Persian And Greek Invasions In India
At the time of Persian invasion in northwest India, there was decentralization and political instability in India.
There was mutual conflict in the states. At the time when the Emperor of Magadha was engaged in expanding his empire in India, the Iranian (Persian) rulers of Iran were also expanding their kingdom.
The rulers of Iran took advantage of the split on the western border and invaded India.
We get information about Iranian invasion from Herodotus, Strabo, and Ariane.
The invasion of India Persian ruler Daravahi entered Northwest India in 516 BC and conquered Punjab.
The western region of the Indus River and Sindh and annexed it into his kingdom.
He made this region the 20th province or Kshatrapa of Persia. There were a total of 28 Kshatrapa in the Persian Empire.
This region received 360 talent (is unit of measure of weight in Mesopotamia) gold in gifts, which was one-third of the total revenue from all the Asian provinces of Persia. Persian rulers also recruited Indian people into the army.
Persian Invasion Impact
India and Iran remained in contact for 200 years. An Iranian writer is a special form of script in India
Aramaic, which later developed the Kharosthi script. This script was written from right to left.
Trade was boosted as a result of the Iranian invasion. Now the goods of Indians started reaching distant Egypt and Greek.
Indian art also influenced the invasion of Persian, especially Mauryan art.
The Ashoka period monuments, especially the bell-shaped top, are believed to be based on Persian models to some extent.
Invasion of the Greeks (Alexander)
The northwestern part of India was politically diverse at the time of Alexander invasion.
The region was divided into several independent monarchies and tribal republics. There was mutual disunity in the states.
The major states of this region were – Western and Eastern Gandhar, Abhisar, Puru, Glaugnikaya, Kath, Subhuti, Shivi, Nudraka, Malav, Ambastha, Madra, etc.
The Nanda dynasty was ruled by Magadha at the time of Alexander’s invasion.
Alexander also received support from regional states in his Indian invasion. There were two famous and powerful kings of this region;
1. Ambhi who was the king of Taxila
2. Porus or Puru whose kingdom was located between the Jhelum and Chenab rivers.
Alexander defeated the ambassador of Taxila in battle. Later, Ambi became his partner.
King Porus strongly opposed Alexander’s invasion of his kingdom.
Alexander was greatly influenced by Porus’s bravery and returned his kingdom.
This war fought on the banks of river Jhelum in 326 BC is known as Vitasta or ‘Battle of Hydaspes
Alexander also fought the Glauganikaya and Kath caste with his army and get a victory there.
Reaching the west coast of Vyasa, Alexander’s conquest halted and he began preparing to return to Greece.
When he was returning to Greek. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC on the way.
Alexander entrusted the rule of the conquered Indian territories to Philip. Alexander lived in India for nineteen months (326–325 BC).
He returned most of the conquered states to his rulers.
He divided into three parts under his authority and made three governors under him.
Impacts of Alexander Invasion
The most important result of Alexander’s invasion was the establishment of direct contact between India and Greece in various regions.
He opened the door to various land and sea routes. Alexander’s historians have left valuable geographical details.
Before the invasion of Alexander, the small Indian states were struggling among themselves, for the first time.
Signs of unity were seen, consequently, the process of integration in India was strengthened.
It was only after Alexander’s invasion that the imperialist process developed in India, the immediate example of which was the Mauryan Empire.
Under Greek influence, Indians learned the Kshatrapas’ system (of administration) and the art of coin making, as well as Indians, respected the astrology and art of the Greeks.