Alexandria Ganges Settlement in Terra Occidentalis | World Anvil

Alexandria Ganges

At the end of the second Indian campaign Alexandros III founded one final city, Alexandria Ganges. For a long time this city would be the most eastern large settlement of his empire. Although it was close to the ancient Mauryan capital of Pataliputra it would eventually grow into the seat of government it is today.   The account below is written by the Greek historian Antipatros




  After his first campaign into India Alexandros III was set on returning there to march his armies to the end of the Ganges river. During his absence, however, a new dynasty rose under the leadership of Sandrakottos Maurya who had conquered the Nanda Empire. Before Alexandros could return his new opponent had conquered northern India and had even taken areas of the Indus region. What other choice did Alexandros have than to return.   What followed was the largest war of Alexandros career and not without reason. In Sandrakottos Alexandros finally had a worthy opponent on the battlefield, something which could not be said for the cowardly Darius. But even Sandrakottos had to eventually accept defeat by the great Alexandros. He was pushed ever more further to the east until only the capital of Pataliputra remained.   During the final siege Alexandros was heavily wounded but he luckily recovered from his injuries. Despite still not having regained his full strenght he went further east to see what was past the Ganges. But once more his illness acted up before he could continue, forcing him to return. On the furthest spot that he travelled he decided to found his final city, Alexandria Ganges.  

Roman World Map

Alexandria Ganges by kefkejaco with midjourney

Do not worry my friends as the grand city of my grandfather will be restored. It will rise once more and shine even brighter than before, a beacon to show what we can achieve by working together
— Megas Basileus Alexandros V

Indian Rebellions by kefkejaco with midjourney


  The nearby capital Pataliputra lost its importance when the new city was built. When Alexandros divided his empire into megas satrapes, Alexandria Ganges was to become the new center of the India region. And so over the years that followed most of the administrators and government were moved to the new city.   Given its importance it did not take the city long to grow much larger than its older neighbour. Soon Alexandria Ganges became the pearl of the east just as Alexandria in Egypt had become a great hub in Egypt. New temples and buildings were constructed and over time the Indian and Greek cultures would mix creating a hybrid of styles.   During this time trade flourished as well, especially with Gangaridai at the Ganges mouth, Kalinga and the Dravidian kingdoms to the south. How could this prosperous city know that these trade partners would try to bring about its downfall several decades later.  

Indian Rebellions

  Forty years after the city's founding a period of rebellion would ravage the Indian megas satrapes. Although the first uprisings were small in size the ones at a later date developed into full large scale conflicts. Despite the benefits they had enjoyed under Macedonian rule part of the population in India longed for independence. Crushing the rebellions seemed certain for the Greeks but alas things took a turn for the worst. Unexpectedly the kingdoms to the south decided to support these rebellious sentiments.   As the situation escalated into war the Megas Satrapes was forced to call in the aid of megas basileus Alexandros IV. From the south Kalinga, Gangaridai and Ashmaka sent out their armies to help the rebels. At first it seemed that the war would go well but then everything changed. Despite Alexandros many successful campaigns an unimaginable fate befell him as he perished during the siege of the Kalingan capital, Tosali. The event sent a ripple through the Empire causing not only distress in India but also in the other territories. Had he not been killed the war would perhaps have been shorter but alas his death only increased the rebels efforts.   The new Megas Basileus, Alexanderos V, had more difficulty in ending the war but eventually arose victories after many years of fighting. After the war even Kalinga and Gangaridai were added to the Indian territories, avenging at least in some way his father's death. As Alexandria Ganges had been sacked during the war Alexandros V made it a priority to be restored to its former glory. Besides that Alexandros made several changes to ease the tensions, such as granting freedom of religion and building many new temples. Even more surprisingly Alexandros himself converted to Graeco-Buddhism after spending so many years in India.  

A new India

  Once more a war would change the course of India but in a way perhaps few foresaw. The spark this was the assassination of Alexandros V which led to a civil war between his two sons, Philippos IV and Perdikkas IV. Although Philippos was the older son his younger brother was supported by the Megas Satrapes of Egypt. When Philippos died in battle his family fled to India, a place they were well accepted thanks to their conversion to Graeco-Buddhism. Once they arrived their Philippos son, Pausanias II, declared the region independent, which would drag out the conflict longer than expected.  
Though my uncle might hold the Macedonian throne, taken by murdering my father, he will never be my king. I plant my roots here now, my home, the India I grew to love since my early years. Here I shall continue my father's legacy. From this day on we will break loose of the oppressor and form our own nation.
— King Pausanias II
  Alexandria Ganges was declared the capital of this new nation and Pausanias became its leader. After defending his new territories Pausanias successfully broke away from the Macadonian Empire and secured his nation's future. In the years to come the city would grow exponentially and become a capital worthy of the name.  




