Tuesday, March 22, 2011



Yadav is a category consisting of several allied castes which together constitute about 20% of the total population of India, 20% population of Nepal and about 3% population of the planet earth. Yādav is an caste found in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Russia, Middle East and  claims descent from ancient king Yadu, the name of one of the five Aryan clans mentioned in the Rig Veda as Panchjanya, meaning "five people", is the common name given to five most ancient Vedic Kshatriya clans. The Yadav caste generally follows Vaishnav traditions, and share Vaishnav Dharmic religious beliefs. They are the worshippers of Lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu. Yadav’s are classified under the Kshatriya varna in Hinduism and remained in power in India and Nepal until 1200-1300AD, before the arrival of Muslim invaders.

Two things are common to these cognate castes. Firstly, they claim to be the descendants of the Yadu Dynasty (Yadav) to which Lord Krishna belonged. Secondly, many castes in this category have a set of occupations centering round cattle. Krishna pastimes lends a kind of legitimacy to the pastoral occupations relating to cattle, and as the castes following these occupations are to be found in almost all parts of India, the Yadav category encompasses a whole range of related castes.
According to Vedic literatures, the Yaduvanshis or Yadavs are the descendants of Yadu, the eldest son of King Yayati. From his line was born Madhu, who ruled from Madhuvana, situated on the banks of river Yamuna, which extended up to Saurastra and Anarta (Gujrat). His daughter Madhumati married Harinasva of Ikshvaku race, from whom Yadu was born again, this time being ancestor of Yadavas. Nanda, the foster father of Krishna, was born in the line of succession of Madhu and ruled from the same side of Yamuna. Jarasandh, Kansa's father-in-law, and king of Magadha attacked Yadavas to avenge Kansa's death. Yadavas had to shift their capital from Mathura (central Aryavart) to Dwaraka (on the western coast of Aryavart) on the Sindhu. Yadu was a legendary Hindu king, believed to be an ancestor of the Lord Shri Krishna, who for this reason is also referred to as Yadava. Genetically, they are in Indo-Caucasoid family. A study in East of India shows their gene structure is similar to Brahmin, Kayastha & Rajput living in the same area.
Some historians also seek a connection between Yadavas and Jews. According to their theory, the Greeks were referred to the Jews as Judeos, or Jah deos or Yadavas, meaning people of Ya.
In Russia, many Russians have surname “Yadav”.
James Tod demonstrated that Ahirs were included into the list of 36 royal races of Rajasthan (Tod,1829,Vol1,p69 ii,p358).

Places of Yadav prominence in Northern India

* Rajasthan has Alwar, Jhunjhunu, Bharatpur.
* Haryana has Gurgaon, Narnaul , Rewari , Mahendragarh,.
* Uttar Pradesh has Kanpur, Etawah, Farukhabad, Kannauj, Auraiya, Unnao, Hardoi, Agra, Azamgarh, Badaun, Etah, Firozabad, Gorkakhpur.
* Bihar has Gopalganj, Banka, Darbhanga, Siwan, Chhapra, Madhubani, Munger.

Rao Birender Singh Yadav was the second chief minister of Haryana and Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Yadav was the first chief minister of Delhi. In Marubhumi (Marwar), Saurashtra and Maharashtra they served the local rulers and established their own rule. Ishwarsena, a great Ahir general, became master of Western Deccan in place of the famous Satava-hanas. He took the title of Rajan and an era was named after him. His descendants continued to rule for nine generations.

Pran Sukh Yadav (1802–1888) was an extraordinary military commander of his time. He was a close friend of Hari Singh Nalwa and famous Punjab ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh.In his early career he trained Sikh Khalsa army. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh he fought in both the First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, due to his extreme hatred towards Britishers after the defeat of Sikhs he started giving military training to the farmers of Narnaul and Mahendragarh region.

Another king Rao Tula Ram was born on 9 December 1825 in a Royal Rao Bhadur Nirpur Yadav family which belonged to "Rao Bhadur Ghari-Bolni" in village Rampura (Rewari). His father was Puran Singh and his mother's name was Gyan Kaur who was daughter of Great Jat ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In 1857, Rao Tula Ram led the rebellion in Haryana along with his brother Rao Bhadur Tula Ram of Ghari Bolni and Rao Gopal Dev of Nirpur.For centuries the Ahirs were eclipsed as a political power in Haryana until the time of the Pratihara dynasty. In time they became independent rulers of Southwest Haryana. Although the Ahirs and Yadavas form one group, the former are an important community of Haryana, but numerically they constitute less than 10% of the total population. Most of them live in the region around Rewari, Narnaul, Mahendragarh and Gurgaon which is therefore known as Ahirwal or the abode of Ahirs.

