Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Ahirs

Ahirs

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ahirs'
Start a new discussion about 'Ahirs'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Ahir is an Indian caste. The term can be used synonymously with Yadav
Yadav
Yādav refers to an umbrella group of traditionally non-elite pastoral communities, or castes, in India and Nepal which since the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has claimed descent from the mythological King Yadu as a part of a movement of social and political resurgence.The term 'Yadav' now...

, as the latter term refers to Ahirs who have identified as Yadavs. The major divisions of Ahirs are: Yaduvanshi, Nandvanshi
Nandvanshi
Nanda or Nandagopa, according to the Harivamsha and the Puranas, was the head of the gopas .It is said that Nand Baba owned 9 lakhs of cows Nandvanshi Ahirs are descendants of Nand....

, and Gwalvanshi
Gwalvanshi
Gwalvanshi were people associated with sacred cows. Amarkosa, an ancient Sanskrit text treats them as synonym of Abhira. The term Gwal was derived from Gopal or "protector of cows"...

.

Etymology


Ahir is a Prakrit
Prakrit
Prakrit is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Old Indic dialects. The word itself has a flexible definition, being defined sometimes as, "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", or "vernacular", in contrast to the literary and religious...

 form of the Sanskrit word abhira (fearless),
The Indologist F. Max Müller stated in 1886 that the Abhira are the modern Ahir.

Origin



Various theories exist regarding the origin of the Ahirs.

Sir William Wilson Hunter
William Wilson Hunter
Sir William Wilson Hunter KCSI CIE was a Scottish historian, statistician, a compiler and a member of the Indian Civil Service, who later became Vice President of Royal Asiatic Society.-Early life and education:...

 proposes that the word Ahir derives from the Sanskrit Ahi (snake) and that snake worship, compounded by other cultural facts, suggests a Scythic origin. However, J. C. Nesfield refutes it by saying that snake worship is not peculiar to scythics but a common practice all over India, and he also argues that it is absurd to derive Ahir from ahi, a Sanskrit word, when the original name of the community is Abhira, and Ahir its Prakrit corruption. He is of the view that Ahirs have purely Aryan origin. One study in Deccan Ahirs have found out existence of totem
Totem
A totem is a stipulated ancestor of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe.Totems support larger groups than the individual person. In kinship and descent, if the apical ancestor of a clan is nonhuman, it is called a totem...

istic septs, which is regarded as a sure sign of being non-Aryan, seconded by existence of a sect called Romabans, which is the regular corruption of word romak, frequently found in Sanskrit works on astronomy, and identified by Prof. Weber to be the town Alexandria in Egypt, from where the science of astronomy was cultivated and from whom people of India borrowed the concepts of astronomy. It is argued that foreign hordes from Romak might have settled in India, and incorporated into Ahirs.

Bhagwan Singh Suryavanshi claims that archaeological research in Deccan has revealed the presence of pastoral people of Neolithic era, who shares many attributes of Abhira. Hence, Abhira might have been present much earlier than what has been postulated so far. Finally he concludes, they spread from Indus to Mathura, and migrated southward and eastward. He also claims that similarity of culture and common belief that they are descendant of the god Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, is the proof that they sprang from a common source.

According to a theory advanced by A. P. Karmakar, Abhiras were a proto-Dravidian tribe, derived from Dravidian ayir, which means cowherd. He further argues that Aitareva Brahmin refers to vasah, as the name of people, which in Vedic literature means "cow".

Finally, he concludes from Padma Purana, where Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 informed Abhiras, "I shall be born among you, O Abhiras, at Mathura in my eighth birth". D. R. Bhandarkar, supports the non-Aryan origin theory, by directly relating Krishna to the Rig Veda's "Krishna Drapsah", where he fights Aryan god Indra
Indra
' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...

. Added to this Karmakar, shows Harivamsa says Yadu
Yadu
Yadu is one of the five Indo-Aryan tribes mentioned in the Rig Veda . The Mahabharata, the Harivamsha and the Puranas mention Yadu as the eldest son of king Yayati and his queen Devayani. The prince of King Yayati, Yadu was a self-respecting and a very established ruler...

 was born of Harynasva and Madhumati, who was the daughter of Madhu. Madhu says all the territory of Mathura belongs to Abhiras. Further, Mahabharata describes Abhira as forming one of the seven republics, Samsaptak Gunas, and as a friend of Matsya
Matsya
Matsya was the first Avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. The great flood finds mention in Hindu mythology texts like the Satapatha Brahmana, where in the Matsya Avatar takes place to save the pious and the first man, Manu and advices him to build a giant boat.-The Legend:According to the Matsya...

s, a pre vedic tribe.

Early history


Ancient Sanskrit scholars such as Pāṇini, Chanakya
Chanakya
Chānakya was a teacher to the first Maurya Emperor Chandragupta , and the first Indian emperor generally considered to be the architect of his rise to power. Traditionally, Chanakya is also identified by the names Kautilya and VishnuGupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise...

 and Patanjli mentioned Ahirs as followers of Bhagawat sect of Hindu religion. According to historian K.A. Nilkanth Shastri Abhira chiefs established their independent political kingdoms in western India after the decline of Maurya and Satvahan empire.

Greek historians' reference of Abisares
Abisares
Abisares , called Embisarus by Diodorus, was an Indian king of abhira descent beyond the river Hydaspes, whose territory lay in the mountains, sent embassies to Alexander the Great both before and after the conquest of Porus in 326 BC, although inclined to espouse the side of the latter...

 are thought to be of Abhira chief. Ahirs ruled the whole of Haryana under the Mogul
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 rule and later were declared as independent kings.

In religious scriptures


The Manusmrti refers to Abhiras as sons of Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

 and Ambashta. The earliest inscription about them refers to them as Abhira Brahmin.

Ptolemy and Sreemad Bhagwatam wrote similar accounts of a country called Abhira at the mouth of the river Indus. Nineteenth century writers, such as Christian Lassen
Christian Lassen
Christian Lassen was a Norwegian-German orientalist.-Life:He was born at Bergen, Norway. Having received a university education at Oslo, he went to Germany and continued his studies at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Bonn. In Bonn, Lassen acquired a sound knowledge of Sanskrit...

