Persian And Greek Invaders –
In the year 520 BC, two kings from Persia, Darius and Cyrus invaded Northwest India and conquered the Indus Valley. The Persians ruled that part of India for about a century and a half.
Aryan Kingdoms in the meantime continued to flourish in the East.
The Greek army, headed by Alexander the Great, invaded parts of Northwestern India. As Alexander’s army conquered lands along their way, he got engaged in an epic battle with the local ruler of Punjab, Raja Puru or King Porus. Alexander emerged victorious and was so impressed with Puru’s bravery that he made an alliance with him and appointed him General of the land.
Although Alexander’s army won, they refused to go any further than present-day Jalandhar. Rumour had it that a mighty Indian army was waiting on the other side to fight them. The Indus river, marks the end of his conquered lands. Alexander left India soon after naming some of his generals as governors or satraps of the conquered provinces. But in a few years, Indian forces chased away most of the generals.
Persian and Greek invasions had a great impact on the political systems of India. The region of Gandhara (today’s Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan) became a mix of cultures- Indian, Persian, Central Asian and Greek. This gave rise to a new culture called Greco-Buddhism which lasted till the 5th century.
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