Origin: Himachal Pradesh Also called the Indian Mastiff, this multi-skilled dog is primarily used for hunting.
Origin: Deccan Plateau Unlike other breeds of Indian dogs, the Mudhol hound, a favourite pet in the Deccan, is thriving.
Origin: All over India The stray on Indian streets is a Pariah breed, but it’s mostly a mix because of cross-breeding. Purebreds thrive in the deep hinterlands.
Origin: Maharashtra Skilled hunters, they are near-extinct in India. This breed can be found in Russia.
Origin: Tamil Nadu Hound dogs of Tamil aristocrats, they fought alongside Tipu Sultan against the British. They’re also found in the army.
Origin: Andhra Pradesh They hunt small boars, hares and rabbits. This breed is known for its strong territorial instinct and is often used as a guard dog.
Origin: Jammu and Kashmir Also called the Kashmir Mastiff or Gujjar watchdog, they are a cross between wolf and the Molosser sheepdog. This breed is on the brink of extinction.
Origin: Andhra Pradesh These hunters are the only fishing dogs in India. Considered a menace to fishermen, they were hunted down to near-extinction.
Origin: Tamil Nadu In the old days, they were used for hunting.
Origin: Manipur Lore has it that this endangered species is a cross-breed between the Asiatic black bear and wild hunting dogs.
Origin: West Bengal They were popular among the royal families of India; used for hunting jackals, tigers and even lions.
Origin: Chippiparai (near Madurai district Tamil Nadu) They are excellent hunting and watch dogs.
Two Rampur Hounds in action
Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari
Lachmi Deb Roy March 07, 2019 00:00 ISTThe Hounds Of Hindustan
The cannons were taking the advancing cavalry’s portside, the rockets were whistling down on the starboard flank. But a column of horsemen were hotfooting down the middle, hunched to their saddles and shields up against the archers. That’s when a whistle rang out, signalling the release of another fearsome weapon in Tipu Sultan’s arsenal. The ferocious, fleet-footed Rajapalayam—sworn to the take-no-prisoners rule, they went after the enemy like heat-seeking guided missiles. The hounds of war won, their courage delaying awhile the inevitable until Seringapatam.
A century before the Tiger of Mysore unleashed terror on the battlefield with his battalion of Rajapalayams, another illustrious warrior-king harnessed the pawesome power of his Mudhols—the incorruptibly loyal Maratha hounds. The one pet that piqued historians and enlivened bedtime stories is Chhatrapati Shivaji’s rock-climbing monitor lizard, Yashwanti, but...