 Gesenius, Sir Emerson Tennent, and Max Müller
Max Müller
Friedrich Max Müller , more regularly known as Max Müller, was a German philologist and Orientalist, one of the founders of the western academic field of Indian studies and the discipline of comparative religion...

, mentioned an "Ophir", a seaport on the southwest coast of India which may correspond to Ophir, mentioned in the Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

. In the Coptic language
Coptic language
Coptic or Coptic Egyptian is the current stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century. Egyptian began to be written using the Greek alphabet in the 1st century...

, Sofir, the name of India, refers to Surabhir.

Many scholars believe both Gupta Empire
Gupta Empire
The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire which existed approximately from 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian Subcontinent. Founded by Maharaja Sri-Gupta, the dynasty was the model of a classical civilization. The peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the...

 and Mauryas
Maurya Empire
The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power in ancient India, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BC...


The original cult of Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, especially the aspect dealing with Krishna's boyhood in Vrindavan
Vrindavan
Vrindavan also known as Vraj is a town in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India...

 and his dalliances with the Gopis, has been attributed to the Ahir or Abhir tribe. The merging of this Krishna with the hero of the Mahabharat did not occur until about 4th century CE


Ahir as an ethnic category


According to sociologist M. S. A. Rao
M. S. A. Rao
Madhugiri Saroja A. Rao was a professor of sociology who had been a founder-member in 1959 of the Department of Sociology at the University of Delhi, India. He wrote and edited extensively on subject matters such as the social aspects of nutrition, both urban and rural sociology, and the sociology...

, Yadava is an ethnic category consisting of several allied castes, which together constitute about one-tenth of the total population of India. These castes are found in different parts of India, Burma, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 and are known as the "Ahir" in the Punjab
Punjab (India)
Punjab ) is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the...

, Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

, Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over , and is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east...

, Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

, Gujarat and Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

; the "Goalas" and "Sadgopa" or Gauda in Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 and Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

; Dhangar
Dhangar
The Dhangar caste is primarily located in the Indian state of Maharashtra...

 in Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

; Yadava and Kurubas in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

 and Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

 and Idayan and Konar in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

. There are also several sub-regional names such as Thetwar and Rawat
Rawat Rajputs
Rawat Rajputs are a group of people who reside in Ajmer, Ballabgarh, Faridabad, Palwal Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh and Pali districts of Rajasthan, the area known as Magra-Merwara and the Kumaon division and Garhwal Divisions of Uttarakhand, India....

 in Madhya Pradesh, and Mahakul (Great Family) in Bihar.

M.S.A Rao further states that the Allahabad
Allahabad
Allahabad , or Settled by God in Persian, is a major city of India and is one of the main holy cities of Hinduism. It was renamed by the Mughals from the ancient name of Prayaga , and is by some accounts the second-oldest city in India. It is located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh,...

 iron pillar inscription of Samudragupta
Samudragupta
Samudragupta , ruler of the Gupta Empire , and successor to Chandragupta I, is considered to be one of the greatest military geniuses in Indian history according to Historian V. A. Smith. His name is taken to be a title acquired by his conquests...

 (4th century AD) mentions the Abhiras as one of the tribal states of west and south west India, who paid homage to the emperor (churn, 1943:81). A 4th century (AD) inscription found in Nashik speaks of an Abhira king, and there is proof that in the middle of the 4th century the Abhiras were settled in eastern Rajputana
Rajputana
Rājputāna was the pre-1949 name of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān, the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area. George Thomas was the first in 1800 A.D., to term this region as Rajputana...

 and Malwa. Similarly, when the Kathis arrived in Gujarat in the 8th century, they found the greater part of the country in the possession of the Ahirs. The Mirzapur district
Mirzapur District
Mirzapur district is one of the 70 districts of Uttar Pradesh state in northern India. The district is bounded on the north by Sant Ravidas Nagar and Varanasi districts, on the east by Chandauli district, on the south by Sonbhadra district and on the norhwest by Allahabad district. The district...

 of the United Provinces
United Provinces of Agra and Oudh
The United Provinces of Agra and Oudh was a province of India under the British Raj, which existed from 1902 to 1947; the official name was shortened by the Government of India Act 1935 to United Provinces, by which the province had been commonly known, and by which name it was also a province of...

 has a tract known as Ahraura
Ahraura
Ahraura is a city and a municipal board in Mirzapur district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.Aharaura has many famous places from the point of view holyness as there is a temple situated in rocky mountain and there is stone letter which is by Emperor Ashok.-Demographics: India census, Ahraura...

, named after the Ahir, and near Jhansi
Jhansi
Jhansi Hindi:झाँसी, , Marathi: झाशी, is a historical city of India. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi District and Jhansi Division. The original walled city grew up around its stone fort, which crowns a neighboring rock. This district is on the bank of river Betwa.The National...

, another piece of country was called Ahirwar. The Ahirs were also kings of Nepal at the beginning of the Christian era. Khandesh
Khandesh
Khandesh is a region of central India, which forms the northwestern portion of Maharashtra state.Khandesh was the terminal territorial part under the rule of Mughals. The Start of Deccan region demarcated by the boundary of Khandesh....

 and the Tapti valley were other regions where they were kings.

This indicates that the Abhiras, who rose to political prominence in the 2nd century BC., had a chequered political career until the 14th century AD when their importance was over-shadowed by the Mughals, but even during the Mughal period the Ahir and Golla raja
Raja
Raja is an Indian term for a monarch, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna...

hs were a power to be reckoned with. The Gawlis rose to political power in Deogarh, on the Chhindwara
Chhindwara
Chhindwara is a town and a municipality in Chhindwara district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of Chhindwara District. Chhindwara is reachable by rail or road from adjacent cities Nagpur and Jabalpur...

 Plateau in the central provinces. The Saugar traditions trace the Gawli supremacy to a much later date, as the tracts of Etawa and Khurai are held to have been governed by chieftains till the close of the 17th century

Ahir kingdoms


Ahir kings ruled present-day India and beyond. At the beginning of the Christian era (CE), the invading Scythians and Kushans forced most of the Ahirs to lower Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

 in the Arbuda (Aravali region). In Marubhumi (Marwar
Marwar
Marwar is a region of southwestern Rajasthan state in western India. It lies partly in the Thar Desert. In Rajasthani dialect "wad" means a particular area. The word Marwar is derived from Sanskrit word 'Maruwat'. English translation of the word is 'The region of desert'., The Imperial Gazetteer...

