"He represented to him that during the times of the Bhamenee princes, when the whole strength of the mussulmaun power was in one hand, the balance between it and the force of the roles of Beejanuggur was nearly equal; that now the mussulmaun authority was divided, policy demanded that all the faithful princes should unite as one, and observe the strictest friendship, that they might continue secure from the attacks of their powerful common enemy, and the authority of the roles of Beejanuggur, who had reduced all the rajas of Carnatic to their yoke, be diminished, and removed far from the countries of Islaam; that the people of their several dominions, who ought to be considered the charge of the Almighty committed to their care, might repose free from the oppressions of the unbelievers, and their mosques and holy places be made no longer the dwellings of infidels."
These arguments had their full weight, and it was arranged that Hussain Nizam Shah should give his daughter Chand Bibi in marriage to Ali Adil with the fortress of Sholapur as her DOT, and that his eldest son, Murtiza, should espouse Ali's sister -- the two kingdoms coalescing for the conquest and destruction of Vijayanagar. The marriages were celebrated in due course, and the Sultans began their preparations for the holy war.
"Ali Adil Shaw, preparatory to the war, and to afford himself a pretence for breaking with his ally, dispatched an ambassador to Ramraaje, demanding restitution of some districts that had been wrested from him. As he expected, Ramraaje expelled the ambassador in a very disgraceful manner from his court; and the united sultans now hastened the preparations to crush the common enemy of the Islaam faith."
Ibrahim Qutb Shah had also joined the coalition, and the four princes met on the plains of Bijapur, with their respective armies. Their march towards the south began on Monday, December 25, A.D. 1564. Traversing the now dry plains of the Dakhan country, where the cavalry, numbering many thousands, could graze their horses on the young crops, the allied armies reached the neighbourhood of the Krishna near the small fortress and town of Talikota, a name destined to be for ever celebrated in the annals of South India.
It is situated on the river Don, about sixteen miles above its junction with the Krishna, and sixty-five miles west of the point where the present railway between Bombay and Madras crosses the great river. The country at that time of the year was admirably adapted for the passage of large bodies of troops, and the season was one of bright sunny days coupled with cool refreshing breezes.
Here Ali Adil, as lord of that country, entertained his allies in royal fashion, and they halted for several days, attending to the transport and commissariat arrangements of the armies, and sending out scouts to report on the best locality for forcing the passage of the river.
At Vijayanagar there was the utmost confidence. Remembering how often the Moslems had vainly attempted to injure the great capital, and how for over two centuries they had never succeeded in penetrating to the south, the inhabitants pursued their daily avocations with no shadow of dread or sense of danger; the strings of pack-bullocks laden with all kinds of merchandise wended their dusty way to and from the several seaports as if no sword of Damocles was hanging over the doomed city; Sadasiva, the king, lived his profitless life in inglorious seclusion, and Rama Raya, king de facto, never for a moment relaxed his attitude of haughty indifference to the movements of his enemies. "He treated their ambassadors," says Firishtah, "with scornful language, and regarded their enmity as of little moment."
Nevertheless he did not neglect common precautions. His first action was to send his youngest brother, Tirumala, the "Yeltumraj" or "Eeltumraaje" of Firishtah, to the front with 20,000 horse, 100,000 foot, and 500 elephants, to block the passage of the Krishna at all points. Next he despatched his second brother, Venkatadri, with another large army; and finally marched in person towards the point of attack with the whole power of the Vijayanagar empire. The forces were made up of large drafts from all the provinces -- Canarese and Telugus of the frontier, Mysoreans and Malabarese from the west and centre, mixed with the Tamils from the remoter districts to the south; each detachment under its own local leaders, and forming part of the levies of the temporary provincial chieftain appointed by the crown. According to Couto, they numbered 600,000 foot and 100,000 horse. His adversaries had about half that number. As to their appearance and armament, we may turn for information to the description given us by Paes of the great review of which he was an eye-witness forty-five years earlier at Vijayanagar, remembering always that the splendid troops between whose lines he then passed in the king's procession were probably the ELITE of the army, and that the common soldiers were clad in the lightest of working clothes, many perhaps with hardly any clothes at all, and armed only with spear or dagger.