Thursday, 25 October 2012

The hound from Mudhol

The undivided Bijapur district was home not only to the Adil Shahis but two smaller principalities. The two small towns of Mudhol and Jamkhandi (both are now in Bagalkot district which was carved out of  Bijapur district. The undivided Bijapur district was one of the biggest districts of India.) were princely states and while Mudhol was ruled by ruled by the Ghorpades, it was the Patwardhans who lorded over Jamkhandi.
Let me now describe Mudhol which is about 50 kms from Bagalkot.
The Ghorpades of Mudhol were related to Chatrapathi Shivaji. Mudhol was accorded a 9-gun salute by the British. It was one of the smaller kingdoms and when the 1901 census was conducted, it measures 368 square miles and a total population  of 63,001. Mudhol had less than 10,000 people.
Though the capital of the Mudhol kingdom, it had a total population of 8359. Raja Bhairavsinhrao Malojirao Ghorpade 2, who was the last king, ascended the Gaddi in 1937. He signed the deed of accession with Independent India on March 8, 1948. He died in a car accident  in 1984.
Mudhol enjoyed a peaceful rule under the Ghorpades. It had a tri-coloured flag called Bavata. It had white, black and green colours in that order.
Today many have forgotten that Mudhol, which in ancient times was known as Mudhuvolal, was the birthplace of  one of Kannada language’s greatest poet Ranna. Though there is no structure associated with the great poet, there are many buildings named after him in his honour.

Mudhol hound

Located on the banks of Ghataprabha, Mudhol is equally well known for a highly specialized breed of dogs known as Mudhol hounds.
The Mudhol hound is among the tallest of Indian hounds. It has a voracious appetite and it needs large spaces if it is to be domesticated. It is primarily classified as a hunting dog.
If you want to adopt it as a pet, you should either have a bungalow or a farm house. It is dangerous to keep it in a house. It needs a lot of exercise to keep fit. Though it is not an aggressive dog, it is better not to allow strangers near it. It is extremely loyal to its owner.
Treat this breed with the respect it deserves. It can outrun a rabbit , blackbuck and other animals.  The breed is also known as caravan hound. This breed is a common dog used for hunting and guarding purposes in scores of villages in south India. Its running prowess is phenomenal.
The Mudhol hound is a misnomer as it is not only found in Mudhol but also parts of Maharashtra. One of the reasons why it was named after Mudhol could be because the Ghorpades were avid breeders and they had also presented a pair of these magnificent canines to the British monarch, King George 5. The King was overwhelmed by their size and look and promptly dubbed them the Mudhol hounds.
These dogs are known for their immense stamina. They have a long tail and a smooth coat. Unlike other breeds, they are purely Indian. The Ghorpades  played a vital role in bringing this breed into the limelight and  took a lot of trouble to get it bred selectively. They entrusted the Chandrashiva family to breed this hound and the descendents of Chandrashiva still continu to do so.
The Mudhol hound is a hardy animal but beware of the male species. Take care never to irritate it.
The Karnataka Veterinary, Animal Husbandary and Fisheries University has initiated a project to help breed these hounds..
It has set up a Canine Research and Information Centre at  Timmapur village  near Mudhol for this purpose. The centre is coming up on 40 acres of land. .


There are two temples worth visiting in Mudhol. One is an underground temple named Nelagudi. This is a temple of  Shiva. The other is a Jain temple dedicated to Munishvaraji and Brahmagaddi. It belongs to the Swethambara sect of Jains. The other sect is called Digambara.
Mudhol is famous for the dargah of a Sufi saint, Saifi Saheb. His urs attracts a large number of people. If you happen to visit Mudhol do not forget to buy a grinding stone. Mudhol is very famous for these stones.

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