), Saurashtra and Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

 areas, they served the local rulers and established their own rule. Ahirs laid the foundation of Ahir Batak town, which was called Ahrora, located in Central provinces, and Ahirwar in Jhansi
Jhansi
Jhansi Hindi:झाँसी, , Marathi: झाशी, is a historical city of India. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi District and Jhansi Division. The original walled city grew up around its stone fort, which crowns a neighboring rock. This district is on the bank of river Betwa.The National...

 district in 108 CE. Rudramurti Ahir
Rudramurti Ahir
-References:...

 became the chief of the army and later on the King. Madhuriputra
Madhuriputra
Madhuriputra was an Ahir king. Later on he mingled with Yadav Rajputs. The Nasik inscription speaks of king Madhuriputra Ishvarasena, the Abhir and a son of Shivadatta. This dynasty originated in AD 249-50, an era called Kalachuri or Chedi in later times. Some historians consider the Chutus to be a...

, Ishwarsen and Shivdutta were well-known kings of this lineage. Ishwarsena
Ishwarsena
Ishwarsena was the founder of the Abhira dynasty and he started an era which later became known as the Kalachuri-Chedi era. He and his descendants whose names do not occur in the Puranas seem to have ruled over a large territory in deccan. He took the title of Rajan and an era was named after him....

, a great Ahir general, became master of Western Deccan in place of the famous Satavahanas. He took the title of Raja
Raja
Raja is an Indian term for a monarch, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna...

n and an era was named after him. His descendants continued to rule for nine generations. This generation of Abhira kings ruled for 167 years till last of them was ousted by their Traikutaka feudatory in AD 415. It is generally supposed that Traikutakas
Traikutakas
The Traikutakas were a dynasty of Indian kings who ruled between 388 and 456 CE. The name "Traikutakas" seems to derived from the words for a three-peaked mountain . The Traikutakas are mentioned in Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa, in which they are located in the area of northern Konkan...

 were a different dynasty of Abhira, and hence are sometimes called Abhira-Traikutika. Indradutta, Dahrasena & Vyaghrasena were well known kings from this dynasty. Traikutakas
Traikutakas
The Traikutakas were a dynasty of Indian kings who ruled between 388 and 456 CE. The name "Traikutakas" seems to derived from the words for a three-peaked mountain . The Traikutakas are mentioned in Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa, in which they are located in the area of northern Konkan...

 were known for their Vaishnava faith, who claimed to be Yadav of Haihaya branch and Dahrasena performed Ashvamedha yajna too Abhira Era started by Ishwarsena in AD 249, continued with them and was called Abhira-Traikutika era. This era was later continued by Kalachuri Dynasty, calling it Kalachuri era, and later Kalachuri-Chedi era. After the rule of five traikuta kings, they retired to central provinces and assumed the name Haiyhaya (Chedi
Chedi Kingdom
Chedi kingdom was one among the many kingdoms ruled during early periods by Paurava kings and later by Yaduvanshi Rajput kings in the central and western India. It falls roughly in the Bundelkhand division of Madhya Pradesh regions to the south of river Yamuna and along river Betwa or Vetravati...

) and Kalachuri
Kalachuri
Kalachuri Empire is this the name used by two kingdoms who had a succession of dynasties from the 10th-12th centuries, one ruling over areas in Central India and were called Chedi or Haihaya and the other southern Kalachuri who ruled over parts of Karnataka...

. Historians call this entire era as Abhira-Traikutika-Kalachuri-Chedi era

In a cave inscription at Nashik, references were made to an Ahir prince named Ishwersena, son of Shivdutta. Another inscription, found at Gunda and dated 181 CE, in the reign of the Kshatrapa Rudrasinha, described his general Rudrabhuti, who was called Ahir. When the kathis arrived in Gujarat, they found the greater part of the country controlled by Ahirs. The old fort Asirgarh
Asirgarh
Asirgarh Qila is an Indian fortress situated in the Satpura Range, about 20 km north of the town of Burhanpur, in Burhanpur District of Madhya Pradesh state. The fortress commands a pass through the Satpuras connecting the valleys of the Narmada and Tapti rivers, one of the most important...

(short of Asa Ahir Garh), in Khandesh, retains the name of its founder Asa Ahir. For centuries the Ahirs were eclipsed as a political power in Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

 until the time of the Pratihara
Pratihara
The Gurjara Pratihara , often simply called Pratihara Empire, was an imperial Indian dynasty that ruled much of Northern India from the 6th to the 11th centuries. At its peak of prosperity and power , the Gurajara-Pratihara Empire rivaled or even exceeded the Gupta Empire in the extent of its...

 dynasty.

Ahirs ruled the whole of Haryana under the Mogul
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 rule and later were declared as independent kings. Vātsyāyana also noted the Abhira kingdoms in the Kama Sutra
Kama Sutra
The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Hindu text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by Vātsyāyana. A portion of the work consists of practical advice on sexual intercourse. It is largely in prose, with many inserted anustubh poetry verses...

.Ahirs also ruled beyond the geographical borders of present-day India, as kings of the hilly terrain of Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

. Eight kings of the first Ahir dynasty ruled Nepal, the first being Bhuktaman and the last Yaksha Gupta. Owing to pastoral disputes, this dynasty was replaced by another Ahir dynasty. The second Ahir dynasty had a succession of three kings: Badasimha, Jaymati Simha, and Bhuban Simha. Their rule ended when the Kirati invaders defeated Bhuban Simha.

Ahir kings



  • Ra Mandalika
    Ra Mandalika
    Ra Mandalika III was the Abhira ruler of Junagarh and was the son of Khangara III.Ra Mandalika I ascended the throne in 1260A.D when the muslims were begenning to establish their rule in Gujarat. Ra Mundalika died in 1400 A.D; Ra Melaka succeeded him who drove the muslims garrison out but...

