Malli Jats and Alexander's invasion
After reducing Aornos, Alexander crossed the Indus and fought and is believed to have won an epic battle against a local ruler Porus (original Indian name Raja Puru), who ruled a region in the Punjab, in the Battle of Hydaspes in 326 BC.
After the battle, Alexander was greatly impressed by Porus for his bravery in battle, and therefore made an alliance with him and appointed him as satrap of his own kingdom, even adding some land he did not own before. Alexander then named one of the two new cities that he founded, Bucephala, in honor of the horse who had brought him to India, who had died during the Battle of Hydaspes. Alexander continued on to conquer all the headwaters of the Indus River.
East of Porus' kingdom, near the Ganges River (original Indian name Ganga), was the powerful empire of Magadha ruled by the Nanda dynasty. Fearing the prospects of facing another powerful Indian army and exhausted by years of campaigning, his army mutinied at the Hyphasis River (the modern Beas River) refusing to march further east. This river thus marks the easternmost extent of Alexander's conquests:
- As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For they were told that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand fighting elephants.
Alexander, after the meeting with his officer Coenus, was convinced that it was better to return. Alexander was forced to turn south. Along the way his army ran into the Malli clans (in modern day Multan). The Malli were the most warlike clans in South Asia during that period. Alexander's army challenged the Malli, and the ensuing battle led them to the Malli citadel. During the assault, Alexander himself was wounded seriously by a Mallian arrow.. His forces, believing their king dead, took the citadel and unleashed their fury on the Malli who had taken refuge within it,perpetrating a massacre,sparing neither man,woman nor child. Following this, the surviving Malli surrendered to Alexander's forces, and his beleaguered army moved on.He sent much of his army to Carmania (modern southern Iran) with his general Craterus, and commissioned a fleet to explore the Persian Gulf shore under his admiral Nearchus, while he led the rest of his forces back to Persia by the southern route through the Gedrosian Desert (now part of southern Iran and Makran now part of Pakistan).
Alexander left forces in India however. In the territory of the Indus, he nominated his officer Peithon as a satrap, a position he would hold for the next ten years until 316 BC, and in the Punjab he left Eudemus in charge of the army, at the side of the satrap Porus and Taxiles. Eudemus became ruler of a part of the Punjab after their death. Both rulers returned to the West in 316 BC with their armies. In 321 BCE, Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya Empire in India and overthrew the Greek satraps.
Presently they are known mainly as Mahla. Here is the distribution of Mahla clan in various states:
Hukam Singh Pawar (Pauria) states: The companion princes of Harshavardhana, i.e. Kumaragupta III and Madhavagupta belonged to the Mallava tribe (Malloi) and Bhandi was a Poni 104. Mahasenagupta, the mother of Prabhakarvardhana, the grand-mother of Harsha, was a princess of the Gupta (Dharana) lineage105 . King Grahavarman, husband of Rajyashri was a Maukhari 106. The Jats have among them the Kuntals, Mall or Malli; Poni or Punia or Paunyas, Dharanas as well as Mukharis or Mokharias. This does not seem to be a mere coincidence.
- O.S.Tugania:Jat Samuday ke Pramukh Adhar Bindu,p.55,s.n. 1999
- Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. म-24
- Mahendra Singh Arya et al: Adhunik Jat Itihas, p.277
- Plutarch,Vita Alexandri,62
- Plutarch, Alexander 63.5
- The Baldwin Project: The Story of Greece by Mary Macgregor
- History of Ancient India by Rama Shankar Tripathi
- The Jats: Their Origin, Antiquity and Migration, p. 136
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