Jayee Rajguru

The unstoppable freedom fighter-Jayee Rajguru

Jayee Rajguru: The first martyr of Odisha

Jayee Rajguru was the first martyr in the national freedom struggle from Odisha. Jaykrushna Rajguru Mahapatra was his real name. On October 29, 1739, he was born in Bira Harekrushnapur, Puri district, Orissa. His father & mother name was Chandra Rajguru and Smt. Haramani Debi. Jayee Rajguru. While many may be familiar with prominent historical figures, the story of Jayee Rajguru is often overshadowed. This article aims to shed light on the life and contributions of this unsung hero, whose legacy continues to inspire generations.

Who is Jayee Rajguru?

Jayee Rajguru was a prominent freedom fighter and a key figure in the struggle against British rule in India. Born in the late 18th century in Odisha, Rajguru’s early life was marked by a deep sense of patriotism and a fervent desire to see his motherland liberated from foreign domination. At the age of 41, he was appointed as the royal priest of Khurda King Dibyasingha Dev II in 1780.After being appointed as the king’s ‘Rajguru,’ he became known as Jayee Rajguru.He grew up to become an outstanding 18th-century Sanskrit scholar and intellectual. Later, he fought against the British for his motherland. Rajguru was not only a great royal priest, but also a capable Commander-in-Chief and freedom fighter.

Role in the Paika Rebellion

One of the defining moments in Jayee Rajguru’s life was his active participation in the Paika Rebellion of 1817. This historic uprising, often referred to as the First War of Independence, was led by the Paikas, the traditional warrior class of Odisha. Jayee Rajguru played a crucial role in organizing and leading the rebels against the British East India Company.

Rajguru’s Leadership and Sacrifice

Known for his charismatic leadership, Jayee Rajguru fearlessly rallied the Paikas, inspiring them to fight for their rights and freedom. His strategic acumen and tactical brilliance on the battlefield earned him the respect of both his comrades and adversaries. However, the rebellion faced formidable challenges, and ultimately, the British suppressed it.

The aftermath saw Jayee Rajguru paying the ultimate price for his unwavering commitment to the cause. Despite facing extreme torture and brutal punishment, he refused to divulge information about his compatriots. Rajguru’s sacrifice became a rallying cry for freedom fighters across the nation.

Legacy and Recognition

While Jayee Rajguru’s sacrifice may not be as widely celebrated as that of other freedom fighters, his contribution to the cause of India’s independence is immeasurable. In recent years, there has been a renewed effort to recognize and honor his legacy. Various cultural and historical events in Odisha now pay homage to Jayee Rajguru, ensuring that his story is not forgotten.


Jayee Rajguru’s life is a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who fought for India’s freedom. By highlighting his contributions, we pay homage to an unsung hero whose bravery and sacrifice paved the way for the generations that followed. In a world that often forgets its heroes, it is crucial to remember and honor figures like Jayee Rajguru, who played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of our nation.

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In the “Battle of Barunei” (1804), the Paikas defeated the 7000-strong British army with their war skills and valour.

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