Braj

The main idol of Krishna playing his flute in the iSKON Temple at Vrindavan.

A stone bust of Gautama Budhha from the Mathura school of art which flourished in Mathura during the Gupta period (AD 325 to 600).

The Yamuna at Vrindavan during sunset.

A boy selling diyas on the ghats of the Yamuna at Vrindavan.

Boats ply pilgrims and tourists along the Yamuna river in Vrindavan.

The monkeys in Vrindavan are notorious as spectacle snatchers. An art they have learnt because they get fruits in exchange for the stolen spectacle.e

A priest performs the extremely dangerous aarti of the River Yamuna with a huge candelabra, in Vrindavan.

Actors dressed up as Krishna and Radha during an enactment of Rasleela in Vrindavan.

A pilgrim prostrates himself on the floor of the Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan.

The fascinating flower holi which is played in Vrindavan a day before the color holi.

An Iskon member sells books on the life and teachings of Lord Krishna at the Iskon Temple in Vrindavan.

A mother and child wearing the mark of vishnu on their foreheads at teh Iskon Temple, Vrindavan.

An Iskon member sings devotional songs with a kartal at the Iskon Temple, Vrindavan.

One of Vrindavan's innumerable Vaishnav widows, mostly from Bengal.

Community dinner in the vast dining space of the Iskon Temple in Vrindavan.

In Vrindavan, a musical instrument shop makes drums used by Vaishnavs in their devotional songs.

A man selling bhaang lassi in earthen cups at the village of Barsana, the legendary hometown of Radha.

A snakecharmer at Barsana village.

Women wait with bamboo lathis for the start of the Lath mar holi in the streets of Barsana.

The Lath mar Holi is one of the most bizarre festivals in India, where women beat up men with sticks as they protect themselves with shields on their heads.

Description

Braj, also known as Brij or Brajbhoomi, is a region mainly in Uttar Pradesh of India, around Mathura-Vrindavan. Braj, is considered to be the land of Krishna. The main cities in the region are Mathura, Vrindavan, Bharatpur, Agra, Dholpur and Aligarh. Krishna is said to have spent his childhood and adolescence in Braj and therefore, it has an important status in Hinduism. Many international Hindu communities and disciplic successions established temples in the heart of Braj, the holy city of Vrindavan. Thus, the Brajbhasa, the language of Braj was the language of choice of the Bhakti movement, or the neo-Vaishnavite religions, the central deity of which was Krishna.