the season has passed. That is, the day-to-day alignment is just to annoy us, actually the Greek army is collecting its food and water supplies.
So Rajapuras prevented his army from being on daily alert, from being in array. But the Greeks continued to go out every day, playing the drums and pretending to go back before evening. Compared to them, the Indian Army was no longer alert. Then another change came that the Indian soldiers patrolling the banks of the river and their outposts also became oblivious.
Everyone was convinced that it was too late in the war and there was no point in exhausting ourselves. His plan was now succeeding. So now they started planning to cross the Jhelum. My Curious Fellows Alexander the Great’s cavalry began patrolling along the river. Then they found a place twenty-seven, twenty-seven kilometers from their camp where there was an island in the river Jhelum. On both sides of this island, the river bed was less wide.