     (ruler of Somnath
    Somnath
    The Somnath Temple located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the God Shiva. Somnath means "The Protector of Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as "the Shrine Eternal", having been destroyed...

    )
  • Ra Graharipu
    Ra Graharipu
    Ra Graharipu was an Abhira king and ruler of Saurastra. He had a good relationship with Lakha, the son of King Phula of Kutch, and other kings such as Turks. Somnath Temple was under the Graharipu. He also fought Mularaja Solanki in A.D 961 and was also known as Chudasama...

  • Rao Tula Ram
    Rao Tula Ram
    Rao Tula Ram was one of the key leaders of the Indian rebellion of 1857, in Haryana, where he is considered a state hero....

  • King Porus
  • Rudramurti Ahir
    Rudramurti Ahir
    -References:...

  • Madhuriputra
    Madhuriputra
    Madhuriputra was an Ahir king. Later on he mingled with Yadav Rajputs. The Nasik inscription speaks of king Madhuriputra Ishvarasena, the Abhir and a son of Shivadatta. This dynasty originated in AD 249-50, an era called Kalachuri or Chedi in later times. Some historians consider the Chutus to be a...

     (mingled with Rajputs)
  • Samudragupta
    Samudragupta
    Samudragupta , ruler of the Gupta Empire , and successor to Chandragupta I, is considered to be one of the greatest military geniuses in Indian history according to Historian V. A. Smith. His name is taken to be a title acquired by his conquests...

  • Ishwarsena
    Ishwarsena
    Ishwarsena was the founder of the Abhira dynasty and he started an era which later became known as the Kalachuri-Chedi era. He and his descendants whose names do not occur in the Puranas seem to have ruled over a large territory in deccan. He took the title of Rajan and an era was named after him....

     (Western Deccan)
  • Virsen (Jalgaon)
  • Shivdutta
  • Indranigupta (a.k.a Sudraka
    Sudraka
    ' was an Indian King. Three Sanskrit plays are ascribed to him - Mricchakatika , Vinavasavadatta, and a bhana , Padmaprabhritaka.. He has been identified as Abhira King Indranigupta, who used the pen name Sudraka.- References :* Ryder, Arthur William. Translator...

    )
  • Bhuktaman (Nepal)
  • Jaya Gupta (Nepal)
  • Param Gupta (Nepal)
  • Harsha Gupta (Nepal)
  • Bhim Gupta (Nepal)
  • Vishnu Gupta (Nepal)
  • Jaya Gupta II (Nepal)
  • Yaksha Gupta (Nepal)
  • Vishva Gupta (Nepal)
  • Bhumi Gupta (Nepal)
  • Jishnu Gupta (Nepal, His inscription reads Kshatriya of the Lunar Dynasty, Somavansa Bhushana)
  • Badasimha
  • Jaymati Simha
  • Bhuban Simha

Ahir Raj in the Moghul era


Pran Sukh Yadav
Pran Sukh Yadav
Pran Sukh Yadav in Hindi प्राण सुख यादव 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...

 (1802–1888) was an extraordinary military commander of his time. He was a close friend of Hari Singh Nalwa
Hari Singh Nalwa
Hari Singh Nalwa was Commander-in-chief of the Khalsa, the army of the Sikh Empire. He is known for his role in the conquests of Kasur, Sialkot, Multan, Kashmir, Attock, and Peshawar. He led the Sikh Army in freeing Shah Shuja from Kashmir and secured the Koh-i-Nor diamond for Maharaja Ranjit Singh...

 and famous Punjab ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Early life:...

.In his early career he trained Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

 Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 army. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh he fought in both the First
First Anglo-Sikh War
The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company between 1845 and 1846. It resulted in partial subjugation of the Sikh kingdom.-Background and causes of the war:...

 and Second Anglo-Sikh War
Second Anglo-Sikh War
The Second Anglo-Sikh War took place in 1848 and 1849, between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company. It resulted in the subjugation of the Sikh Empire, and the annexation of the Punjab and what subsequently became the North-West Frontier Province by the East India Company.-Background...

s, due to his extreme hatred towards Britishers after the defeat of Sikhs he started giving military training to the farmers of Narnaul
Narnaul
Narnaul is a city, a municipal council and headquarter of Mahendragarh district in the Indian state of Haryana. It is one of the very few districts in India with the name of the district different from the name of the main town in the district.- Geography :...

 and Mahendragarh
Mahendragarh
Mahendragarh is a town and a municipal committee in Mahendragarh district in the north Indian state of Haryana.-Geography:Mahendragarh is located at...

 region.

The British civil servant Meadows Taylor noted of the Yaduvanshi subset of Ahirs: Some of the Jad-bansis have embraced Islam, and, in common with certain other tribes, are known as Ranghar
Ranghar
Ranghar are a Muslim ethnic group, which is found in Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan and Haryana and Uttar Pradesh states of India. Ranghar were native to Indian state of Haryana and also found in the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh, as well as Delhi in India...

s.

Colonial depictions


According to historians Crooke and Risley, Ahirs of Mathura and Rajputana
Rajputana
Rājputāna was the pre-1949 name of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān, the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area. George Thomas was the first in 1800 A.D., to term this region as Rajputana...

 are characterized by tall stature, light brown complexion and finer features.

As a martial race


The British
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 rulers of India classified the Ahirs amongst the "martial races", and in 1898, the British raised four Ahir companies, two of which were in the 95th Russel Infantry. The Ahirs continued their warrior tradition by their extensive participation in the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

 and police forces.

Subdivisions


In many listings, Ahirs are divided into Yaduvanshi, Nandvanshi
Nandvanshi
Nanda or Nandagopa, according to the Harivamsha and the Puranas, was the head of the gopas .It is said that Nand Baba owned 9 lakhs of cows Nandvanshi Ahirs are descendants of Nand....

, and Gwalvanshi
Gwalvanshi
Gwalvanshi were people associated with sacred cows. Amarkosa, an ancient Sanskrit text treats them as synonym of Abhira. The term Gwal was derived from Gopal or "protector of cows"...

 branches.

In Gujarat, they are divided into the Prantharia, Machhoya, Boureecha, and Sorathia.

