Khetriya(Odia: କ୍ଷତ୍ରିଆ, Hindi: क्षत्रिय) (from Sanskrit kṣatra, “rule, authority”) is a martial caste in Odisha, India. It refers to the term “Kshatriya” varna in Odia, one of the 4 varnas in Hinduism. The traditional function of the Khetriyas was to protect society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime.
Odisha in its ancient times and medieval era remained the sovereign Hindu Kingdom for most of the time due to its dominant martial capabilities backed by the native Khetriyas(Kshatriyas) and its present sub-castes of Khetriyas. Due to this, today Odisha still maintains its antiquity of having a classical language, a classical dance, second-highest ancient scriptures next to the Sanskrit and arrays of unique Hindu spiritual festivals.
The martial legacy is still carried out in ceremonial form and struggling to survive via its Martial Khetriya community natives.