The description of an Akshauhini is as follows:
'One chariot, one elephant, five foot-soldiers, and three horses form
one Patti; three pattis make one Sena-mukha; three sena-mukhas are
called a Gulma; three gulmas, a Gana; three ganas, a Vahini; three
vahinis together are called a Pritana; three pritanas form a Chamu;
three chamus, one Anikini; and an anikini taken ten times forms, as it
is styled by those who know, an Akshauhini.
O ye best of Brahmanas, arithmeticians have calculated that the
number of chariots in an Akshauhini is twenty-one thousand eight
hundred and seventy. The measure of elephants must be fixed at the
same number. O ye pure, you must know that the number of foot-soldiers
is one hundred and nine thousand, three hundred and fifty, the number
of horse is sixty-five thousand, six hundred and ten.
The foot-soldiers will be fighting among opponent foot-soldiers and protecting elephants
The foot-soldiers that protected the elephants, endued with broad
chests, and capable of smiting effectually, with wrath excited, and
armed with pikes and bows, and bright battle-axes, and with maces and
clubs, and short arrows, and lances, and with shafts, and stout
bludgeons mounted with iron spikes and swords, well-grasped of the
brightest polish, ran hither and thither, O king, and seemed resolved
to take one another's life.
Naturally, they have to be eliminated for winning a war.
Arjuna did slaughter many elephants, foot-soldiers, apart from those who were on chariots. Similar will be the case with other warriors.
And in that awful slaughter of kings, heroic combatants were slain and
car-warriors with those that guided their cars. And elephants with
resplendent housings of gold and gorgeous standards (on their backs),
afflicted with broad-headed shafts failing upon them, suddenly fell
down, deprived of life and their bodies mangled by Kiritin. And
forcibly struck by Partha with his winged arrows of great impetuosity
and broad-headed shafts of keen-edge and points, the standards of
innumerable kings stationed at the heads of their yantras and
Indrajalas were cut off.
And bands of infantry and car-warriors, in that battle, and steeds
and elephants, fell fast on the field, their limbs paralysed, or
themselves speedily deprived of life, affected by Dhananjaya with