No photos

Who are they?

The Yadav are, at present, mostly a landowning community, with large sections being small-scale farmers. Their traditional and main occupations are animal husbandry (cattle and buffaloes) and agriculture, with the selling of milk and milk products forming an integral source of their livelihood. The Yadav is a relatively prosperous community occupying a respectably comfortable, middle position in social hierarchy. They have taken many steps to improve their circumstances since India’s independence.


The Yadav, or Yadava, people are considered to be Yaduvanshi (of the lineage of Yadu), and are celebrated as the community into which Krishna was born. They are said to have migrated from across the seas to Gujarat and as pastoralists, spread to the northern, central and eastern parts of India. As they mixed with local cattle-breeders, they gradually settled down, becoming peasants and continued farming and animal husbandry.

Over time the Yadav acquired political power and founded kingdoms that flourished in various parts of ancient and medieval India. During the colonial British rule, they were recognized as aristocrats. The Mahabharata, India’s greatest and oldest epic (dating to the third millennium BC, but more plausibly of the first millennium BC) illustrates the rise of the Yadav, led by Krishna, as a significant element in ancient Indian politics. After the legendary loss of Dwarka, a city in Gujarat, and Krishna’s tragic death, his noble cousins, the Pandavas, divided their kingdom into two. They gave one part of the kingdom to Krishna’s grandsons with the city of Mathura, located in present-day Uttar Pradesh, as its capital.

Today the Yadav are a large and interesting community distributed mainly in the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh (10.2 million) and Bihar, and some southern states.


The Yadavs of Uttar Pradesh speak dialects of Hindi such as Awadhi, Bhojpuri or Braj as their mother tongue, while those residing in Bihar primarily speak the Maithili or Bhojpuri dialects. The common Devanagari script is used. They are also conversant with Hindi and many educated Yadav also speak English.

The Yadav are listed as an Other Backward Classes (OBC) community under the provisions of the Indian constitution. This grants them, along with other OBCs, a number of affirmative action privileges such as fixed quotas in government jobs and higher educational institutions and relaxed criteria in competitive exams. In Uttar Pradesh the Yadav are also known as the Ahir, while in the neighbouring state of Bihar Ahir, Goala, Rai, Sar-gope and Gope are their synonyms. Some of their surnames are Yadav, Rai, Ram, Singh and Gope. However, Yadav is the most commonly used surname.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The traditional and main occupations of the Yadav are animal husbandry (cattle and buffaloes) and agriculture. An integral source of their livelihood comes from the production and sale of dairy products. Most of the Yadav are a landowning community. Many of them are small-scale farmers with some with large holdings. In fact, much of the new legislation since India’s independence is land-related which has benefited the Yadav people immensely and a large number, who were once merely cultivators, have become landowners.

These days, many Yadav people are self employed with their own small business, while others work in the government or private sectors at various levels. There are a few landless among them who work as daily-wage, agricultural or industrial labour.

The Yadav have emerged as a dynamic community in politics and administration and are quite prominent in state and, even, national level politics. Two of India’s very well known politicians, Laloo Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, are from this community. There are also doctors, engineers, lawyers, scholars, teachers, businessmen, creative artists, sportsmen and defence and police personnel among them.

Formal education is important to them. Many Yadav children study to graduate and post-graduate levels. The community makes full use of modern health facilities and has adopted family planning methods. They make full use of official development schemes related to self-employment and rural employment which contributes to their prosperity. Additionally, this community makes good use of the provision of electricity, drinking water, Public Distribution System (PDS), nationalized banking and other government services.


The Yadav do not marry outside their community but do so at the clan or lineage level and occasionally at the village level. In Uttar Pradesh, they claim to have no subgroups, hierarchy or differentiation, but in Bihar their subgroups are Kannaujiya, Kisnaut, Dandhor, Majhrot and Bhurihar. Some of their exogamous clans are Kashyap and Manu.

Among this community, marriages are arranged by parents and elders. Monogamy is the common practice, but in exceptional circumstances a second wife is allowed, for instance, if the first wife is barren. Sindur (vermilion mark), glass bangles, bindi (coloured dot on forehead), toe-rings, earrings and a nose-stud are the symbols of matrimony for women. Divorce is socially permitted, as is the remarriage of widows, widowers and divorcees. Junior levirate and junior sororate are prevalent.

Traditional extended families exist among the Yadav but they are moving towards a nuclear family, especially in urban settings. All sons equally inherit the paternal property and succession to the late father’s authority goes to the eldest son. Daughters have no right in the inheritance and do not claim any share. The status of women is secondary to the men in Yadav society, though they do have important roles in the religious and ritual spheres. In addition to doing all the domestic chores, they do menial farm work; feeding and tending to the animals and collecting fuel wood. A few educated women are in government and private jobs.