Distribution


They are a subcaste of Dhangar and are not only found in the Kaatch (Kutch) area of western Gujarat, but also in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Nepal. In Maharashtra, Ahirs comprise a subgroup of the Dhangar caste system of India. Ahirs are present in large numbers in Terai
Terai
The Terai is a belt of marshy grasslands, savannas, and forests located south of the outer foothills of the Himalaya, the Siwalik Hills, and north of the Indo-Gangetic Plain of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and their tributaries. The Terai belongs to the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion...

, the plains that lie in the southern part of Nepal.

In many Western Uttar Pradesh districts like Badaun, Etah
Etah
Etah is a town which is also the district headquarters of Etah district of Uttar Pradesh state, India.-Geography:Etah is located at . It has an average elevation of 170 metres ....

, Mainpuri
Mainpuri
Mainpuri is a city and a municipal board in Mainpuri district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of the Mainpuri district and is situated to the north-east of Agra.-Geography:...

, Southern Haryana, northern Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

 and eastern Rajasthan, the Ahirs are still in a majority. Ahirs also form a majority in various districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, including Azamgarh
Azamgarh
Azamgarh is a town in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is headquarters of Azamgarh district and Azamgarh Division.-History:Azamgarh, one of the easternmost districts of the State, once formed a part of the ancient Kosala kingdom, except the north-eastern part of it which was included in the...

 and Madhepura
Madhepura
Madhepura is a city and a municipality in Madhepura district in the Indian state of Bihar. Madhepura as it stands now was carved out of Saharsa district and got the status of revenue district on 9 May 1981. Prior to that, Madhepura was a sub-division under Bhagalpur district with effect from 3...

.

Jhansi
Jhansi
Jhansi Hindi:झाँसी, , Marathi: झाशी, is a historical city of India. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi District and Jhansi Division. The original walled city grew up around its stone fort, which crowns a neighboring rock. This district is on the bank of river Betwa.The National...

 was known for a long time as Ahirwada (land of Ahirs). People from Ahirwada also known as Ahirwar or Aharwar
Aharwar
The Ahirwar, or Aharwar are a Hindu caste found in North India. The historian Robert Vane Russell noted that the Ahirwar are among the Bharia groups with a name connoting descent from a mixed marriage or outside entrance into the clan, with Ahirwar meaning, "descendants of an Ahir".The Ahirwar was...

. The Ahirwar live in different regions of India from Jhansi to Mathura, Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

, Agra
Agra
Agra a.k.a. Akbarabad is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, west of state capital, Lucknow and south from national capital New Delhi. With a population of 1,686,976 , it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most...

 region. The Ahirs preserve their associations with the country lying between the Sutlej
Sutlej
The Sutlej River is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroad region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan. It is located north of the Vindhya Range, south of the Hindu Kush segment of the Himalayas, and east of the Central Sulaiman Range in Pakistan.The Sutlej...

 and the Yamuna
Yamuna
The Yamuna is the largest tributary river of the Ganges in northern India...

.

North India


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. They are majority in the region around Behror
Behror
Behror is a town and a municipality in Alwar district in the state of Rajasthan, India.Behror comes under Delhi NCR region.-Geography: is located at . It has an average elevation of ....

, Alwar, Rewari
Rewari
Rewari is a city and a municipal council in Rewari district in the Indian state of Haryana. It is located in south-west Haryana around from Delhi and from Gurgaon.- Etymology :...

, Narnaul
Narnaul
Narnaul is a city, a municipal council and headquarter of Mahendragarh district in the Indian state of Haryana. It is one of the very few districts in India with the name of the district different from the name of the main town in the district.- Geography :...

, Mahendragarh
Mahendragarh
Mahendragarh is a town and a municipal committee in Mahendragarh district in the north Indian state of Haryana.-Geography:Mahendragarh is located at...

, Gurgaon
Gurgaon
Gurgaon is the second largest city in the Indian state of Haryana. Gurgaon is the industrial and financial center of Haryana. It is located 30 km south of national capital New Delhi, about 10 kilometers from Dwarka Sub City and 268 km south of Chandigarh, the state capital...

 and Jhajjar
Jhajjar
Jhajjar is a town in Jhajjar district in the Indian state of Haryana.-Geography:Jhajjar is located at . It has an average elevation of 220 metres .-Demographics:...

 which is therefore known as Ahirwal or the abode of Ahirs.

Ahirs synonyms are Yadav and Rao Sahab. Rao Sahab is only used in Ahirwal region consisting of territories of few villages of Delhi, Southern Haryana & Behrod area of Alwar district (Rajasthan). Ahirs of this region are mainly in armed forces.

Yadav dominated areas in National Capital Region(NCR) includes Gurgaon
Gurgaon
Gurgaon is the second largest city in the Indian state of Haryana. Gurgaon is the industrial and financial center of Haryana. It is located 30 km south of national capital New Delhi, about 10 kilometers from Dwarka Sub City and 268 km south of Chandigarh, the state capital...

, Noida
Noida
Noida , short for the New Okhla Industrial Development Area, is an area in India under the management of the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority . Noida came into administrative existence on 17 April 1976 and celebrates 17 April as "Noida Day". It was set up as part of an urbanization...

, Manesar
Manesar
Manesar/मानेसर is a fast growing industrial town in Gurgaon district of the State of Haryana in India, and is a part of the National Capital Region of Delhi. It has transformed from a sleepy village to one of the fastest growing townships in India. It is an upcoming area of NCR. Some of the...

, Behror
Behror
Behror is a town and a municipality in Alwar district in the state of Rajasthan, India.Behror comes under Delhi NCR region.-Geography: is located at . It has an average elevation of ....

, Neemrana
Neemrana
Neemrana is an ancient historical town in Alwar district of Rajasthan, India, situated at 122 km from Delhi on the Delhi-Jaipur highway in Behror tehsil. It is the site of 14th century Hill-Fort ruled by Chauhans till 1947...

, Bawal
Bawal
Bawal is a municipality of Rewari district in the state of Haryana, India. Bawal comes under the National Capital Region of India and is strategically located on the National Highway 8, about 14  km from Rewari, 60 km from Gurgaon and about 100 km from Delhi.- Geography :Bawal is...

