Let every one form his own opinion. I can only call attention to the fact that large armies seem to have always been the rule in India, and that certainly Krishna Raya had the power to raise immense numbers of troops, though whether so many as is stated is another question. His power to do so lay in his mode of government. Allusion has already been made to this, and Nuniz gives us interesting details. The whole empire was divided into provinces and estates, held by chiefs bound to keep up masses of troops fit for immediate service. It is, of course, natural to suppose that in this great war the king would have put forth all his strength.
To prove that immense armies were often employed by Indian kings, we have only to refer to a succession of writers. Barros notes the great power of the sovereign of Vijayanagar and his almost incredible richness, and is at pains to give an account of how these enormous forces were raised, "lest his tale should not be believed."
In the second volume of Scott's "History of the Dekhan," a translation is given of a journal kept by a Bondela officer in the reign of Aurangzib, an officer who served under "Dulput Roy" in A.D. 1690. Writing about Vijayanagar in former days, at the height of its grandeur and importance, he says, "They kept an army of 30,000 horse, a million of infantry, and their wealth was beyond enumeration."
Conti, who was in India about a century earlier than the war in question, told Bracciolini that the Vijayanagar army consisted of "a million of men and upwards."
Abdur Razzak (1442 A.D.) tells the same story, putting the number at 1,100,000 with 1000 elephants.
Twenty years later Nikitin states that the Kulbarga forces marching to attack the Hindus amounted to 900,000 foot, 190,000 horse, and 575 elephants.
The Sultan himself, independently of his nobles, took the field with 300,000 men, and even when he only went out on a hunting expedition he took with him a train of 10,000 horse, 500,000 foot, and 200 elephants. He states that the Malik ul Tujar alone had an army of 200,000 employed in the siege of one city. The Hindus fought almost nude, and were armed with shield and sword.
Even so far back as the time of Alexander the Great (about B.C. 320) the army of Magadha was computed by the Greeks as consisting of 600,000 foot. 30,000 cavalry, and 9000 elephants, though Quintus Curtius makes a much more modest estimate.