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Vassal of the Macedonian Empire (326-323)
Unknown–322 BC
Location of the Pauravas relative to other groups: the Audumbaras, the Kunindas, the Vemakas, the Vrishnis, the Yaudheyas and the Arjunayanas.[citation needed]
Location of the Pauravas relative to other groups: the Audumbaras, the Kunindas, the Vemakas, the Vrishnis, the Yaudheyas and the Arjunayanas.[citation needed]
Status Vassal of the Macedonian Empire (326-323)
Capital Sthal
Religion Hinduism
Succeeded by
Nanda Empire
Maurya Empire
Today part of  India

Pauravas was an ancient Indian kingdom in the northwest Indian subcontinent (present-day Pakistan and India).

King Porus was the ruler of the Pauravas when Alexander the Great invaded the northwest Indian subcontinent. Additionally, Porus was the only recorded ruler of the Pauravas.


The Pauravas is a hypothetical lineage that's often misrepresented as the Puru (Vedic tribe), specifically under King Pururavas during the Vedic Period. King Pururavas was the ancestor of the Pandavas of the Kuru Kingdom, who are also often mistaken as the Pauravas. However, Porus' Pururavas are not recorded as the descendents of the Purus or Pandavas. The Pauravas are both physically and temporally removed from the previous entities located in Indraprastha and Hastinapur during the Vedic Period.

The Pauravas were only recorded by the Macedonians during their expedition into the Punjab region, after the fall of the Achaemenid Empire. Since the Achaemenid Empire under Darius I formed a larger empire than the Macedonians by venturing further in Punjab[1], it is unlikely of the region was autonomous beforehand. Porus not only use the turmoil and instability of the Macedonians conquest of the Achaemenids, but also use the Pauravas moniker to bolster his right to rule and form his own kingdom. Due to the fact Porus' lineage lacked a predecessor and successor the Pauravas cannot be appropriately classified as a lineage, instead it's designated as Porus' Kingdom.

The Pauravas were situated on or near the Jhelum River,[2] uptil the Chenab River. This was not only the extant of Porus' Kingdom, but was also the eastern limit of the Macedonian Empire.

Conquest by foreign powers

The Persian kings Darius and Xerxes of the Achaemenid Empire claimed suzerainty of the Punjab region.[3] The Achaemenid Empire occupied land past the Indus River, thus would have governed lands claimed by Porus' Kingdom.

Alexander defeated Porus at the Battle of the Hydaspes. Due to Porus' display in the battlefield, Alexander appointed him as a Macedonian satrap and additionally granted Porus with more land in the Indus. Alexander was initially set on venturing further into India, however the battle of Hydaspes against Porus curbed this aspiration. Alexander's army would mutiny when opposed to the Nanda Empire and their subordinate Gangaridai. According to the Greek historian Plutarch, the previous conflict against Porus' much smaller army dissuaded their advance.

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.

— Plutarch, Plutarch's Lives, Plutarch, Alexander, 62

Alexander would succumb to malaria and die on this returned back from India.[2] The instability that ensued after Alexanders death resulted in a power struggle and dramatic changes in governance. Porus was soon assassinated by the Macedonia general Eudemus. By 315 BC, the Macedonian entity was conquered by Chandragupta Maurya, a young adventurer, who later conquered the Nanda Empire and founded the Indian Maurya Empire. After engaging and winning the Seleucid–Mauryan war for supremacy over the Indus Valley, Chandragupta gained controlled of modern-day Punjab and Afghanistan. This set the foundations of the Mauryan Empire, which would become the largest empire in the Indian subcontinent.[4]

In Popular Culture

See also


  1. ^ Taagepera, Rein (1979). "Size and Duration of Empires: Growth-Decline Curves, 600 B.C. to 600 A.D.". Social Science History. 3 (3/4): 121–122, 124–125, 127–129, 132–133. doi:10.2307/1170959. JSTOR 1170959.
  2. ^ a b Graham Phillips (31 March 2012). Alexander The Great. Ebury Publishing. pp. 129–131. ISBN 978-0-7535-3582-0. 
  3. ^ Frank L. Holt (24 November 2003). Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions. University of California Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-520-23881-7. 
  4. ^ Arthur A. MacDonell (28 March 2014). A History of Sanskrit Literature (Illustrated). p. 331. ISBN 978-1-304-98862-1. 
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