Pataliputra Palace capital, showing Greek and Persian influence, early Mauryan Empire period, 3rd century BC.
Tetradrachm of Plato. Obv: Diademed bust of Plato. Rev: Sun divinity Helios, riding a four-horse chariot. Greek legend: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΠΛΑΤΩΝΟΣ (BASILEOS EPIPHANOYS PLATONOS) "Of King Plato, Manifestation of God on earth". Coin marked MZ (bottom left of reverse), which possibly is a dating which equals year 47 Yavana era = 138 BCE.
Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The Yavanarajya inscription, dated to "year 116 of Yavana hegemony", probably 70 or 69 BCE. Mathura Museum.
According to the Mahavamsa, the Great Stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, was dedicated by a 30,000-strong "Yona" (Greek) delegation from "Alexandria" around 130 BC.
close-up pictures
Greco-Bactrian statue of an old man or philosopher, Ai Khanoum, Bactria, 2nd century BC
Corinthian capital, found at Ai-Khanoum, 2nd century BC
Coin depicting the Greco-Bactrian king Euthydemus 230–200 BC. The Greek inscription reads: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΕΥΘΥΔΗΜΟΥ – "(of) King Euthydemus".
Possible statuette of a Greek soldier, wearing a version of the Greek Phrygian helmet, from a 3rd-century BC burial site north of the Tian Shan, Xinjiang Region Museum, Urumqi.
Greco-Bactria and the city of Ai-Khanoum were located at the very doorstep of Mauryan India.
The Khalsi rock edict of Ashoka, which mentions the Greek kings Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magas and Alexander by name, as recipients of his teachings.
Shunga horseman, Bharhut.
Apollodotus I (180–160 BC) the first king who ruled in the subcontinent only, and therefore the founder of the proper Indo-Greek kingdom.
Silver coin depicting Demetrius I of Bactria (reigned c. 200–180 BC), wearing an elephant scalp, symbol of his conquests of areas in what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The coinage of Agathocles (circa 180 BC) incorporated the Brahmi script and several deities from India, which have been variously interpreted as Vishnu, Shiva, Vasudeva, Balarama or the Buddha.
Kharoshthi legend on the reverse of a coin of Indo-Greek king Artemidoros Aniketos.
Menander I (155–130 BC) is one of the few Indo-Greek kings mentioned in both Graeco-Roman and Indian sources.
The Shinkot casket containing Buddhist relics was dedicated "in the reign of the Great King Menander".
Indian-standard coinage of Menander I. Obv ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΜΕΝΑΝΔΡΟΥ "Of Saviour King Menander". Rev Palm of victory, Kharoshthi legend Māhārajasa trātadasa Menandrāsa, British Museum.
King Hippostratos riding a horse, circa 100 BC (coin detail).
The Yavanarajya inscription discovered in Mathura, mentions its carving on "The last day of year 116 of Yavana hegemony" (Yavanarajya), or 116th year if the Yavana era, suggesting the Greeks ruled over Mathura as late as 60 BC. Mathura Museum.
The Mathura Herakles. A statue of Herakles strangling the Nemean lion from Mathura. Today in the Kolkota Indian Museum.
Possible statue of a Yavana/ Indo-Greek warrior with boots and chiton, from the Rani Gumpha or "Cave of the Queen" in the Udayagiri Caves on the east coast of India, where the Hathigumpha inscription was also found. 2nd or 1st century BC.
Heliocles (145–130 BC) was the last Greek king in Bactria.
Coin of Antialcidas (105–95 BC).
Coin of Philoxenos (100–95 BC).
Coin of Zoilos I (130–120 BC) showing on the reverse the Heraklean club with the Scythian bow, inside a victory wreath.
The Heliodorus pillar, commissioned by Indo-Greek ambassador Heliodorus, is the first known inscription related to Vaishnavism in India. Heliodurus was one of the earliest recorded Indo-Greek converts to Hinduism.
Heliodorus travelled from Taxila to Vidisha as an ambassador of king Antialkidas, and erected the Heliodorus pillar.
The Bharhut Yavana, a possible Indian depiction of Menander, with the flowing head band of a Greek king, northern tunic with Hellenistic pleats, and Buddhist triratana symbol on his sword. Bharhut, 100 BC. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
At Bharhut, the gateways were made by northwestern (probably Gandharan) masons using Kharosthi marks 100-75 BC.
the Kharosthi letters were found on the balusters
Foreigners on the Northern Gateway of Stupa I at Sanchi.
Foreigners worshiping Stupa
Greek travelling costume
Hermaeus (90–70 BC) was the last Indo-Greek king in the Western territories (Paropamisadae).
