28 September, 2020

The Hounds Of Hindustan

Chippiparai, Tangkhul Hui, Pandikona, Rajapalayam, Mudhol or simply the pariah…the resurgent desi bowwow’s the pet pack

Field Day
Two Rampur hounds in action
Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari
The Hounds Of Hindustan
outlookindia.com
2019-03-11T17:33:20+05:30

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...

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