The Yadav do not have a traditional caste panchayat or council anymore. Instead they participate in the statutory village council and belong to a national organization called the All India Yadav Mahasabha, established in 1924, that strives for community’s welfare. It promotes education and social reform, as well as political mobilization in order to have power at the national level.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Yadav are Hindu by faith and worship all Hindu gods and goddesses. However, Krishna comes is especially revered and regarded as their community deity. His birthday, Janamashtami, is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion by the Yadav. Vrindavan, on the banks of the Yamuna River, near Mathura, is a very important pilgrimage center because of its legendary association with Krishna.

The Yadav celebrate all major Hindu festivals like Diwali (festival of lamps), Holi (festival of colours), Dussehra (festival celebrating Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana), Maha Sivaratri (great night of Shiva) and Ramnavmi (Rama’s birthday). Haridwar, Kurukshetra, Mathura, Gangotri and Yamunotri are some of their pilgrimage centers.

The Yadav request the services of a Brahmin priest to perform all their lifecycle rituals related to birth, marriage and death. The dead are cremated and the ashes immersed in a river, preferably the Ganges river at Haridwar or the Yamuna which are considered holy. Both birth and death pollutions for specific periods are observed. Ancestor worship is prevalent.

20 thoughts on “Yadav

  1. I would like to raise a question and as well a suggestion that according to mahabharat that yashoda delivered a girl child ‘ who was the form of shakti ” the maha maya of the world . the goddess should be considered as chief diety of the Yadav coomunity along with krishna

  2. There appears to be some confusion. It is not YADAV but JADON.. Lord Krishna beloned to Jadu Clan. Nand Baba was Ahir where Krishna spent his shildhood. Many of the Ahirs today write YADAV. It doesnt mean they are descedents of LORD KRISHNA.. NANDA BABA was Ahir and he didnt have any blood relation with the LORD KRISHNA who was from JADU clan. The story is given in Mahabharat where in it is said when alll JADUS died in Dwarka, the VAJRA son of UKHA (USHA) daughter was BANASUR was given the seat of JADU dynasity by UTHISHTER. UKHA was married to grand son of Krishna but did not go to DWARKA as Krishna was against this relation. The descendents of Vajra are found today among rajputs, JATs and MARATHAs. they speard all over India and took the worship of Lord Krisha along with them.. Please do not mix up AHIRs with JADU clan. Ahirs themselves are seperate caste and are equally warriors ..

      • jadu and yadu is only the way of speaking the same word… and and nandbaba had the relation with vasudev ji. they were brothers cousin brothers.

    • nand baba was real cousin of maharaja vasudev!! plz stop spreading such rumours that ahirs and jadoun are not same,, they are same but divided by brahmins so that they are highly serviced!! jai shree krishna

      • Your response is good up to “nand baba was real cousin of maharaja vasudev”.All clans of yadavs are same .we all belong to clan of yadu; who belong to clan of chandravams.Chandra son of sage atri.atri son of Brahma . It is not true that we are “”divided by brahmins so that we are highly serviced! to Brahmins””.Don’t get into traps .yadavs are not divided from chandrravams by bhramins yayati did that .Pandavs and kauravas are not divided by Bhramins.Dividing of clan and their identity will depend on the head of the clan at that time .It is not even division it is done to represent a great incident or great ancestors .But time and lack of knowledge on history created lot of doubts in people mind.Some take it as an advantage to spread hate.

  3. 1.We all are son of God.All human being’s mother is “Prakriti”/Shakati.

    2.We all are son of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv.We all are brother. We all have blood in our body in red colour and white colour. We all have same “PRANVAYU.”

    3.We all are son of Prjapita Brahma.Therefore we all are brahmin.No other caste are available on this earth.All Other castes are derivatives of brahmin by selection of activities as occupation..

    4.The caste originated in our epics on the basis of activities carried out by all of us.
    According to hindu shastra,there are four castes:
    4.Brahdoing min

    1.We all are sudra by birth.

    2.Those who bears good moral characters, run family honestly, doing cultivation, agriculture, majduri, vyapar honestly are deuj.

    3.Those who knows real meaninig of vedas,and doing sadhna for realisation of god are vipra.

    4.Those who realized the god .Those who is aatamjyani are brahmin.


    After mahabharat and before the time of vaikuntha gamana of lord krishna, the grand son of lord krishan called as the name “BAJRANABH” was alive who ruled over mathura according to madbhagwat puran and his childrens spread over all over india approximately 5000yrs ago.There are eight main kulas of yadava (Brishni, andhak, madhu,gwal etc.)