Yadavs in Maharashtra

Devagiri fort - The capital of Yadavas of Devagiri

The Seuna, Sevuna or Yadava dynasty (850 - 1334) was an Indian dynasty, which at its peak ruled a kingdom stretching from the Tungabhadra to the Narmada rivers, including present-day Maharashtra, north Karnataka and parts of Madhya Pradesh, from its capital at Devagiri (present-day Daulatabad in Maharashtra). It claimed descent from the Chandravanshi Yadavs of North India.

Solaskars are another group that belong to the Kshatriya Yadav clan, and claim to be the successors of the Yadavas of Devagiri. They are the protectors of sixteen Shiva temples situated in the hillside region of Satara. Solashi (place of Solaskar) is in North Koregaon Area on the South East side of Khambatki Ghat while coming from Pune to Satara. The village is recognized by an old and nice temple of Shul-Pateshwar. On the North side of the village is a large mountain (same one of Khambati ghat) on which temples of Hareshwar and Dhareshwar were built. It has a height of 4000 meters. Solashi is one of the villages situated on the northern side of Koregaon. It is famous for the God Hareshwara. There are sixteen small temples of Lord Shiva around the entire village. All Solaskar families in Solashi are vegetarians.

The Jadhavs also claim descent from the Yaduvanshi clan.
Yadavs of Tamil Nadu and Kerala
Veeran Azhagu Muthu Kone (Freedom Fighter)


Konar or Idaiyar or Tamil Yadavar is a caste from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a sub-division of Yadava community. They are also known as Ayars. Konars are distributed throughout the state of Tamil Nadu. They are one of the ancient Tamil castes.

Konar in ancient literature

Ilango Adigal had mentioned Konars of Madurai in his Tamil epic Silapathikaram, which is considered to be one of the five famous epics of Tamil literature. According to this epic, they gave accommodation for Kannagi. They occupied grasslands known as Mullai in Ancient Tamil country. Konars traditionally raise cows, goats and sheeps and sell milk.


(Kolaya, Ayar, Mayar, Maniyani and Iruman)

Maniyani is a caste of Kerala that claims descent from Krishna. The Maniyani are the Kshatriyas of Kerala, India. Maniyanis are also known as Kola- Aya (Kolayars). They are the Yadavas of Kolathnadu and Thulunad.[78] They are seen in Kannur and Kasargod Districts. Ayar is a common surname for Yadavas through out India. They settled in north Kerala about 3000 years back. Kola is the name of Yadava clan who settled in North Kerala and Southern Karnataka.

The emergence of an educated and religiously orthodox elite among the Yadavs, after the religious movements of Arya Samaj and Janeu movements led to the formation of the All-India Yadava Mahasabha in 1923 in Allahabad. The AIYM immediately engaged itself in two issues. It appealed to its castemen in all regions to add “Yadav” to their names and at the same time launched on a major programme of social reform. The regional organisation of the Hyderabad Rashtra Yadav Mahajana Samajam, for example, appealed to the Census Commission that their caste name Ahir be changed to Yadava.

All India Yadav Mahasabha is also pressing Indian government for the formation of Yadav regiment in Indian Army after they showed their bravery in the 1965 Indo-China war. In 1966 the AIYM held its annual conference in Etawa, with Mulayam Singh Yadav as chairman of the reception committee and Rao Birender Singh the scion of the Rewari dynasty as president. After Independence, the Yadavs have emerged as the leaders of the other backward classes. Prof. Rao’s study of the Yadava elite in the various states (based on the members and supporters of the All India Yadav Sabha and not on those of the rival All India Yadav Mahasabha) reveals the growth of varied business and professional groups within the caste category. Heading the list are businessmen who comprise roughly 21 per cent of the elite. They include dairy owners, contractors, tobacco and timber merchants, wholesale grass dealers, owners of engineering firms and other industries as well as restaurant owners. They are followed by the large farmers who comprise around 21 per cent of the Yadav elite. Politicians (MPs, MLAs, ministers, municipal councillors, district board members, office-bearers of political parties) constitute 17 percent of the elite and school and college teachers, doctors, lawyers and engineers together another 20 percent.