, Dharuhera
Dharuhera
Dharuhera is a census town in Rewari tehsil of Rewari district in the state of Haryana, India. Dharuhera comes under Delhi NCR region and it is an industrial hub.It was founded by Choudhary Nand Ram, a Yaduvanshi Ahir ruler of Rewari.-Geography:...

, Pataudi
Pataudi
Pataudi is a town in Gurgaon district in the Indian state of Haryana. It is located from Gurgaon, at the foot hills of the Aravali hills.Pataudi was the seat of Pataudi State which was ruled by the Nawabs of Pataudi. The 8th Nawab, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, played cricket for both England and...

, Bhiwadi
Bhiwadi
-Demographics: India census, Bhiwadi had a population of 33,830. Males constitute 63% of the population and females 37%. Bhiwadi has an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 76% and female literacy of 53%...

, Badshahpur
Badshahpur
Badshapur/बादशाहपुर is situated in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, its geographical coordinates are 28° 24' 0" North, 77° 3' 0" East and its original name is Bādshāhpur.-Politics:...

, Kosli
Kosli
Kosli is a Tehsil in District Rewari of state Haryana in India. It is situated 80 km from Delhi in National Capital Region .According to Mahabharat, Tomar Clan was once a part of Yadav Clan...

, Alwar and Rewari
Rewari
Rewari is a city and a municipal council in Rewari district in the Indian state of Haryana. It is located in south-west Haryana around from Delhi and from Gurgaon.- Etymology :...

.This belt is also called as Ahirwal Belt. Delhi has 40 villages. neighbouring Gurgaon has 106 villages and Noida has around 30 villages.

Thousands of Yadav villagers from Gurgaon and Manesar
Manesar
Manesar/मानेसर is a fast growing industrial town in Gurgaon district of the State of Haryana in India, and is a part of the National Capital Region of Delhi. It has transformed from a sleepy village to one of the fastest growing townships in India. It is an upcoming area of NCR. Some of the...

 are millionaires today after selling their agricultural land to private builders and HUDA, and many have become property dealers.

Rajasthan and Gujarat



There is a great concentration of Ahirs in Kutch. There are five main castes of Ahirs in Kutch: Prantharia
Ahir Paratharia
The Paratharia are a sub-division of the Ahir caste found in the state of Gujarat in India.- Origin :The community is believed to have derived its name from the Parathar region, their original homeland. According to their traditions, they migrated from Mathura along with Lord Krishna to the...

, Mochhaya, Boricha
Ahir Boricha
The Boricha are a sub-group of the Ahir caste found in the state of Gujarat in India. - Origin :The Boricha get their name from the Boricha region of Kutch, which was their original homeland, from where they emigrated to Jamnagar District due to a draught. According to other traditions, the word...

, and Sorathia
Ahir Sorathia
The Sorathia in Hindi अहीर सोराथिया are a sub-group of the Ahir caste found in the state of Gujarat in India.- Origin :The community is believed to have derived its name from the Sorath region, their original homeland. It is believed that Caucasian Avar settled in the Sorath region and referred to...

 and Vagadia. These communities are mainly of farmers who once sold milk and ghee but who now have diversified their businesses because of the irregularity of rain. The other community is of Bharwad
Bharwad
The Bharwad are a Hindu caste found in the state of Gujarat in India. Those of Saurashtra use Ahir as a surname, Bharwad consider themselves as Nandvanshi Ahirs.Enthoven writes that Bharwads numbered 95,832 according to 1901 census.-Origin:...

s those of Saurashtra use Ahir as a surname, Bharwad consider themselves as Nandvanshi
Nandvanshi
Nanda or Nandagopa, according to the Harivamsha and the Puranas, was the head of the gopas .It is said that Nand Baba owned 9 lakhs of cows Nandvanshi Ahirs are descendants of Nand....

 Ahirs. Their mother tongue is Gujrati.

Rajasthan has 26 districts of which seven have Ahir Sabhas. These are Tonk
Tonk, India
Tonk is a town in Rajasthan state, India. The town of Tonk is situated by road south from Jaipur, near the right bank of the Banas River. It is the administrative headquarters of Tonk District. Tonk was also the capital of the eponymous princely state of British India from 1817 to...

, Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

, Sawai Madhopur
Sawai Madhopur
Sawai Madhopur is a city and a municipality in Sawai Madhopur District in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is the administrative headquarters of Sawai Madhopur District....

, Boondi
Boondi
Boondi is a fried Rajasthani sweet snack made from chickpea flour. A savory version of Boondi called Khara is also made. Being very sweet, it can be stored for a week or so. Due to the need for preserving food in arid regions of Rajasthan, boondi Laddu are preferred.-Preparation:To prepare...

, Kota
Kota district
Kota District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The city of Kota is the administrative headquarters of the district.During the period around 12th century AD, Rao Deva,a Hada Chieftain conquered the territory and founded Bundi and Hadoti...

, Jhalawara Sikar
Sikar
Sikar is a city located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan state in India. It is the administrative headquarter of Sikar District. Sikar is a historical city and contains many old Havelis which are a huge tourist attraction. The best way to reach the city is to use road transport from Jaipur...

 and Alwar.

The very ancient race of Ahir also appears in Gujrat, once a ruling race, as inscriptions and grants mention their princes. Traditionally they appear in frequent connection with the Yadava – in the Krishan legend. Some historians say they may be Turanian.

In Jamnagar and Junagadh


There is large number of Ahir population in Jamnagar
Jamnagar
Jamnagar is a city and a municipal corporation in Jamnagar district in the Indian state of Gujarat. The city was built up substantially by Maharaja Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji in the 1920s, when the district was known as Nawanagar. The district lies just to the south of the Gulf of Kutch and is...

 and Junagadh
Junagadh
Junagadh is the headquarters of Junagadh district in the Indian state of Gujarat. The city is the 7th largest in Gujarat. The city is located at the foot of the Girnar hills, 355 km south west of state capital Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. The city is in western India. Literally translated,...

