Alangu Dog War Strongest Dog in Tamil Nadu
It is a dog of magnificent proportions with noble carriage,” says zoologist Desmond Morris, of the now extinct Alangu, a breed once thrived in the Thanjavur and Tiruchi region.
In his book, Dogs-The Ultimate Dictionary of over 1,000 Dog Breeds, he says: “It is a big hunting dog, about 27 inches (69 cm) tall, with heavy, well-muscled limbs.” “When it is not employed on its hunting duties, it is also enlisted as a fearsome watchdog.”
The Indian love for exotic breeds has led to the native species losing their charm. Not just that. Many native breeds have either lost their traits or have become extinct, like Alangu, owing to decades of neglect.
There is hardly anyone who can recall the features of the dog. Not many even know how it looked like.
Now, a Chola era mural, found by chance in the inner precincts of the Big Temple at Thanjavur, depicts a majestic dog, possessing all the features attributed to Alangu by Mr. Morris.
“During restoration, the Chola murals, buried under the Nayak paintings, were discovered,” said the former minister, Thangam Thennarasu.
Though its body and tail have some resemblance to Rajapalayam dogs, Mr. Thennarasu argues, Rajapalaym dogs arrived in Tamil Nadu only during the reign of Vijayanagara kings.