Before Alexander crossed into India in 327 B.C.E., he felt the necessity to trim down the army that he had led through Persia to accommodate the different climate and terrain that they would face. He burned all of the baggage wagons of Persian booty that hindered his mobility, and he dismissed a large number of his soldiers, reshaping his army with several thousand Persian cavalrymen.

The greatest of Alexander's battles in India was against Porus,

one of the most powerful Indian leaders, at the river Hydaspes in July 326 B.C.E. Alexander's army crossed the heavily defended river in dramatic fashion during a violent thunderstorm to meet Porus' forces.

The Indians were defeated in a fierce battle, even though they fought with elephants, which the Macedonians had never before seen. Alexander captured Porus and, like the other local rulers he had defeated, allowed him to continue to govern his territory. Alexander even subdued an independent province and granted it to Porus as a gift.

One tragic note about this battle is that Alexander's horse, Bucephalus, was wounded and died. Alexander had ridden Bucephalus into every one of his battles in Greece and Asia, so when it died, he was grief-stricken and founded a city in his horse's name.

Alexander's next goal was to reach the Ganges River, which was actually 250 miles away,

because he thought that it flowed into the outer Ocean. His troops, however, had heard tales of the powerful Indian tribes that lived on the Ganges and remembered the difficulty of the battle with Porus, so they refused to go any farther east. Alexander was extremely disappointed, but he accepted their decision and persuaded them to travel south down the rivers Hydaspes and Indus so that they might reach the Ocean on the southern edge of the world. The army rode down the rivers on the rivers on rafts and stopped to attack and subdue villages along the way. During this trip, Alexander sought out the Indian philosophers, the Brahmins, who were famous for their wisdom, and debated them on philosophical issues. He became legendary for centuries in India for being both a wise philosopher and a fearless conqueror.

One of the villages in which the army stopped belonged to the Malli, who were said to be one of the most warlike of the Indian tribes. Alexander was wounded several times in this attack, most seriously when an arrow pierced his breastplate and his ribcage. The Macedonian officers rescued him in a narrow escape from the village.
Alexander and his army reached the mouth of the Indus in July 325 B.C.E. and turned westward forHOME

It was only the north of India through which Alexander had marched. He had not really conquered the people, although he left Greek garrisons and Greek rulers behind him, and when he died the people quickly revolted against the rule of Macedonia.

So all trace of Alexander and his conquests soon disappeared from India. His altars have vanished and the names of the cities which he founded have been changed.

But for long ages the deeds of the

great "Secunder," as they called him, lived in the memory of the Indians

And it is since the time of Alexander that the people of the West have known something of the wonderful land in the East with which they had traded through many centuries.