, who have been said to be migrated along with Krishna during his migration from Mathura to Dwarka (Jamnagar). Ahirs in rural areas of Jamnagar and Junagadh are mainly involved in agriculture, while those migrated to cities of Jamnagar and Junagadh are involved in business of construction, real estate, travels agency and heavy construction machinery. The Ahirs of Jamnagar region are the economically fastest developing community of Jamnagar in year 2009, with growth rate of around 80%.

Maharashtra



In Marubhumi (Marwar), Saurashtra and Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, Ahirs served the local rulers and established their own rule. Ishwarsena, an Ahir general, became master of Western Deccan in place of the Satava-hanas. He took the title of Raja
Raja
Raja is an Indian term for a monarch, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna...

n and an era was named after him. His descendants continued to rule for nine generations.

There is a significant concentration of Ahers (as they are locally known) in Northern Maharashtra. They are influential in politics, administration. They are all Kshatriyas with classification as 96 Kuli Marathas since the establishment of Hindavi Swaraj by Shivaji.

With the downfall of the Rashtrakutas which ruled Pune
Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

 from the 8th century AD to the middle of the 10th century.It went under the control of the Yadavs. The Yadavs ruled Maharashtra from 10th century AD to the end of the 13th century. Singh
Singh
Also see SinhaSingh is a common title, middle name, or surname in Northern India and South India used by sikhs warriors and kings. eg. Man Singh I, Maharana Pratap Singh. It is derived from the Sanskrit word Siṃha meaning "lion and used by Ahir kings of Nepal". It is also used in Sri Lanka by...

ania, the Yadav ruler was a lover of literature and art. Sant Dnyaneshwar, a Bhakti saint lived during this period. The Yadav rule came to an end with the coming of Ala-ud-din Khilji.

Bundelkhand



Historically, Ahir laid the foundation of Ahir Batak town which was later called Ahrora and Ahirwada in Jhansi
Jhansi
Jhansi Hindi:झाँसी, , Marathi: झाशी, is a historical city of India. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi District and Jhansi Division. The original walled city grew up around its stone fort, which crowns a neighboring rock. This district is on the bank of river Betwa.The National...

 district in AD 108. Rudramurti Ahir became the chief of the Army and later on, the king. Madhuriputa, Ishwarsen
Ishwarsen
Ishwarsen was an Ahirs king in 1200 BC. The Manudevi Temple was founded in Year B. C. 1200 by King Ishwarsen and is "Hemandpanthi Temple"....

 and Shivdatta were well-known kings from the lineage. As Jhansi
Jhansi
Jhansi Hindi:झाँसी, , Marathi: झाशी, is a historical city of India. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi District and Jhansi Division. The original walled city grew up around its stone fort, which crowns a neighboring rock. This district is on the bank of river Betwa.The National...

 was known for a long time as Ahirwada (land of Ahir's). Bundelkhand
Bundelkhand
Bundelkhand anciently known as Chedi Kingdom is a geographic region of central India...

 anciently known as Chedi Kingdom
Chedi Kingdom
Chedi kingdom was one among the many kingdoms ruled during early periods by Paurava kings and later by Yaduvanshi Rajput kings in the central and western India. It falls roughly in the Bundelkhand division of Madhya Pradesh regions to the south of river Yamuna and along river Betwa or Vetravati...

. The region is now divided between the states of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

 and Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

, with the larger portion lying in the latter. The major towns are Jhansi
Jhansi
Jhansi Hindi:झाँसी, , Marathi: झाशी, is a historical city of India. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi District and Jhansi Division. The original walled city grew up around its stone fort, which crowns a neighboring rock. This district is on the bank of river Betwa.The National...

, Datia
Datia
Datia is a small rural town and a municipality in Datia district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is the administrative center of Datia District. It was formerly the seat of the eponymous princely state in the British Raj. Datia is situated near Gwalior and on the border with Uttar...

, Tikamgarh
Tikamgarh
Tikamgarh is a city and a tehsil, in Tikamgarh district, Madhya Pradesh, it also the district headquarter. The earlier name of the town was 'Tehri' consisting of three hamlets, forming a rough triangle. In the Tikamgarh town there is muhalla still known as 'Purani Tehri'...

, Lalitpur
Lalitpur, India
Lalitpur is a city and a municipal board in Lalitpur district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is also district headquarters of Lalitpur district.-Demographics:...

, Sagar, Damoh
Damoh
Damoh is a city in the Sagar Division of northeast Madhya Pradesh in India, east of state capital Bhopal and in north by Tikamgarh. It is the administrative headquarters of Damoh District.-Geography:...

, Orai
Orai
Orai is a city and a municipal board in Jalaun district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the district headquarter for Jalaun District which is part of Jhansi division....

, Panna
Panna, India
Panna is a city and a municipality in Panna district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is famous for its diamond mines. It is the administrative center of Panna District.- History :...

, Hamirpur
Hamirpur, Uttar Pradesh
Hamirpur is a city and a municipal board in Hamirpur district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of Hamirpur District.-Geography:...

, Mahoba
Mahoba
Mahoba is a city and Mahoba District of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, in the Bundelkhand region. Mahoba is known for its closeness to Khajuraho, Laundi and other historic places like Kulpahar, Charkhari, Kalinjar, Orchha, and Jhansi...

, Banda, Narsinghpur
Narsinghpur
Narsinghpur or Narsimhapur is a town in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. Narsinghpur is the administrative headquarters of Narsinghpur District....

, Khajuraho
Khajuraho
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Khajuraho , a town in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District, about southeast of New Delhi, are one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for...

 and Chhatarpur
Chhatarpur
Chhatarpur is a city and a municipality in Chhatarpur district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is the administrative headquarters of Chhatarpur District.- History :...

. However, the cities of Gwalior, Jabalpur and even Bhopal are under close cultural influence of Bundelkhand, especially linguistically.

