518 B.C.: king Darius invades north west India and conquers the North-West frontier province and certain portions of Sind and Punjab. The north-western India formed the twentieth province or Satrap of the Persian empire. Xerxes, Darius’s successor, employed Indians in the long war against the Greeks.
Effects on Persian Invasion on Indian Subcontinent
|Trade and Commerce||The Indo-Iranian contact lasted for about 200 years.The exploration of the Indus and Arabian sea by Scylax opened a new water route.|
|New Script||The Kharosthi script was brought to northwest India by the Persians.|
|Impact on Art and Architecture||Rock inscriptions used by Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE were inspired from Persian kings. (The bell-shaped capitals and the preamble of Ashoka’s edicts, have a lot of Iranian influence. Also the polish of the Mauryan pillars manifests the persian influence).|
|Rituals||According to Megesthenes, a Greek ambassador at the court of Chandragupta, the Mauryan ruler adopted certain Persian ceremonies and rituals.|
|Settlement of foreigners in Indian Soil.||A large number of foreigners such as Greeks, Persians, Turks etc settled down in the north-western part of India.|
326 B.C.: Alexander of Macedonia invaded India and divided the whole territory from the Indus to the Beas into three provinces and put them incharge of different governors.
Effects of Alexander’s Invasion on Indian Subcontinent
|Political Impact||Alexander’s invasion augmented political unification in northern India under the Mauryas.|
|Trade and Commerce||Alexander’s invasion opened up four distinct routes – three by land and one by sea. As a result overland trade and maritime commerce began to develop between India and the West.|
|Building Indian Chronology||Alexander’s invasion helped in the construction of India’s history. Megasthenes and other Greek writers have written about contemporary Indian society and the economic conditions of India.|
|Coinage||King Saubhuti, struck coins in the imitation of the Greek coins.|
|Art and Sculpture||Hellinistic Art became famous which gave way to the Gandhara school of Sculpture.|
|Greek Settlements||The city of Alexandria in the Kabul region and Bonkephala on the Jhelum.|