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-speaking region

Braj[a] is a language within the Indo-Aryan language family spoken in the Braj region centered on Mathura. Along with Awadhi, it was one of the two predominant literary languages of North-Central India before being replaced by Hindi in the 19th century.

The language was historically used for Vaishnavite poetry dedicated to Krishna, whose life was associated with sites in the Braj region. There were also early prose works in terms of the hagiographical vārtā literature of the Vallabha sect.[3]

Braj is considered by scholars to be a more pure example of the Central Indo-Aryan languages compared to the Hindustani language, which has been influenced by Panjabi and intermediate dialects.[4]

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 Palwal 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:

See also


  1. ^ commonly called Braj Bhasha, also known as Vraj Bhasha or Brij Bhasha or Braj Boli


  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. ^ Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge University Press. pp. 53, 57, 62.
  4. ^ Masica 1991, p. 197-198.
  5. ^ Frawley, William (May 2003). International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. ISBN 9780195139778. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Google Notebook". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  7. ^ Atre, Shubhangana (2019). History. Maharashtra: Maharashtra state textbook bureau.
  8. ^ Sujit Mukherjee (1998). A Dictionary of Indian Literature: Beginnings-1850. Orient Blackswan. pp. 425–. ISBN 978-81-250-1453-9.

Further reading