Braj Bhasha
The word "Braj Bhasha" written in Devanagari script
Native toIndia
EthnicityBraji people
Native speakers
1,600,000 (2011 census)[1]
Census results conflate some speakers with Hindi.[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-2bra
ISO 639-3bra
Braj language speaking region

The Braj language, Braj Bhasha, [a] is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Braj region in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan in India. It is grouped within the Western Hindi languages. Along with Bundeli, it was one of the two predominant literary languages of North-Central India before the Arrival of Hindustani in the Middle Ages of South Asia.

Braj is spoken by people in the vaguely defined region of Braj (Braj Bhumi) in northern India, which was a political state in the era of the Mahabharata wars. According to ancient Hindu texts such as the Bhagavata Purana, the Kingdom of Surasena is described as spreading through Braj (also known as Brij, Vrija or Vraja), where the incarnation of Vishnu, Krishna was born and spent his childhood days, according to tradition. This region lies in the Agra-Mathura-Hathras-Firozabad-Aligarh area and Etawah-Mainpuri-Auraiya area, and stretches as far as the environs of Delhi. In modern India, this area lies mostly in central western Uttar Pradesh, the eastern extremities of Rajasthan i.e. Bharatpur, Karauli and Dholpur and the southern extremities of Haryana. Northern regions of Madhya Pradesh like Morena are also included.[3] Today Braj Bhumi can be seen as a cultural-geographical entity rather than a proper state. Braj Bhasha is the vernacular of the region, and is very close to Awadhi, spoken in the neighbouring Awadh region.

Much of the Hindi literature was developed in Braj in the medieval period, and a substantial amount of Bhakti or devotional poetry is in this language. Some devotional poems for Krishna are also composed in Braj. Braj is also the main language of Hindustani classical music compositions.

The Hindavi poet Amir Khusrau (1253–1325) wrote some of his poetry in Braj Bhasha, as did the Sikh scribe Bhai Gurdas (1551–1636). Braj folk songs and poems include Chhaap Tilak Sab Chheeni by Amir Khusrau, and the devotional song Main Naahin Maakhan Khaayo by Surdas.

Story of Camel and Jackal in Braj language

Geographical distribution

Braj Bhasha is spoken in the nebulous Braj region centred on Mathura and Agra in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur and Dholpur in Rajasthan. It is the predominant language in the central stretch of the Ganges-Yamuna Doab in the following districts:

It is also spoken in the western areas of Uttar Pradesh, mainly in Mathura district and southern areas of Faridabad district

In Madhya Pradesh it is spoken in the districts of :

It is spoken in several villages of Mathura, specially in Vrindavan, Madhuvan, Kaman, Kosi Kalan, Chhata, Baldeo, and all other villages belongs to Braj Area with Bajna, Surir, Bhidauni,


Main article: Braj literature

Most Braj literature is of a mystical nature, related to the spiritual union of people with God, because almost all of the Braj Bhasha poets were considered God-realised saints and their words are thus considered as directly emanating from a divine source. Much of the traditional Northern Indian literature shares this trait. All traditional Punjabi literature is similarly written by saints and is of a metaphysical and philosophical nature.

Another peculiar feature of Northern Indian literature is that the literature is mostly written from a female point of view, even by male poets. This is because the saints were in a state of transcendental, spiritual love, where they were metaphorically women reuniting with their beloved. (In its inversion of the conventional genders of worshipper and worshippee, Maulana Da’ud's Chandayan departs from this tradition.)

Important works in Braj Bhasha are:

Braj Bhasha sample sentences

Braj Bhasha Meaning
कहां जाए रयो है रे? or कहाँ जाए रै? Where are you going?
का कर रओ है? or का कर रै? (to male), का कर रई है? (to female). What are you doing?
तेरो नाम का है? or तेओ नाम का है? What is your name?
तेनें का खायो? or तेनें का खाओ है? What did you eat?
का है रयो है? What's going on?
मोए ना पतो। I don't know.
तोए का दिक्कत है? What is your problem?
कहां कौ है रे तू? Where are you from?
घर कौन-कौन है रे? or घर पे को को है रे? Who's at home?
तेरो घर कहां है? or तेरो घर किते है? Where is your home?
रोटी खाए लई का? Had your meal?
का हाल-चाल है? or तू कैसो है? How are you?
तोए बताई हती। or तोते कही हती। I told you.
जे लाली मेई है। or जे मेई मोड़ी है। She's my daughter.
जे हमाओ लल्ला है। He's my son.
तू कब आवैगो? When you will be coming?
मैं तेरी ही बाट चाहि रहो हतो। I was waiting for you.
तेओ/ तेरो ब्याह है गओ/गयो का? Are you married?
कहाँ कूं जाइ रओ/ रयो है? Which place you are going to?
इते आ/ झे आ / न्या आ। Come here.
चलो- चलो/ डिगो-डिगो lets move
चुप्प है जा। silent
नोन/नून दियो नेक सो Give me some salt
मेरे/ मे जोरे नाने I don't have
जे मोटर कितकों जाए रई है/ऐ। Where will this bus go?
जादा मति बोल। don't speak too much
बिते जा/ बितकों है जा। go that side
रोटी खाइ लै। have food
नेक मोए दियो give me a little bit
जामे नोन जादा/भोतु/मुलक है there is too much salt in this

See also


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues – 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Census of India: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues −2001". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Frawley, William (May 2003). International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. ISBN 9780195139778. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Google Notebook". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  5. ^ Atre, Shubhangana (2019). History. Maharashtra: Maharashtra state textbook bureau.
  6. ^ Sujit Mukherjee (1998). A Dictionary of Indian Literature: Beginnings-1850. Orient Blackswan. pp. 425–. ISBN 978-81-250-1453-9.
  7. ^ Fenech, Louis E. (2014). Historical Dictionary of Sikhism (3rd ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 191. ISBN 9781442236011.


  1. ^ also known as Vraj Bhasha or Vrij Bhasha or Braj Bhāṣā or Braji or Brij Bhasha or Braj Boli

Further reading