In the 6th century BC when there was no political unity in the North-West Frontier region. Taking advantage of this political situation the persian emporors who had already heard of the immense wealth of India Planned the conquered this part of the country.
- Greek historian Herodotus refers to persian invasion of india in this account. He says that Persian emperor Cyrus (559 -530 B.C) extended his empire upto Indus Valley.
- Darius(522 -486 B.C) the grandson of Cyrus crossed the Indus and occupied Northern Punjab and Indus valley.
- The next Xerxes (486 -465 B.C) could not give attention to India owing to his commitment in Greece.
- With Alexender’s invasion of India the persian domination in India ended in 330 B.C.
Effects of Persian Invasion
- The Kharosthi script which ashoka used for inscription was derived from Persian Armaic Script.
- Centralisation of Power in maurya system of government was the result of persian influence.
- Persian influence can also be traced to bell- shaped capital of Ashokan pillars.
- Promotion of Indo-Iranian trade.
- Geographical exploration of the Indus and Arabian sea, leading to the opening up of a new water route.
After two centuries from the first Persian invasion Alexender the great invaded India towards the end of the fourth century B.C. He was the son of King Philip of Macedon.
- In the 4th century BC, the Greeks and Iranian fought for the supremacy of the world. The Greek ruler Alexander conquered not only Asia Minor and Iraq but also Iran. He was a great warrior he defeated emperor Darious III and over run his empire.
- With an army of 30 thousand soldiers he crossed the Hindukush (327 BC) and marched into India.
- Alexander arrived at Taxila after crossing the Indus King Ambhi came forward to greet him with gifts and offered to help him in his Indian expedition.
- Alexander faced a stubborn resistance from Porus the ruler of the region between Jhelum and Chenub rivers. Porus fought with exceptional bravery but unfortunately he was taken prisoner. This battle was known as Battle of Hydaspes or Jhelum.
- Being impressed by Porus Alexander accepted him as a friend and restored his kingdom to him.
- On his way Alexander defeated Sibi, Malloi, Kshudraka, Arjuayana, Sudra, Partha, Mushika, and other tribes while encamping in Babylon, he was attacked with fever and died in 323 B.C. at the age of thirty two.
Effects of Alexander Invasion in India
- It opened up the trade route between the North-West India and Western Asia and Europe came in contact.
- Opening up of four distinct routes between India and Greece by land and sea paved the way increased trade and cultural contacts between the two regions.
- The Greek Invasion also furthered the expansion of the Mauryan empire in North- West India, Since the local powers were already destructed by Alexander.
- The Gandhara school of art was largely inspired by the Greek influence.
- The use of Buddhists of the Mahayana sect was perhaps due to Greek example of Image worship.
- The Indians imitated Greek art of Coinage. Coins with King’s name image and title were issued in imitation of Greek Coins.