Braj Bhasha
Brij Bhasha
ब्रजभाषा بْرج بھاشا Braj Bhāṣā
Native toIndia
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 bhasa speaking region

The Braj language, Braj Bhasha, also known as Vraj Bhasha or Brij Bhasha or Braj Boli, is a Western Hindi language. Along with Awadhi (a variety of Eastern Hindi), it was one of the two predominant literary languages of North-Central India before the switch to Hindustani in the 19th century.

Braj is spoken by people in the vaguely defined region of Braj (Braj Bhoomi) 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 & 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, Gangapur & Dholpur and the southern extremities of Haryana. Northern regions of Madhya Pradesh like Morena are also included.[3] Today Braj Bhoomi 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 & Agra in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur, Karauli, Gangapur & 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:

Basic Phrases of the Brij Bhasha (Sample sentences)

Brij Bhasha Transliteration Meaning
कहां जाए रयो है रे? or कहाँ जाए रै? Kahā̃ jāe rayo hai re? or Kahā̃ jāe rai? Where are you going?
का कर रओ है? or का कर रै? (to male); का कर रई है? (to female). Kā kar rao hai? or Kā kar rai? (to male); Kā kar raī hai? (to female). What are you doing?
तेरो नाम का है? orतेओ नाम का है? Tero nām kā hai? or Teo nām kā hai? What is your name?
तेनें का खायो? or तेनें का खाओ है? Tenẽ kā khāyo? or Tenẽ kā khāo hai? What did you eat?
का है रयो है? Kā hai rayo hai? What's going on?
मोए ना पतो. Moe nā pato. I don't know.
तोए का दिक्कत है? Toe kā dikkat hai? What is your problem?
कहां कौ है रे तू? Kahā̃ kau hai re tū? Where are you from?
घर कौन-कौन है रे? or घर पे को को है रे? Ghar kaun-kaun hai re? or Ghar pe ko ko hai re? Who's at home?
तेरो घर कहां है? or तेरो घर किते है? Tero ghar kahā̃ hai? or tero ghar kite hai? Where is your home?
रोटी खाए लई का? Roṭī khāe laī kā ? Had your meal?
का हाल-चाल है? or तू कैसो है? Kā hāl-cāl hai? or Tū kaiso hai? How are you?
तोए बताई हती. or तोते कही हती. Toe batāī hatī. or Tote kahī hatī. I told you.
जे लाली मेई है। or जे मेई मोड़ी है। Je lālī meī hai. or je meī moṛī hai. She's my daughter.
जे हमाओ लल्ला/मोडा है. Je hamāo lallā/moḍā hai. He's my son.
तु कब आवैगो/ आगौ? Tu kab āvaigo/ āgau? When you will be coming?
तेरी ही बाट जोहि रहो हैं. Terī hī bāṭ johi raho ha͠i. I was waiting for you.
तेरो ब्याह है गयो का? Tero byāh hai gayo kā? Are you married?
कहाँ कूं जाइ रयो है? Kahā̃ kū̃ jāi rayo hai? Which place you are going to?
न्याह आ / इते आ/ झें अइयो Nyāh ā / Ite ā/ Jhẽ aiyo Come here.
हम्बे हाँजी Hambe hāñjī Yes/no both with expression
चलो-चलो Calo-calo Let's move
चुप्प है जा Cupp hai jā silent
नोन दियो नेक सो. Non diyo nek so. Give me some salt.
मेरे जोरे ना हत / मोपे ना हत Mere jore nā hat / Mope nā hat I don't have
जि बस कितकूं जाइ रई है? Ji bas kitkū̃ jāi raī hai? Where will this bus go?
जादा मति बोले Jādā mati bole Don't speak too much.
इतकूं अइयो. Itkū̃ aiyo. Come here.
पल्ल्न्कुं है जा. / बगल कों है जा. Pallnkũ hai jā. / Bagal kõ hai jā. go that side
रोटी खाइ लै Roṭī khāi lai have food
नेक मोए दियो Nek moe diyo Give me a little bit
जामें नोन लाघु है./ जामे नोन भोतु है. Jāmẽ non lāghu hai./ Jāme non bhotu hai. 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.

Further reading