BATTLE OF JHELUM 326 BC - ALEXANDER IN INDIA Posting some of my stuff from older forums. BACKGROUND : ALEXANDER MARCHES TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH To the ancient greeks ,India(indus derived from sanskrit sindhu)marked the eastern edge of the world - The ends of the earth .On the western extremity was the pillars of hercules(gibraltar in spain) beyond which lay the great western ocean,the eastern bound of this great ocean that surrounded the whole earth lay in india -the distant corner of asia(derived from hittite word assuwha).According to greek myth,Dionysus -the greek god of wine and ecstasy was brought up in the east and wandered for several years in india.Hercules was said to have failed in his Indian expedition.Moreover,Darius had conquered a small part of the western subcontinent near gandhara and this also gave alexander a legitimate cause to advance into the region -as he had replaced the 'King of kings' as ruler of the erstwhile persian empire.The thought of trumping herakles and going into the unknown to do the impossible yet again drove alexander,now proclaimed son of a god, eastwards. Alexander's route to india.Having overran the persian empire,Macedonians struck with lightning speed in central asia,crushing the dangerous rebellion there under the satrap bessus and secured the southern syr darya valley with the river jaxartes [u can see the j visible in map -above the river oxus]marking the northern limit of the empire -then they swung south and erupted into afghanisthan through the hindu kush)Alexander married Roxanne,the sogdian princess during his central asian conquests.)By 327 BC,Alexander was ready.Having secured the persian empire,crossed the hindu kush and put down revolts in bactra as well as defeating a scythian incursion at jaxartes(Battle of Jaxartes) -the veteran macedonian forces were now poised for the new campaign. India as a whole consisted of three parts: the valley of the Indus in the west, which can be subdivided into three parts: Gandhara, the valley of the river Cophen (modern Kabul) and the western part of the Punjab, which had, during the reign of Darius I, been part of the Achaemenid empire but consisted in 326 of several small principalities, such as Taxila and Massaga etc. the eastern Punjab, the kingdom of Porus (Pauravas); the lower valley of the Indus, called Sindhu.(Modern day sindh) the Valley of the Ganges in the east. This was the powerful kingdom of Magadha; its capital was Pataliputra, modern Patna.Ruled by the Nanda empire.Beyond them the Gangaridai kingdom on the mouth of the ganges.(modern bengal roughly) and Kalinga (modern orissa possibly).According to some gangardai and kalinga were an united one kingdom [as they are said to possess very large numbers of war elephants which small states couldn't maintain] the deep south, also known as Pandava.Ruled by several deccan kingdoms The above photo is the map of asia at alexander's death.The indus valley area here is in alexander's domain.But u can see the gangaridai,the nandas and the southern kingdoms.