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King Porus

King Porus (पौरुष), the Greek version of the Indian names Puru, Pururava, or Parvata, was the ruler of a Kingdom in Punjab located between the Jhelum and the Chenab (in Greek, the Hydaspes and the Acesines) rivers in the Punjab. Its capital may have been near the current city of Lahore [1]. He had 600 small republics under him, which were ruled by Jats. Porus was most powerful of them.[2]

Unlike his neighbour, Ambhi (in Greek: Omphius), the King of Taxila, Porus chose to fight Alexander the Greek invader in order to defend his kingdom and honour of the people.

Porus fought the battle of the Hydaspes River with Alexander in 326 BC. After he was defeated by Alexander, in a famous meeting with Porus - who had suffered many arrow wounds in the battle and had lost his sons, who all chose death in battle rather than surrender - Alexander reportedly asked him, "how he should treat him". Porus replied, "the way one king treats another". Alexander the Great was so impressed by the brave response of King Porus that he restored his captured Kingdom back to him and gave addition lands of a neighbouring area whose ruler had fled[3]

Porus was said to be "5 cubits tall", either the implausible 7½ ft (2.3 m) assuming an 18-inch cubit, or the more likely 6 ft (1.8 m) if a 14-inch Macedonian cubit was meant.


Indian sources record that Parvata was killed by mistake by the Indian ruler Rakshasa, who was trying to assassinate Chandragupta instead.

Greek tradition however records that he was assassinated, sometime between 321 and 315 BC, by the Thracian general Eudemus (general), who had remained in charge of the Macedonian armies in the Punjab:

"From India came Eudamus, with 500 horsemen, 300 footmen, and 120 elephants. These beasts he had secured after the death of Alexander, by treacherously slaying King Porus" Diodorus Siculus XIX-14

After his assassination, his son Malayketu ascended the throne with the help of Eudemus. However, Malayketu was killed in the Battle of Gabiene in 317 BC.

Jat Gotras from Porus


  1. www.livius.org
  2. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudi, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998 (Page 290)
  3. History of Porus, Patiala, Dr Buddha Parkash.


  • Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, book 5.
  • History of Porus, Patiala, Dr Buddha Parkash.
  • Lendring, Jona. Alexander de Grote - De ondergang van het Perzische rijk (Alexander the Great. The demise of the Persian empire),Amsterdam:Athenaeum - Polak & Van Gennep, 2004.
  • Holt, Frank L. Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions, California: University of California Press, 2003, 217pgs. ISBN 0-520-24483-4

External links

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