Yadavs in the military

The Yadav community has served the Indian armed and defense forces and laid down their lives to safeguard India. Some prominent battles fought by Ahir soldiers are the
 Indo-China war, the kargil war, Akshardham, and Parliament attacks. Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav of the Indian army was awarded the highest Indian military honour, Param Vir Chakra for his actions during the Kargil War on 4 July 1999.

During the Burma Campaign of the Second World war, Havaldar Umrao Singh, a
gunner, won the Victoria Cross; which is a world–wide symbol of the recognition of the highest form of bravery in the face of the enemy; in hand to hand combat with the Japanese infantry, when its do or die squads raided his gun position, in the Kaladan Valley. He killed ten of them with his bare hands armed only with the gun bearer (a heavy metallic tool) they found him exhausted and bleeding in the morning but still alive amidst a pile of Japanese corpses littered around the gun, which, remarkably, was found to be still fit for immediate firing.
 In the Indo-China War of 1962, the Ahirs (almost all of them from the Ahirwal region of
Southern Haryana) of 13 Kumaon Regiment set an unparallel example in the military history of Aryavart by defending their position at Rezang La in Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. The battle of Rezang La, a ridge overlooking the strategic Chushul plains in Ladakh, to defend the highest air strip in the world located at 16,000 feet — just across the Chinese claim line — is a chapter in the history of the Indian army which has been compared by some Indian military historians with the famed Battle of Thermopylae. In the final phase of the Indo-China War of 1962, where Indian units typically offered little resistance while being routed by attacking PLA forces, the Ahir Charlie Company from 13 Kumaon Regiment, set a rare example of raw courage, bravery and dedication by literally fighting to the last man. Of the 120 defenders, only four survived, all seriously wounded. The dead bodies of those who died were discovered after the winter, frozen, mostly holding their weapons but with no ammunition. According to some accounts, several jawans, having run out of ammunition, came out of the pickets and charged the enemy with bare hands. Lance Naik Ram Singh killed several Chinese soldiers after lifting and hitting them against the rocks. It is also believed that these jawans inflicted heavy casualties on the attackers. Of the 120 soldiers, 114 were Yadavas from Ahirwal region of Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.
On this horrific battle, Major-General Ian Cardozo, in his book Param Vir, Our Heroes Battle writes, “When Rezang La was later revisited dead jawans were found in the trenches still holding on to their weapons... every single man of this company was found dead in his trench with several bullet or splinter wounds. The 2-inch mortar man died with a bomb still in his hand. The medical orderly had a syringe and bandage in his hands when the Chinese bullet hit him... Of the thousand mortar bombs with the defenders all but seven had been fired and the rest were ready to be fired when the (mortar) section was overrun.”

General T.N. Raina said, "You rarely come across such example in the annals of world military history when braving such heavy odds, the men fought till the last bullet and the last man. Certainly the Battle of Rezang La is such a shining example."

General K S Thimayya remarked, "I had said many years ago that the Army must have a Ahir Regiment. The supreme sacrifice of the Charlie Company has fulfilled my expectations. I hope a suitable memorial will be built in Ahirwal in their memory so that the generations to come may seek inspiration from the immense courage and valour of their forefathers."
The heroes who were awarded the Vir Chakra in 1962 defending Rezang La were Naik Hukum Chand (posthumous), Naik Gulab Singh Yadav, Lance-Naik Singh Ram (posthumous), Subedar Ram Kumar and Subedar Ram Chander. All were from the Ahirwal region.

A small memorial for the dead soldiers in Rezang La reads:

How can a man die better,
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And temples of his gods.
To the sacred memory of the Heroes of Rezang La,
114 Martyrs of 13 Kumaon who fought to the Last Man,
Last Round, Against Hordes of Chinese on 18 November 1962.
Built by All Ranks 13th Battalion, The Kumaon Regiment.

