This rare breed, unknown outside his native province of Maharashtra, is best described as resembling the smooth-coated Saluki, for he gives the impression of enduring speed coupled with active strength. Standing only 21 inches (53 cm) at the shoulder, the Mahratta is, however, slightly smaller than the Saluki. The Mahratta is a compact sighthound, well-muscled, deep-chested, and strong-backed. The common color pattern consists of dark blue and tan. The coat is short and provides good protection against the various Indian elements.
Uncertainty prevails over the Mahratta's lineage. Whether the Mahratta is a descendant of the Saluki or a localization of other indigenous Indian sighthounds remains the essential question. The Mahratta's small size, in relation to the Rampur and other Indian dogs, makes either Saluki heredity or a pure, ancient origin the most likely hypothesis concerning development. With exceptional speed and concentrated strength, the Mahratta is used successfully for coursing small and medium-sized game in the province for which he was named. The Mahratta Greyhound is not recognized by any major kennel club.
The Mahratta possesses instinctive courage and ability for the hunt. He uses these to full advantage in conjunction with his excellent eyesight, fleet feet, and able muscle. The Mahratta is used almost exclusively for the hunt; life in India makes owning a dog solely as a pet a frivolous venture. Though, if given the chance, these high-strung working canines could make faithful companions.