Braj Bhoomi

Braj, also known as Brij or Brijbhoomi, is a region in India on both sides of the Yamuna river with its center at Mathura – Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh state encompassing the area which also includes Hodal in Haryana state and Bharatpur district in Rajasthan state. Within Uttar Pradesh, it is very well demarcated culturally in the area which stretches from the core Mathura to Aligarh, Hathras, Etah, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Farukhabad, Agra, Etawahand Auraiya. This region is associated with Lord Krishna, who was born in Mathura and since Vrindavan was his playground it is now the main center of Krishna circuit of Hindu pilgrimage. It is located 150 km south of Delhi and 50 km northwest of Agra.

Since this is a site associated with the Vedic era Lord Krishna and Mahabharata, it is an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus. It is one of 3 main pilgrimage sites related to “Krishna” Kurukshetra” in Haryana state, “Brajparikrama” in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh state and “Dwarkaparikrama” (Dwarkadishyatra) at Dwarkadhish Temple in Gujarat state.

Braj yatra circuit of pilgrimage was formally established by the 16th-century Sadhus of Vaishnava sampradaya with fixed routes, itinerary, and rituals. The circuit covers are spread across 2500 sqkm area with 84 kos or 300 km long periphery extending 10 km to the east and 50 km to north and west. Braj has two main types of pilgrimage circuits, the traditional longer “BajYatra” encompassing the whole circuit, and the other shorter significantly modified contemporary point-to-point pilgrimage to visit the main sites at Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, GovardhanThe former, longer traditional pilgrimage route, also includes additional sacred sites Nandgaon and Barsana with travel on foot.