Political Influence
Through numerous political parties such as the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal (Republic), Janata Dal (Communal) and Makkal Tamil Desam (Tamil Nadu), the Yadavs have considerable political influence, especially in the North Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Also, in Nepal they are in prominent political positions. The 1st President of Nepal is Shri Ram Baran Yadav. The 1st Chief Minister of Delhi and the 2nd Chief Minister of Harayana was Yadav. Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav was the best railway minister ever and he revived Indian Railways completely which became a case study for Universities like Harvard and Oxford. Himachal Pradesh, Harayana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and many other states had Yadav Chief Ministers. Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav was the Defence Minister of India.
Other Notable Yadav’s
Miss Ekta Chowdhary became the Miss India Universe 2009. Many other Yadavs had been selected for the beauty pageants. Baba Ramdev ji is the Yoga guru and is world famous. Rajpal Yadav and Raghubir Yadav are the famous comedians & actors.
Religious Seats of Yadavs

Besides Kingdoms, chiefdoms and jagirs, the Yadavas had peethams (seats) granted to them by virtue of their religious powers. For instance, there were fourteen seats (peethams) among the Yadavas of Warangal according to a sanad granted in 1425 (Shaka Samvat), by Sree Pratapa Rudra, Maharaja of Warangal, to Sree Kondiah Guru, as the head of the fourteen seats. Subsequently when Bhagyanagar was founded by Sultan Abdulla of Kutub Shahi in A.D. 1560 the rights of the Yadavas were acknowledged and recognized, and the name Golkonda was substituted for Manugal.

According to the charter awarded by the Sultan Abdullah of Qutb Shahi dynasty in 1071 Hijri, Kondiah built the fort for the Sultan by using his charisma in resolving the mystery of the site, and also discovered for him gold coins buried underground. In return, the Sultan gave him the Charter conferring upon Kondiah the rights and privileges due to the head of the fourteen seats, and of twelve classes of Gollas and two classes of shepherds (Kuruba Gollas). Kondiah, although a follower of Basaveshwara (Lingayat), was the head of the Yadava Peethams. Perhaps the Gollas at this time were under the influence of Veerasaivism, although they were incorporated into the Yadava category.
Although the Abhiras constituted a distinct ethnic group, they spoke diverse regional dialects. The language of the Ahirs was known as Ahirani in Khandesh, resembling Marathi. While the Ahirs of Kathiawad and Kachh have a dialect which resembles Gujarathi (Bhandarkar, 1911:17). Abhira bhasha is in fact considered to be Apabhransha. In the ninth century B.C., it had become the language of the people, and was spoken from Saurashtra, and Shastri (1967) proves that poetry was composed in the language around the sixth century B.C. Suryavamsi (1962:14-15) mentions the following two dialects in addition to the ones above--Gaddi, which is currently the dialect spoken in Gadderan, on the outskirts of the Chamba and Kangra hills, and Gandi, spoken in some parts of Madhya Pradesh. Abhiri as a dialect has been recorded by Sanskrit poets such as Bharata and Dandin. Yadav (1916:15), notes that the dialect the people of Ahirwal in Haryana speak, has a resemblance to Rajasthani, and Grierson (1916:9), considers Ahirwati a branch of eastern Rajasthani and western Hindi.

Legends of the cowherd Krishna and his dances with cowherdesses are mentioned in the Sangam classics. The term Ayarpati (cowherd settlement) is found in Cilappatikaram (Iyer, 1950). It is argued that the term Ayar has been used for the Abhiras in ancient Tamil literature, and V. Kanakasabha Pillai (1904) derives Abhira from the Tamil wordAyir which also means cow. He equates the Ayars with Abhiras, and Suryavanshi (1962:17-18) treats this as evidence of migration of the Abhiras to the south in the first century A.D.

