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Jhalkari Bai Jayanti – Birth Anniversary of Jhalkari Bai

Jhalkari Bai, born into a courageous tribal family in the small village of Jhansi on November 22, 1830, left an indelible mark on history through her exceptional bravery and unwavering commitment to the cause of Indian independence. Jhalkari Bai Jayanti is annually observed on November 22. In 2024, it is the 194th birth anniversary of Jhalkari Bai. From a young age, she displayed remarkable courage, as exemplified by an incident where she fearlessly confronted a cheetah while returning from the forest, showcasing her indomitable spirit.

Her life took a significant turn when her audacity caught the attention of Rani Laxmi Bai, the queen of Jhansi, who recognized Jhalkari Bai's potential. Impressed by her acts of bravery, Rani Laxmi Bai appointed her as the commander of the women's army. As the First War of Independence unfolded in 1857, Jhalkari Bai played a crucial role in leading a daring escape when the British forces besieged Rani Laxmi Bai, enabling the queen to continue her resistance.

Jhalkari Bai's contributions extended beyond strategic planning, as she actively participated in battles, thwarting numerous attacks by the British forces. Her valor became a source of inspiration for both Indian and British armies, emphasizing her astuteness and unwavering patriotism in every confrontation.

While little is known about Jhalkari Bai's personal life, her father played a pivotal role in shaping her destiny. Raised like a son after losing her mother at a young age, she acquired equestrian and weaponry skills that molded her into a formidable warrior. Her marriage to Puran Kori, a brave soldier, symbolized not only a matrimonial bond but also a partnership in the fight against colonial oppression.

Contradictory accounts surround the circumstances of Jhalkari Bai's later life. Some suggest that the British officer Hugh Rose acknowledged her bravery and secured her release, while others claim she faced the gallows, joining the ranks of those who sacrificed their lives for the cause of independence.

Despite the limited historical accounts, authors from Bundelkhand have preserved the saga of Jhalkari Bai's bravery. Chokhe Lal composed an epic Mahakavya, and Bhawani Shankar Visharad meticulously documented her life. Today, in Agra, a city with historical significance, a statue on horseback stands as a tribute to Jhalkari Bai's indomitable spirit, serving as a beacon of inspiration and a reminder to honor those who selflessly fought for the freedom cherished today. Her story continues to echo through time, urging us to remember and pay homage to the countless individuals who played a vital role in India's struggle for independence.