Hermaeus posthumous issue struck by Indo-Scythians near Kabul, circa 80–75 BC.
Tetradrachm of Hippostratos, reigned circa 65–55 BC, was the last Indo-Greek king in Western Punjab.
Hippostratos was replaced by the Indo-Scythian king Azes I (r. c. 35–12 BC).
Approximate region of East Punjab and Strato II's capital Sagala.
The last known Indo-Greek kings Strato II and Strato III, here on a joint coin (25 BC-10 AD), were the last Indo-Greek king in eartern territories of Eastern Punjab.
Pillar of the Great Chaitya at Karla Caves, mentioning its donation by a Yavana. Below: detail of the word "Ya-va-na-sa" in old Brahmi script: Brahmi y 2nd century CE.jpgBrahmi v 2nd century CE.gifBrahmi n.svgBrahmi s.svg, circa AD 120.
The Buddhist symbols of the triratna and of the swastika (reversed) around the word "Ya-va-ṇa-sa" in Brahmi (Brahmi y 2nd century CE.jpg Brahmi v 2nd century CE.gif Brahmi nn.svg Brahmi s.svg). Shivneri Caves 1st century AD.
Statue with inscription mentioning "year 318", probably of the Yavana era, i.e. AD 143.
Piedestal of the Hashtnagar Buddha statue, with Year 384 inscription, probably of the Yavana era, i.e. AD 209.
Evolution of Zeus Nikephoros ("Zeus holding Nike") on Indo-Greek coinage: from the Classical motif of Nike handing the wreath of victory to Zeus himself (left, coin of Heliocles I 145–130 BC), then to a baby elephant (middle, coin of Antialcidas 115–95 BC), and then to the Wheel of the Law, symbol of Buddhism (right, coin of Menander II 90–85 BC).
Indo-Corinthian capital representing a man wearing a Graeco-Roman-style coat with fibula, and making a blessing gesture. Butkara Stupa, National Museum of Oriental Art, Rome.
Evolution of the Butkara stupa, a large part of which occurred during the Indo-Greek period, through the addition of Hellenistic architectural elements.
Coin of Menander II (90–85 BC). "King Menander, follower of the Dharma" in Kharoshthi script, with Zeus holding Nike, who holds a victory wreath over an Eight-spoked wheel.
Greek Buddhist devotees, holding plantain leaves, in purely Hellenistic style, inside Corinthian columns, Buner relief, Victoria and Albert Museum.
Hellenistic culture in the Indian subcontinent: Greek clothes, amphoras, wine and music (Detail of Chakhil-i-Ghoundi stupa, Hadda, Gandhara, 1st century AD).
Intaglio gems engraved in the northwest of India (2nd century BCE-2nd century CE).
Seated Buddha, Gandhara, 2nd century (Ostasiatisches Museum, Berlin)
Stone palette depicting a mythological scene, 2nd–1st century BC.
Cupro-nickel coins of king Pantaleon point to a Chinese origin of the metal.
Athena in the art of Gandhara, displayed at the Lahore Museum, Pakistan
Strato I in combat gear, making a blessing gesture, circa 100 BC.
The Indo-Scythian Taxila copper plate uses the Macedonian month of "Panemos" for calendrical purposes (British Museum).
Hellenistic couple from Taxila (Guimet Museum)
The story of the Trojan horse was depicted in the art of Gandhara. (British Museum).
Foreigner on a horse. The medallions are dated circa 115 BC.
Lakshmi with lotus and two child attendants, probably derived from [[:File:Venus with two cupids 2.jpg|similar images of Venus]]<ref>An Indian Statuette From Pompeii, Mirella Levi D'Ancona, in Artibus Asiae, Vol. 13, No. 3 (1950) p. 171</ref>
Female riding a Centaur.
Lotus within Hellenistic beads and reels motif.
Floral motif.
Entrance pillars
Pillar capital
Standing Buddha
Philoxenus (c. 100 BC), unarmed, making a blessing gesture.
Nicias making a blessing gesture.
Various blessing gestures: divinities (top), kings (bottom).

The Greeks in India flourished under the reign of the illustrious, Menander - greatest of the Yavana rulers, who campaigned as far as Pataliputra, and South Asia.

- Yavana era

Finally, Demetrius may have been the founder of a newly discovered Yavana era, starting in 186/5 BC.

- Indo-Greek Kingdom
Pataliputra Palace capital, showing Greek and Persian influence, early Mauryan Empire period, 3rd century BC.

1 related topic


Yavanarajya inscription

Discovered in the village of Maghera, 17 kilometers north of Mathura, India in 1988.

Discovered in the village of Maghera, 17 kilometers north of Mathura, India in 1988.

The Indo-Greek king Menander I.

The inscription is in Brahmi script, and is significant because it mentions that it was made in Year 116 of the Yavanarajya ("Kingdom of the Yavanas"), and proves the existence of a "Yavana era" in ancient India.

It may mean that Mathura was a part of a Yavana dominion, probably Indo-Greek, at the time the inscription was created.