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I did a wiki walk and ended up on this site: http://www.livius.org/articles/place/alexandria-on-the-acesines/

Which contains this line: "The town flourished; in Buddhist texts, it is called Askandra."

Since the town is called Uch, I thought, let's just google 'Askandra' and see where it ends up. And that led me to a town in Rajasthan.

So now I'm wondering, is this town founded in honor of Alexander, by Alexander or is this just a coincidence?

  • @Folatt, I just looked up Google Maps for Askandra and Uch, they lie exactly opposite to one another on either sides of the India-Pakistan Border. It is possible they were separated during the partition. Though few places have retained their names after partition e.g. Punjab, I wonder why they have their names changed.... I found few search results from Google Books but I am unable to check them... – Andrew Feb 3 '16 at 9:48
  • @Andrew yes Because Uch is in Punjab which was Muslim majority and Aksandra is in Rajasthan which was Hindu majority. That's how they were partitioned. Uch was called Alexandria on Indus but there is no evidence that the said village even existed at that time. Had it been linked to Alexander, it would have been mentioned somewhere. It might be just simple naming after a British civil servant named Alexandar Heron or due to Buddisht heritage of the region in general. – NSNoob Feb 3 '16 at 10:06
  • Also they are not "exactly opposite" each other. Uch sharif is further North-Westwards. – NSNoob Feb 3 '16 at 10:13
  • Alexander's achievements are on par with Stalin's. Whatever the reasons the bloodthirsty Hellene is still so popular, I think any city named after him should be rather ashamed of itself (as Stalingrad once was). – kubanczyk Feb 3 '16 at 21:45
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Alexander's route of invasion and conquest in Indian Subcontinent today exists in modern-day Pakistan. This is the map:

enter image description here

As you can observe, Alexander mainly passed through Pakistani regions of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh & Baluchistan.

Rajasthan is however on border of Sindh and Southern Punjab so it is entirely possible that he may or may not have subjected some Rajasthani territories to his conquests. But I personally think it as unlikely seeing as Alexander wasn't able to extend his influence beyond the Indus Basin in North-Western Indian Subcontinent due to mighty Nanda Empire's hold further Eastward and morale of the Army.

Now with that cleared, The city Uch that you mentioned is in Southern-Punjab, Pakistan. As you can see in the map, it was founded as Alexandria on Indus.

After googling Askandra, one indeed lands on a page about a village in Rajasthan. But seeing as the Area was never under his rule and Indians had no reason to love Alexander after massacres in Multan and other regions, It is not plausible to suggest that the village may have been named after the foreign conqueror. It is however noteworthy that much latter, A Briton named Alexander Heron conducted a geological survey in Rajasthan and was director of Geological Survey of India. It was not unseemly in the colonial days to have places named after British officers e.g. Abbotabad, Lyalpur (Now Faisalabad etc.). This is however mere conjuncture and there is no evidence that the village was named for Heron. Nevertheless there is no proof of village being named after Alexander or for even his journey in the region. The district in which that village is located is Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer only became noteworthy after construction of a fort in 1156 AD though some argue that it may have been an important city on road linking ancient India,Persia and Arabia. Bottom line however is, Alexander built cities, not villages.

  • I think you jumped the gun with Alexander Heron being the surveyor of Rajasthan. You might want to look into the Google Books link that I posted and the book on Multan Glimpses – Andrew Feb 3 '16 at 12:06
  • @Andrew I did add that Alexander Heron bit is merely my guess, it is not a valid fact. But I do agree that Aksandra did find it's way into local language as the OP indicated in his post about Buddhists. The Google books refer to Uch as Aksandara (Which must be native way of saying Alexandria like Egyptians call theirs Askandriya). There is no debating about that, Uch was founded as Alexandria on Indus. – NSNoob Feb 3 '16 at 12:13

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