Indo-Scythian Rule – The Invaders From Central Asia – 200 BC – 400 AD

The Indo-Scythians or the Sakas were the nomads who arrived to India from the present day Iran. As per the Greek historians Arrian and Ptolemy the land of Sakas belonged to wanderer who did not have any permanent residences. They dwelled places in search of food and lived in caves.

Indo-Scythian Warriors

Extent of Rule

The Sakas came into Indian sub continent by the 2nd century BC and they flourished till 4th century AD. The first Indo-Scythian king was Maues or Moga who occupied areas near Gandhara and Arachosia. In their reign of 600 years the Indo-Scythians fought a number of battles against Indian rulers, occupied areas of Punjab, Rajasthan and even captured the holy city of Mathura. They kept shifting their capitals from Sigal in Arachosia (initially) to Taxila and later to Mathura.

Indo-Scythians Map – 1st Century BC

Major Religion

Initially when Indo-Scythians came from Central Asia most of them followed ancient Greek Religions and Zoroastrianism, however around 85-60, when Maues came into power he adopted Buddhism and had a great tolerance for Hinduism.

The Decline of Indo-Scythians

Nothing can be said surely about Indo-Scythians as most of the evidences of their rules have been wiped off in the tides of time. It is considered though that the Western Satrap continued to rule in Gujarat and Rajasthan even after 2nd Century AD. The last ruler Rudrasimha III was killed by Chandragupta Vikramaditya, the famous ruler of Gupta dynasty in 395 BC, ending the Indo-Scythian Civilization likewise.

The end of Indo-Scythian rule is followed by the Golden period of India under Gupta Empire.

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