All About King Porus – Biography, Family, History & Lesser Known Facts

By Andre Castaigne (1898-1899) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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King Porus aka is widely known as one of the bravest kings of India. After all, he not only fought with the Macedonian king Alexander the Great with a lot of courage and valor but also could win an enemy’s respect without having to bend his own. This is the reason why we find the Greek history books appreciating this Indian king a lot.

By Andre Castaigne (1898-1899) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Here we share everything about King Puru – Early Life, Background, Family, Battles, and Death

King Porus Was the Last Paurava King – The Background of His Dynasty

Porus belonged to Paurav Rashtra, a region between river Jhelum and river Chenab. According to historians this Paurav clan is related to the Vedic tribe Puru that finds mention in Rig Veda. This makes Porus a direct descendant of Puru King Bharat after whom our country was named Bharatvarsh along with the fact that he was a Chandravanshi and a descendant of Yayawati from his son Puru.

Early Life of Porus

Now that the story of Porus is documented in Greek history not much is known about his early life besides the fact that he was a brave Puru king. His birth year is still not known but now since he fought the Battle of Hydaspes in May 326 BC and reigned between 340 BC to 321 BC, his contemporaries were Maha Padma Nanda (who might be a slight older to him as he had established the Nanda Empire 5 years prior to 345 BC) and later his son Dhana Nanda of the Magadh Empire who was defeated around 321 by Chandragupta Maurya.

Since, Porus went with only 30,000 infantry, 40,000 cavalry and 85 war elephants in the Battle of Hydaspes to fight with Alexander the Great at a time when Dhana Nanda had an army that consisted of 200,000 infantry, 80,000 cavalry and 6,000 war elephants (as quoted by Plutarch), we get to know that both Porus and his kingdom were much weak and nominal as compared to that of the Nanda Empire.

Family of Porus

The serial Porus on Sony TV is showing Takshashila princess Anusuya as Porus mother and Puru King Bamni as his father. However, there is no historical evidence and/or records that gives the details of his family. This can only be a fictional element as nobody really knows about his family. Besides, we really doubt if his mother belonged to Takshashila province as shown in the serial because Takshashila King Ambhi shared a great animosity with Porus. In fact, it was him who had invited Alexander to fight his biggest rival – King Porus of the Paurav rashtra.

Also Read: Everything You Wanted to know about Porus’ Mother – Queen Anusuya

Also Read: Everything You Wanted to know about Porus’ Father – King Bamni

The Great Clash of King Porus and Alexander at the Battle of Hydaspes

In order to march towards the east, Alexander wanted to capture the Paurav Rashtra which led to the Battle of Hydaspes. Hydaspes is nothing but Greek name of river Jhelum. The battle was fought on May 326 BC with great valor from both the sides. In fact, Alexander looked highly impressed by Porus throughout. This is the reason even when the Pauravas were defeated by the Macedonian army, Alexander didn’t kill Porus but made him an ally, giving him his territory back.

It was because of this bravery, courage, and valor, King Porus is widely appreciated and valued in the Greek history. However, some historians have been wondering why would Alexander leave Porus alive when all his life he was conquering territories and sparring none. This whole story documented only in Greek history further makes them suspicious that perhaps the winner of this battle was Porus and not Alexander.

Also Read: Who was the Father of Alexander the Great – Was it Zeus or Was it Philip II? 

This is only an assumption because Alexander’s cavalry, war tactics, technology and even discipline was far superior to that of the Pauravas. This inspired Chanakya who took this battle as a great lesson to train his military heavily before going to any battle.

So, if not in battle how did Porus die?

After Alexander the Great died in 323 BC all his kingdoms were ruled by his satrap and kinsman. It is believed that one of his satraps in India killed Porus in 321 BC. However, again, we do not have any written records on the same. This is the reason why his year of death is questionable.

Malayketu – The Son of Porus

Going by the Greek and Indian historians’ notes, Porus had a son named Malayketu who ascended the throne post his death. However, there is nothing much known about him because Paurav rashtra is believed to have had a great fall post the death of Porus. Even if he had a son named Malayketu he could do nothing to bring power to his kingdom. Besides, the end of Paurav Rashtra was also the end of the Nanda empire yet the beginning of the Mauryan Empire.

Also See: Porus and Alexander Were Not Born on the same day!

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