    In yadav samaj of bihar,there are four main branches of yadava are found:

    1.Krishnauta clan of yadava subcaste of kshtariya catse of Bihar claim the ancestor and direct lineage of krishna.
    Gotra: Atri, Gautam
    2.Madhurautha clan claims the lineage of King madhu of yadava.That is why krishna reagrded as madhav.
    Gotra:Atri, Gautam, Shandilya, Kasyap etc.
    Kul Devta: Shiv, Gauri and shakti
    Dwar Devta: bajrangvali
    3.Gwalvanshi Yadav: Gwala is the clan that belong to “Maharshee Gwal” who had wriiten so many richa of jaimini upnisad and other.The ancestor of maharsee gwal is the Holy Gwalvans.. Please check Upnishad and work of maharsee gwal.
    4.Ghosi: In bengal, ghosi branch of yadava caste existe and thrir surname is ghosh and ghosal.

    Gotra:Atri, Gautam, Ashyam, Kasyap

    • you are right mr. akhilesh bihari yadav community divided in 4 main branches, myself belong to krisnaut branch of yadav

    • your response is very good all Bharatvasi are same .we all are one .All humans are children of lord siva and parvathi ,Vishnu and lakshmi ,Brahma and saraswathi.

  4. Dear, i have gone through the comments written. Mr ashok mentioned that yadav are not descendent of lord Krishna.I believe he knew nothing about hinduism, these fact were kept under carpet by people like him as well as some others. Yadavs are aware of about there ancesters and they are very well Kshatriya.
    though yadav should utilise their strength for unity of nation which they have prooved time and again.they should improve their education. since they fought boldly against british and turks that is how they got ruined.mr ashok go and read history of all the battles of devgiri. thanks

  5. Great martial race…one of the panchjanya..chandravanshi…Vratya ideology..as Krishna himself said ..I am the leader of sangh of thousands of vratyas…mainly VRISHNIS AND ANDHAKAS…thaw are the 2 subgroups of 4 major groups..other 2 are abhiras and madhuvanshi…abhiras later became ahirs…these were devotees of Shiva THE EKA-VRATYA…so those people who see them differently get your facts clear…these all are yadav…cunning wanna-be Brahmins who want to detoriorate the pride of this great cult should not be listened to.

  6. ahir – a mins aai.
    hi- hi mins wah
    r-r mins reach.
    aai wah jo dhani hai wah ahir hai.yah bat sahi hai.mere mamu ki sadi me 1 kg silver ke jawelri mami ko diya gaya.500 grm ke 9 than ke gahne diye gaye.dahej me 2 hathni mili thi. mai bihar se hu yah bat 1950 ki hai.aaj v elephant godaun hamare vellage me aakar dekh sakte hai.
    ahir yadu kul ke hi hai.because god sri krisna father name was vasudewa.vadudewa and gokul jamindar sahab(aaj v brindaban me dekh sakte hai) aapas me bhai the .wasudev mathura ke samant w nand ji ray gokul ke jamindar the.

  7. yadav are a great people in all over world.they are lebral,honesty,warrior,greatest,laindowner,i proud my birth is ahir comunity.ahir brother of krisna .

    • Really yadavs are great renowned honest ,,helping caste that belongs to yaduvanshi ,,, to lord Krishna

  8. i have read all the comments and i must congratulate all for bringing out all the relevant historical facts. I admit we are a great community and will continue doing well.
    may i bring out this point without hurting anyone’s sentiments..
    1. Why do we need to identify ourselves with any rajput/kshatriya clan? are we not capable enough ourselves?? do we need somebody’s shoulder?? I think we have a glorious history and we don’t need to identify with anyone else.
    2. In a society or say even in a big family (be it of any caste) we will find people who are farmers,people who are soldiers(can be in any security force), people who are teachers,lawyers,doctors, engineers, also some people may be labourers, etc … basically any profession.
    3. so does the above point says that the same family will have (in a traditional sense) khsatriya or brahmin or shudra or vyasya?? I think this was an age old practice which simply does’nt have any relevance today.
    4. The relevance today is for only some narrow minded people. And yes this distiniction also serves as an ego booster for a few people to show their superiority.
    5. In view of the above points i would just say that we are yadav and are the best people and don’t need the rest of the people to approve our greatness.
    thankyou(no wrong intentions)

  9. Yadav’s are the no.1 caste in world…
    Because the God Krishna it self is yadav
    So im very proud to born in yadav caste
    No any other caste had the history like the yadav caste have….
    Jai shree Krishna….
    Jai yadava…..

  10. Jai Yadav
    Jai Madhav
    Jai Shri Krishna
    Jai Shri Radha ji
    Jai Shri BalRam
    Jai Shri Yadu
    Jai Yaduvanshi

  11. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply

Login with your Social ID

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>