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Surrender of Porus to Alexander, 1865 engraving by Alonzo Chappel
|Reign||c. 340 – c. 315 BC|
|Died||c. 321 – c. 315 BC
|House||Paurava / Puru tribe|
Porus or Poros (from the Greek Πῶρος, Pôros), was a king of the Pauravas whose territory in Ancient India spanned the region between the Hydaspes (Jhelum) and Acesines (Chenab) rivers in what is now the Punjab. Porus fought against Alexander the Great in the Battle of the Hydaspes , thought to be fought at the site of modern-day Mong, Punjab. Alexander was however greatly impressed by his adversary and not only reinstated him as a satrap of his own kingdom but also granted him dominion over lands to the south-east extending until the Hyphasis (Beas).
After Alexander's death in 323 BC, Porus was assassinated by one of Alexander's generals named Eudemus sometime between 321 and 315 BC.
Porus or Poros (from the Greek Πῶρος, Pôros), was a king of the Pauravas whose territory spanned the region between the Hydaspes (Jhelum) and Acesines (Chenab) rivers in Ancient India, in what is now Punjab. Porus fought with Alexander the Great in the Battle of the Hydaspes. Alexander was however greatly impressed by his adversary and not only reinstated him as a satrap of his own kingdom but also granted him dominion over lands to the south-east extending until the Hyphasis (Beas). After Alexander's death in 323 BC, Porus was assassinated by one of Alexander's generals named Eudemus sometime between 321 and 315 BC.
The only information available on Porus is from Greek sources. Historians however have reasoned that based on his name and the location of his domain, Porus was likely to have been a descendant of the Puru tribe mentioned in the Rig Veda.
The historian, Ishwari Prasad, noted that Porus might have been a Yaduvanshi Shoorsaini. He argued that Porus' vanguard soldiers carried a banner of Herakles whom Megasthenes—who travelled to India after Porus had been supplanted by Chandragupta—explicitly identified with the Shoorsainis of Mathura. This Herakles of Megasthenes and Arrian has been identified by some scholars as Krishna and by others as his elder brother Baladeva, who were both the ancestors and patron deities of Shoorsainis. Iswhari Prashad and others, following his lead, found further support of this conclusion in the fact that a section of Shoorsainis were supposed to have migrated westwards to Punjab and modern Afghanistan from Mathura and Dvārakā, after Krishna's demise and had established new kingdoms there.
Battle of the Hydaspes
The Battle of the Hydaspes was fought in 326 BC by Alexander the Great against King Porus of the Paurava kingdom on the banks of the river Hydaspes. The battle resulted in a Macedonian victory. Alexander was however greatly impressed by his adversary and not only reinstated him as a satrap of his own kingdom but also granted him dominion over lands to the south-east extending until the Hyphasis (Beas). After Alexander's death in 323 BC, Porus was assassinated by one of Alexander's generals named Eudemus sometime between 321 and 315 BC.
In popular culture
- Porus is played by Arun Bali in the 1991 Chanakya (TV series)
- Porus appears in the 1999 animated series Reign: The Conqueror
- Porus is portrayed by the Thai actor, Bin Bunluerit, in Alexander (2004)
- Porus appears in the 2011 Chandragupta Maurya (TV series)
- The cause of the Ten-Kings battle was that the Ten tried to divert the river Parushni. This is a stretch of the modern Ravi which, however, changed its course several times. Diversion of the waters of the Indus system is still a cause for angry recriminations between India and Pakistan. The 'greasy-voiced' Purus, though enemies of Sudas, were not only Aryans but closely related to the Bharatas. Later tradition even makes the Bharatas a branch of the Purus. The same clan priests in the Rigveda impartially call down curses and blessings upon the Purus in diverse hymns, which shows that the differences between them and the Bharatas were not permanent. The quarrel was of another sort than that between Aryan and non-Aryan. The Purus remained in the Harappa region and expanded their rule over the Panjab in later times. It was they who put up the strongest fight against Alexander in 327 BC. The modern Panjabi surname Puri may possibly originate with the Puru tribe., Ancient India: A History of its Culture and Civilisation, By Kosambi, Damodar Dharmanand, pp 81-83
- King Poros belonged to the tribe of the Pauravas, descended from the Puru tribe mentioned so often in the Rigveda. A History of India, By Hermann Kulke, Dietmar Rothermung, pp 57
- Fuller, pg 198
"While the battle raged, Craterus forced his way over the Haranpur ford. When he saw that Alexander was winning a brilliant victory he pressed on and, as his men were fresh, took over the pursuit."
- Fuller, pg 181
"Among the many battles fought by invaders who entered the plains of India from the north-west, the first recorded in history is the battle of the Hydaspes, and in Hogarth's opinion, when coupled with the crossing of the river, together they 'rank among the most brilliant operations in warfare'."
- p. xl, Historical Dictionary of Ancient Greek Warfare, J, Woronoff & I. Spence
- Arrian Anabasis of Alexander, V.29.2
- "Porus", Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 8 September 2015
- Proceedings, pp 72, Indian History Congress, Published 1957
- According to Arrian, Diodorus, and Strabo, Megasthenes described an Indian tribe called Sourasenoi, who especially worshipped 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 doubt 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 city of Krishna"; and the Jobares to the Yamuna, the famous river in the Krishna story. Quintus Curtius also mentions that 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
- Chandragupta Maurya: a gem of Indian history, pp 76, Purushottam Lal Bhargava, Edition: 2, illustrated, Published by D.K. Printworld, 1996
- 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
- "Actually , the legend reports a westward march of the Yadus (MBh. 1.13.49, 65) from Mathura, while the route from Mathura to Dvaraka southward through a desert. This part of the Krsna legend could be brought to earth by digging at Dvaraka, but also digging at Darwaz in Afghanistan, whose name means the same thing and which is the more probable destination of refugees from Mathura..." Introduction to the study of Indian history, pp 125, D D Kosambi, Publisher: [S.l.] : Popular Prakashan, 1999
- "It seems, therefore, most reasonable to conclude that the name is simply the seat of Purrus or Porus, the name of a King or family of kings...There are no authentic records of tribes seated about Peshawar before the time of Mahmud, beyond established fact of their being of Indian origin; it not an improbable conjecture that they descended from the race of Yadu who were either expelled or voluntarily emigrated from Gujrat, 1100 years before Christ, and who afterwards found Kandhar and the hills of Cabul (Kabul) from whom, indeed, some would derive the Jaduns now residing in the hills of north of Yusafjai..." Gazetteer of the Dera Ghazi Khan District, p. 52, Publisher: Lahore, "Civil and Military Gazette" Press, 1898.
- 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
- History of India: (from the earliest times to the fall of the Mughal Empire), Dr. Ishwari Prashad
- King Porus - A Legend of Old. Michael Madhusudan Dutt. Glorifying poem, describes a legendary victory of Porus over Alexander.