|1,600,000 (2011 census)|
Census results conflate some speakers with Hindi.
The Braj language, Braj Bh?sh?, also known as Braji 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 literary 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 & Dholpur and the southern extremities of Haryana. Northern regions of Madhya Pradesh like Morena are also included. 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.
Braj Bhasha is mainly a rural tongue currently, predominant in the nebulous Braj region centred on Mathura & Agra in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur & Dholpur in Rajasthan. It is the predominant language in the central stretch of the Ganges-Yamuna Doab in the following districts:
Besides Uttar Pradesh, Braj is spoken in the bordering areas of Rajasthan, mainly in the following districts:
In Madhya Pradesh it is spoken in the districts of Bhind, Morena, Gwalior, and Shivpuri. 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,
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:
|Kahan jaye rayo he re lallu/lalli ?||Where are you going?|
|kaa kar rao he ( to male), kaha kar rai hai (to female)?||What are you doing?|
|tero naam kaa hai?||What is your name?|
|kaa khayo?||What did you eat?|
|kaa ho rayo hai?||What's going on?|
|moye na pato.||I don't know.|
|toye kaa dikkat hai ?||What is your problem?|
|kaha koye re tu?||What's the name of your place?|
|Ghar kon- kon hai re?||Who's at home?|
|tero ghar kahan hain?||Where is your home?|
|Roti khaay layi kaa?||Had your meal?|
|kaah haal-chal hai?||How are you?|
|batayo toh||I told you.|
|je lali meri hai .||She's my daughter.|
|je hamao lalla hai||He's my son.|
|tu kab awego ?||When you will be coming?|
|Tero hi baat dekhro.||I was waiting for you.|
|Tero byah hai go kaah?||Are you married?|
|Kahan koon/ kit koon jaro hai?||Which place you are going to?|
|nyah aa .||Come here.|
|humbe hanji||Yes/no both with expression|
|chalo chalo||lets move|
|chup hai ja||silent|
|Non diyo nek so||Give me some salt|
|mere jore nai||I don't have|
|je bus kitau ja rai hai?||Where will this bus go?|
|jyada mat bol||don't speak too much|
|itaku aa||come here|
|pallanku haija||go that side|
|khano khay le||have food|
|nek moye diyo||give me a little bit|
|jame namak laghu hai||there is too much salt in this|