Why Alexander Invaded India

Alexander the Great decided to launch an invasion of India after inflicting the finishing blow on Emperor Darius III of Persia.

Historical writers have given detailed accounts of conquests of Alexander the Great in India. But they didn’t tell us about the reasons that provoked Alexander to invade India.

The proximate causes of the invasion of India by Alexander may be the following:

  1. Alexander had conquered all the provinces of the Persian Empire except the Indian satrapy of the Persian emperor. The easy conquest of Persia and plunder of Persian wealth and treasures increased the desire of Alexander to invade India.
  2. The Indian satrapy paid to the Persian emperor a tribute of 360 talents of gold dust. Alexander was attracted by the wealth and prosperity of India.
  3. The Indian soldiers who fought under Xerxes in Greece had awakened great interest among Greeks about India. Curiosity, love of adventure and passion for conquest inspired Alexander to march to India.
  4. An embassy from the king of had sought Alexander’s help against the neighboring king Porus. Alexander became aware of internal rivalry among the Indian rulers.
  5. Historians have also suggested that Alexander wanted to exceed the heroism shown by the mythical heroes like Heracles.
  6. The geographers in Greek were puzzled for a long time about the extent of the Ocean. One of the objects of Alexander’s campaign in India was to solve the problem by fixing the extent of the Ocean.