Yadav, Hindu traditions in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Before the Yadav were called Ahir. The name Ahir is derived from 'Abhira' which is a immigrant tribe found in the inscriptions and Hindu sacred books. The Abhira appear to have been one of the immigrant tribes from Central Asia. They are spoken of as robbers and foreigners. They claim connection to god Krishna since he was a herdsman. In most places they don't use the name Ahir anymore and the most common name is Yadav or Yadava.

It's easy to find out who a Yadav is. Just ask them their name and they will tell you their first name followed by their title what is always Yadav.

The Yadav are a caste comprising of milkmen, cowherds, cattle breeders and laborers. Their traditional occupation is animal husbandry and selling its products. The Yadav consist of both landowning and landless people. Some Yadav are businessmen, teachers, doctors, engineers and political leaders. Especially in the last 3 decennia they have become politically powerful in the states Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They are very influential and are a major challenge to the political supremacy of the Brahmins.

Where Are they Located?

They are living almost all over India and in South-Nepal. The highest concentration is in the states Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (North-India) but also in east, west and south India there are many Yadavs living.

Those living in the North of India speak languages of the Indo-Aryan family. The Yadav of the South speak Dravidian languages. 23 languages have more than one hundred thousand speakers. 7 languages have even more than one million speaker (24 million Yadav people have Hindi as their primary language).

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Yadav live in joint families. Most of them are vegetarian but many start eating fish, mutton, chicken and sometimes pork, but not beef. Child labor is common among them.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Yadav participate in the local traditional and socio-religious festivals. They have expertise in oral traditions and group singing in praise of the god Vishnu, Krishna or one of the many other gods that they worship. Similarly, they are good in musical dance, wrestling and mock-fighting with swords. Boys are favored for formal education. They are known to have more faith in astrology and talismans rather than in the services of a doctor. They often pray to Singaji for the protection of their cattle from disease and often give thank offerings of butter, unripe mangoes and sugar.

What Are Their Needs?

They are in need to hear about the way of salvation. Most of the Yadav die never hearing the Name of Jesus once in a lifetime!
But also life, lifestyle and living standard are changing all over the nation. The next generation will need to get other kinds of jobs. To get those jobs they need education but proper education is missing in many places (especially in the villages)
More than 12 million Yadav live in Bihar (more than 10 % of the population). Every year Bihar knows major floods, killing hundreds of people, leaving millions homeless… They are badly in need for Christian relief workers who can give them more than food, clothes and medicines.

Prayer Points

* For the salvation of the Yadav people.
* Pray for short and long term workers / teams to come and pioneer new ministries among the Yadav.
* For new focused evangelism and church planting ministries.
* For literacy and community development work.
* For Christian social workers eradicating alcoholism.
* Christian workers to meet their spiritual and physical needs.
* For the practice of child labor to end among the Yadav people.
* For education to be made available to girls as well to the boys.

Profile Source:   God Loves Yadav 

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-09-12
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-09-16
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-09-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-08-12
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-08-14
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-08-02
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-08-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-09-13
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-10-28
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-04-17
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-08-24
Video Links:
A Pilgrimage
People Name General Yadav, Hindu traditions
People Name in Country Yadav, Hindu traditions
Population in India 60,560,000
World Population 61,836,000
Countries 5
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Abhir, Adav, Adavigolla, Aharwar, Ahir, Ahirani, Ahir-Goala, Asthanagolla, Ayar, Ayar-Boricha, Baredi, Brajwari, Chosh, Couli, Dhangar, Erumakar, Gaolan, Gaoli, Gauvali, Gawal, Gawli, Gayla, Ghasi, Ghosh, Goala, Gol, Gola, Golar, Golkar, Golla, Gollewar, Gop, Gopa, Gopali, Gope, Gopi, Gosangi, Gouli, Gowala, Gullar, Gwal, Gwala, Hir, Idaiyan, Idaiyar, Idayar, Iruman, Jadav, Ji, Kolaya, Konar, Konarulu, Makhar, Muniyani, Pillai, Rai, Rao, Rao Saheb, Rao Sahib, Raut, Reo Saheb, Sadgoala, Sadgope, Sargope, Yadav, Yadava, Yadha, Yadhava, Yadukulum
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Name General Yadav, Hindu traditions
Ethnic Code CNN25r
People ID 16187
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  35  (up to 20 largest shown)
Bihar (14,746,000) Uttar Pradesh (14,260,000) Andhra Pradesh (5,330,000) West Bengal (4,381,000)
Odisha (3,536,000) Tamil Nadu (3,075,000) Jharkhand (2,669,000) Madhya Pradesh (2,524,000)
Chhattisgarh (2,218,000) Telangana (2,095,000) Maharashtra (1,262,000) Karnataka (1,026,000)
Rajasthan (897,000) Haryana (779,000) Gujarat (746,000) Assam (377,000)
Delhi (371,000) Pondicherry (61,000) Uttarakhand (59,000) Tripura (46,000)
Total States on file:  35  (up to 20 largest shown)
Bihar (14,746,000) Uttar Pradesh (14,260,000)
Andhra Pradesh (5,330,000) West Bengal (4,381,000)
Odisha (3,536,000) Tamil Nadu (3,075,000)
Jharkhand (2,669,000) Madhya Pradesh (2,524,000)
Chhattisgarh (2,218,000) Telangana (2,095,000)
Maharashtra (1,262,000) Karnataka (1,026,000)
Rajasthan (897,000) Haryana (779,000)
Gujarat (746,000) Assam (377,000)
Delhi (371,000) Pondicherry (61,000)
Uttarakhand (59,000) Tripura (46,000)
Languages & Dialects on file:  74  (up to 20 largest shown)
Hindi (25,511,000) Telugu (7,574,000) Bhojpuri (7,205,000) Bengali (4,249,000)
Oriya (2,793,000) Tamil (2,623,000) Chhattisgarhi (1,707,000) Maithili (1,023,000)
Kannada (973,000) Marathi (957,000) Awadhi (880,000) Magahi (816,000)
Kanauji (730,000) Gujarati (643,000) Assamese (247,000) Dhundari (233,000)
Bundeli (188,000) Haryanvi (107,000) Sadri (106,000) Bagheli (96,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Hindi 25,511,000 Telugu 7,574,000
Bhojpuri 7,205,000 Bengali 4,249,000
Oriya 2,793,000 Tamil 2,623,000
Chhattisgarhi 1,707,000 Maithili 1,023,000
Kannada 973,000 Marathi 957,000
Awadhi 880,000 Magahi 816,000
Kanauji 730,000 Gujarati 643,000
Assamese 247,000 Dhundari 233,000
Bundeli 188,000 Haryanvi 107,000
Sadri 106,000 Bagheli 96,000
For Primary Language: Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1806-1962)
New Testament Yes   (1811-1998)
Complete Bible Yes   (1818-2000)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible: Hindi Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Hindi Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Christ for the Nations Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Film / Video
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
Hindi Bible Text / Printed Matter
Hindi Bible stories Audio Recordings
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Hindi Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online Bible (Bibles India) Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
99.98 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.01 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: God Loves Yadav  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: God Loves Yadav 
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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