Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Porus the King Who Fought Against Foreign Invasion

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Anupama Nair

This year 2022, is the 75th year of Independence from the British. There is hardly a month before our Independence Day. Our beloved Prime Minister decided to celebrate this year as “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. So, I am starting to write a feature on all those sons and daughters of Bharat Ma who fought against foreign invasion from time immemorial. I had written about Bharat Ma, As it is said “Janani Janmabhumishcha Swargadapi Gariyasi” which means “mother and motherland are superior even to heaven” in Dev Bhasha Sanskrit, from our great epic Ramayana. I believe in this motto and think my mother and Bharat Maa are superior to heaven. Today I am going to write about Purushottam or Porus who fought against Alexander the Great


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 River and Chenab River 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, satrap of a nearby kingdom and 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 River and Chenab River again in modern day Pakistan. His reign is believed to be before 326 BC till 315 BC. Alexander 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 kingdom and gave him 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. There was a movie made on this great king called “Sikander-e-Azam”, starring Pritviraj Kapoor as Porus and Dara Singh as Alexander.

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