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Jalkari Bai

(1830 – 1858) – (Uttar Pradesh)

Jalkari Bai (Aged 28) was born on November 22, 1830, in Bhojla, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India. She grew up as one of Rani Lakshmibai’s trusted advisers and a soldier, learning the art of horseback riding and martial arts at a young age. Raja Gangadhar Rao, the husband of Rani Lakshmibai, learned archery, wrestling, and sniping from Jalkari Bai’s husband, Puran Gori, who was a soldier. Her brave deeds earned her a position as a soldier in Rani Lakshmibai’s army in Jhansi, but she soon rose to become one of the queen’s trusted advisers. Jalkari Bai also had a place of her own.

The women’s army that Jalkari Bai belonged to was called the Durga Dal and often made important decisions on behalf of the queen. At the height of the war, she disguised herself as the queen, risking her life for her and fighting in her place, allowing the queen to escape harm’s way cleverly. Parallel to Lakshmibai, she played a key role in analyzing and strategizing during the war.

Jalkari Bai is a famous figure among the people of Bundelkhand. Her memory remains alive in the minds of the people, and her brave deeds reappear in folk tales. Many Dalit communities in the region consider her an incarnation of God and celebrate Jalkari Bai Jayanti every year. She passed away on April 4, 1858, in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India.