  From quite early on the city itself was divided into several districts which persist to this day to some degree. Alexandria Ganges was built in a part of the river with several smaller islands that all gained a different purpose over time. On top of that the city also expanded to the two banks of the river.  
Royal District
  The smallest island has, since the founding of the city, been dedicated mainly to government. At first it was meant to be the home of the Satrapes and the high functionaries but after Pausanias II declared India's independence its purpose changed. Today it is home to the magnificent Water Palace and all kinds of buildings to support the royal family. For the convience of its inhabitants the district even has it own harbour.
Harbour District
  The more northern of the islands forms the lifeblood of the city as it supports the main harbour. Here ships leave and arrive from all over the world bringing with them exotic goods from far away lands. It is home to many of the city's warehouses and buildings for trade, although the most important buildings are still located on the largest island. Despite its importance a bridge between this discrict and the royal district was never built for security reasons.
Temple District
  The entire population of Alexandria Ganges frequents this district quite often. The main reason is of course that many of the cities temples and public buildings are located here. Even though the discrict got its name from its many temples there is still a large variety of other buildings such as the library, the theatre and the gymnasion. When Graeco-Buddhism took over as the main religon many new temples were constructed here as well.
Greek District
  The western bank of the city is also known as the Greek district given of course due to the majority of the population having Greek origins. Historically this had always been the richer district as people of Greek origin enjoyed more benefits in general. Over the years the gap between Greeks and Indians shortenend and eventually many non-Greeks started living here as well. This has led to a mixed architecture for newer buildings.
Indian District
  The eastern bank of the Ganges is home to the largest Indian population of the city. Even though the majority of the population follows the Graeco-Buddhism belief there are still quite a few practicioners of Hinduism here as well. A secondary harbour was constructed here after the city grew, allowing more ships to dock in the city.
  At the most southern part of the city two fortifications were constructed on both sides of the Ganges. In the event of an invasion a chain between the two forts can be raised, blocking any ships in the process. Of course the forts themselves also serve a defensive purpose as they a offer great vantage points for firing ranged weapons.


Water Palace
  By the time Pausanias II declared independence the royal district already had a place to house the satrapes but this was deemed unfit for a king. Pausanias therefore ordered the construction of a large palace for him and his descendants. As he had grown quite fond of the Indian culture as well he decided to use a mixed architecture. The final result of this endeavour was the Water Palace.   As the name suggests, water is prominently featured in the palace. In front of the main building there are several large ponds filled with water lillies and fish. Walking through its gardens is described as a calming experience as the entire area is a beautiful sight.   The main building itself makes use of Greek style columns but also uses Indian elements such as cupolas and Indian styles arches. Within the palace itself there are also temples to both the Greek Gods and Buddha.  

Water Palace by kefkejaco with midjourney

Cover image: Alexandria Ganges by kefkejaco with midjourney


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Dec 7, 2023 23:58 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I am so curious to read more about Graeco-Buddhism.   Great overview of the city's history.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 8, 2023 22:31

Thank you, will expand more on the city soon and get the map going :) Will definetely be writing an article about Graeco-Buddhism ^^ so keep an eye out :)

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Dec 18, 2023 21:49

It now has an article ^^

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Dec 31, 2023 14:41 by Dimitris Havlidis

Stunning work <3

World Anvil Founder & Chief Grease Monkey
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Jan 1, 2024 21:10

Thank you veyr much Dimi! ^^ Glad you liked it!

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Jan 4, 2024 00:55

Just a stunning achievement of great worldbuilding! Glad to be reading more of your stuff again and I hope the little worldbuilder and (your entire family unit!) is doing great :)   I specifically am impressed with how thought out it all is. Alternative History has always been very intimidating for me, but you make it look so effortless (although I have no doubt, that you worked tirelessly to get here!)   If it doesn't take you too far from what you have planned with this world, I would love to learn more about Chandragupta and how he was defeated by Alexandros III

Yours truly, Nino.
Its Worldember!I am building out a spooky world, which you can read about here! (psst, its a link)
To learn about my main world click on this link! (if you want to ;) )
Jan 6, 2024 21:39

Yes everyone doing great besides a sick household during the christmas period :p Thanks for the kind words! Alternative history has indeed been challenging as it requires quite some research to not talk complete nonesense xp   I have done a little section about the war in Alexandros III article but not a full article for the war, perhaps something for a future article :)

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!