Balarama (Sanskrit: बलराम, IAST: Balarāma) is a Hindu god and the elder brother of Krishna

He is particularly significant in the Jagannath tradition, as one of the triad deities

He is also known as Haladhara, Halayudha, Baladeva, Balabhadra and Sankarshana

The first two epithets refer to his strength, and the next two associate him with Hala (Langala, “plough”) from his strong associations with farming and farmers, as the deity who used farm equipment as weapons when needed

Balarama is sometimes described as incarnation of Shesha, the serpent associated with the god Vishnu; Krishna is regarded as an incarnation of Vishnu

Some traditions regard him as one of 10 principle avatars of Vishnu himself

Balarama’s significance in the Indian culture has ancient roots

His image in artwork is dated to around the start of the common era, and in coins dated to the 2nd-century BCE

In Jainism, he is known as Baladeva and has been a historically significant farmer-related deity