Who was Purushottam or Porus?

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Who is Purushottam or Porus as the Greeks named? I feel he is the first person who fought for the freedom of Bharat Ma against foreign Invasion. The great king Purushottam or Porus fought against Alexander the Great’s invasion of India and tried to save our great country Bharat. The blockbuster movie “Sikander e Azam” starring the great actors Pritviraj Kapoor (Purushottam) and Dara Singh (Alexander)is about the two great kings in history.

He belonged to Puru tribe (a clan known to have inhabited north-western India near Peshawar since the Vedic period) mentioned in the Rig Veda and he ruled the Punjab region and expanded his kingdom between the Jhelum and Chenab rivers in the Indian Subcontinent. He was a legendary warrior and possessed great military skills. He made the army most powerful with great military skills. Purushottam is believed to be the son of King Bamni and Queen Anusuya.

Purushottam was born in Punjab in modern day Pakistan. Not much is known about his birth year, but he is believed to be assassinated in 315 BC, by Eudemus, the satrap of a nearby kingdom who usurped the kingdom of Pauravas.  Malayketu, son of Purushottam fought with Eudemus and killed him, taking the revenge of his father’s death, and got back his kingdom. Purushottam’s kingdom spanned the area of Jhelum and Chenab rivers again in modern day Pakistan. His reign is believed to be before 326 BC till 315 BC. Alexander is believed to have died in Babylon in 323 BC.

He is famous for his battle with Alexander the Great from Macedonia in the Battle of Hydaspes in 326 BC. After conquering the Achamenid Empire of Persia (Iran), Alexander launched a campaign into the Indian subcontinent in present-day Pakistan, part of which formed the eastern most territories of the Achaemenid Empire following the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley (late 6th century BC). After gaining control of the former Achaemenid territory of Gandhar (Afghanistan), including the city of Taxila (Afghanistan). Although victorious, the Battle of the Hydaspes was possibly also the costliest battle fought by the Macedonians.

He fought bravely but lost the war and was arrested by Alexander. The legend quotes Alexander asked him how he wanted to be treated, he proudly stated” like a king”. Alexander was so impressed and reinstated him as the king of his kingdom and gave him the territory till the Beas river. The kingdom consisted of 5,000 considerable cities and numerous villages as per the mentions of Plutarch.

The only contemporary information available on Purushottam and his kingdom is from Greek sources, and from Chand Bardoi. whereas Indian sources do not mention him at all, which is surprising.

Anupama

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