Thus, linguistic evidence is used to support the argument that the Abhiras spread to different parts of India, and that they retained different but related cultural traditions. The most common denominator, as was pointed out earlier, was a descent from the Yadu dynasty and their association with cattle.
Many groups and clans claiming descent from the ancient Yadu clan call themselves Yadavs. The major clans among these are:
  • Ahirs (variously called Ahira and Abhira) are divided into clans called Khanap:
    • Nandavanshi (descendants of Nanda}
    • Gwalvanshi (descendants of Holy Gwals)
    • Dadhor
  • Ayar (South India)
  • Adhikari (Bengal & Orrisa)
  • Banaphar
  • Behera, Pradhans in Orissa
  • Bharwad in Gujarath
  • Bhagat (Bihar) 
  • Bhatrajus (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Bhati
  • Bhragudev (Central UP)
  • Chawda (Gujarat)
  • Chaudhary (Gujarat, UP, Harayana)
  • Deshwal (some city in U.P)
  • Dhangars (in Maharashtra and Karnataka), having 108 clans
  • Dadhor (Eastern UP)
  • Doss (Tamil Nadu & Kerala)
  • Edayar (Tamil Nadu)
  • Gaurs (also called Goriya, and mentioned in the Mahabharata)
  • Gawli
  • Gadri / Gadariya
  • Gaddi in Chamb and Kangra districts of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Golla
  • Gopala
  • Gosia (Central UP)
  • Gouda (Orissa)
  • Gowda (Karanatka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh)
  • Goyal
  • Ghosh (Bengal & Orrisa)
  • Gwal (Eastern UP)
  • Iruman (Kerala, Karanatka)
  • Idaiyar (Tamil Nadu)
  • Idayan
  • Jadam
  • Jadav (Maharastra)
  • Jambavas (Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala)
  • Jadon
  • Jadeja
  • Kalchuri
  • Karayalar
  • Kone [Linage from a Yadava king name] Tamil Nadu
  • Konar (Tamil Nadu and Kerala)
  • Kolaya (Kerala, Karanatka)
  • Kondayankotth (Tamil Nadu)
  • Kurubas or Gollas ( Karnataka)
  • Krishnauth (claiming direct lineage from Lord Shri Krishna)
  • Kurubas (Karnataka)
  • Kuruba, Kuruma (Orissa)
  • Kondayankotth-Tirunelveli-Tamilnadu
  • Mahakul –The great Family (Bihar)
  • Maniyani (in Kerala)
  • Manthri (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Mayar (Kerala, Karanatka)
  • Manjrauth (linked with Jarasandh)
  • Mandal (Bihar)
  • Maniyani (Tamil Nadu & Kerala)
  • Mohaladiya (Alwar, Rajasthan)
  • Nambiyar (Tamil Nadu & Kerala)
  • Nayakkar (Tamil Nadu & Kerala)
  • Nirwan
  • Oraon
  • Pillai (in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala)
  • Pradhans
  • Puhanian
  • Rabari (Gujarat)
  • Rai
  • Rauts /Rawat
  • Rao Saheb
  • Sadgops (in Bengal)
  • Sandilya (Central UP)
  • Souryasaini
  • Saini or Shoorseni/Surasena/Shaursaini
  • Servai, (Tamil Nadu)
  • Sridhar
  • Surabhirs
  • Surasena
  • Taljunghi
  • Thatte
  • Thetwat
  • Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu & Kerala)
  • Yadav or Yadava  
  • Yadavulu
  • Vadukayar, Tiruvnelveli in Tamil Nadu
  • Vathiyar (Tamil Nadu & Kerala)
The Yadavas of Eastern India are traditionally divided into three major clans or shakhas ("branches"):
* Krishnaut or Kishnauth, the descendants of Krishna
* Madhauth or Majhauth, the descendants of Madhu, ancestor of Yadu.
* Gaur, Gor or Gorya, a very ancient Yadav clan of Epic Mahabharata.

Yadavas of Western India (whom Denzil Ibbetson also terms as Ahir) are traditionally divided into three major clans called Khanap:
* Yaduvanshi - Descendants of Yadu
* Nandvanshi - Descendants of Nanda
* Gwalvanshi - Descendants of Holy Gwals (Original word Gaur becomes Gwar and then Gwal)


  1. pls remove ntr photo from this blog plsss its a request

    1. why u want remove photo and which photo you requested.

  2. thanks for the history of yadav. All india knows that many types of name in yadav in India.

    Dharnidhar yadav

  3. Jai ho ......Great yadavas!!!!!

    Nivesh Yadav

  4. Please paste a photo of battle fought between British and Rao Tula Ram at Nasibpur (Narnaul) and also add photograph of Rao Tula Ram. The photos of Yadav dignity mainly in defence,politics,bollywood may also be added.

  5. Please share the population of Yadav's in India

  6. Delighted to go through. More detailed information on contemporary India if possible could be incorporated.
    A great ancient tradition and people need to be recognised in right perspective.
    We must build nation on or around this great tradition. Regards.

  7. Delighted to go through. More detailed information on contemporary India if possible could be incorporated.
    A great ancient tradition and people need to be recognised in right perspective.
    We must build nation on or around this great tradition. Regards.

  8. Yadav is great yadav find ahir regiment

  9. R.S.YADAV
    Yadav are great .It is also a great initiative for giving such vast information. Please more and more.