Ahirs from Ahirwada and Bundelkhand also known as Dau sahab (Dau saab). Dau sahab means the powerful and mighty of all. Up to 1800 AD, ruling class among Ahirs in Bundelkhand
Bundelkhand
Bundelkhand anciently known as Chedi Kingdom is a geographic region of central India...

 use Rao
Raja
Raja is an Indian term for a monarch, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna...

 as their title name which was replaced by the title Maate. Maate means Mother Goddess or Supreme authority of that region. zamindar
Zamindar
A Zamindar or zemindar , was an aristocrat, typically hereditary, who held enormous tracts of land and ruled over and taxed the bhikaaris who lived on batavaslam. Over time, they took princely and royal titles such as Maharaja , Raja , Nawab , and Mirza , Chowdhury , among others...

 having control over multiple villages known as Maate.In Bundelkhand, Ahirs are considered to be very strong and powerful class. In Bundelkhand both Chandravanshi Rajputs/Thakur
Thakur (Indian title)
Thakur is an Indian feudal title in several Indian languages, literally meaning "lord". A Thikana is the state or estate of a Thakur. A Thakurani is the wife of a Thakur...

s (Ahirs, Chandela
Chandela
The Chandela is a Rajput clan found in North India. A section of the Chandelas ruled much of the Bundelkhand region of central India for long periods between the 10th and the 13th centuries AD. The Chandela dynasty is famous in Indian history for King Vidyadhar, who repulsed the attacks of Mahmud...

, Bundela
Bundela
The Bundelas are a Rajput clan of Chattari lineage who ruled several states in central India, in Bundelkhand region from the 16th century.The Bundelas are the most prominent Rajputs hailing from Central India...

) and suryavanshi Rajputs/Thakurs has equal status. Ahirs of Jhansi and Bundelkhand either came from Rewari or Gurgaon. A town 22 km from Jhansi known as Niwari
Niwari, Uttar Pradesh
Niwari is a town and a nagar panchayat in Ghaziabad district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.It is approximately 50 kilometers north of New Delhi. It is approximately half an hour distant from Meerut and Ghaziabad.-Geography:...

 which is named analogous to the name Rewari of Haryana, since Niwari is in jhansi zone it is also an Ahir dominant region.,

Diet


Scholar K. S. Singh noted that the Rajasthan Ahir are non-vegetarian, though cooking their vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods on separate hearths. Though they eat mutton, chicken, and fish, they do not eat beef or pork. Their staple is wheat, they eat millet in the winters, and rice on festive occasions. They drink alcohol, smoke biri
Beedi
A beedi is a thin, South Asian cigarette filled with tobacco flake and wrapped in a tendu leaf tied with a string at one end.The word comes from beeda, Marwari for a leaf wrapped in betel nuts, herbs, and condiments....

and cigarettes, and chew betel
Betel
The Betel is the leaf of a vine belonging to the Piperaceae family, which includes pepper and Kava. It is valued both as a mild stimulant and for its medicinal properties...

. In Maharashtra, however, Singh states that the Ahir there are largely vegetarian, also eating wheat as a staple along with pulses and tubers, and eschewed liquor. Noor Mohammad noted in Uttar Pradesh that most Ahirs there were vegetarian, with some exceptions who engaged in fishing and poultry raising. In Gujarat, Rash Bihari Lal states that local Ahirs were largely vegetarian, ate Bajra and Jowar wheat with the occasional rice, and that few drank alcohol, some smoked bidi, and some of the older generation smoked hookah
Hookah
A hookah A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) (Hindustani: हुक़्क़ा (Devanagari, (Nastaleeq) huqqah) also known as a waterpipe or narghile, is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) instrument for smoking in which the smoke is cooled by water. The tobacco smoked is referred to...

s. S. D. S. Yadava
S. D. S. Yadava
S. D. S. Yadava is an Indian army officer, retired in 1983 as a Major General, and author of the 2006 work Followers of Krishna: Yadavas of India....

 writes that Ahirs in Madhya Pradesh and some other areas eat meat, while those of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are mostly vegetarian.

Dialects


Ahirwati is an Indo-Aryan language
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

, classified as a Rajasthani
Rajasthani language
Rajasthani Rajasthani Rajasthani (Devanagari: , Perso-Arabic: is a language of the Indo-Aryan languages family. It is spoken by 50 million people in Rajasthan and other states of India and in some areas of Pakistan. The number of speakers may be up to 80 million worldwide...

 language, and is spoken in the Mahendragarh
Mahendragarh District
Mahendragarh district is one of the 21 districts of Haryana state in northern India. The district occupies an area of 1,859 km². The district has a population of 812,022. Narnaul town is the administrative headquarters of the district...

 and Rewari
Rewari District
Rewari district is one of the 21 districts of Haryana state, India. The administrative headquarters of this district, Rewari city is the biggest city in this district. It is located in southern Haryana...

 districts of Haryana. According to historian Robert Vane Russell Ahirwati is language of Yaduvanshi Ahirs and spoken in Rohtak
Rohtak District
Rohtak district is one of the 21 districts of Haryana state in northern India. It is located in the southeast of Haryana and northwest of Delhi, bounded by Jind and Sonipat districts to the north, Jhajjar and Sonipat districts to the east, and Hissar, Sirsa, and Bhiwani districts to the west...

 and Gurgaon district
Gurgaon District
Gurgaon district is one of the 21 districts of Haryana state in northern India. Gurgaon city is the administrative headquarters of the district. The population is 1,660,289 . .It is the southern-most district of Haryana...

s of Punjab (now Haryana) and Delhi. This is akin to Mewati
Mewati
Mewati is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about five million speakers in the Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur districts of Rajasthan, Mewat districts of Haryana, as well as parts of southern Pakistan and in Punjab. It contributed profoundly to Rajasthani literature in medieval periods.There are 9...

, one of the forms of Rajasthani or the language of Rajputana
Rajputana
Rājputāna was the pre-1949 name of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān, the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area. George Thomas was the first in 1800 A.D., to term this region as Rajputana...

.

Politics


The Ahirs were one of the more militant Hindu groups, including in the modern era. For example, in 1930, about 200 Ahirs marched towards the shrine of Trilochan and performed puja in response to Islamic tanzeem processions.

Through numerous political parties such as the Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party is a political party in India. It is based in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It describes itself as a democratic socialist party...

, Rashtriya Janata Dal
Rashtriya Janata Dal
The Rashtriya Janata Dal is a political party in India, based in the state of Bihar. The party was founded in 1997 by Laloo Prasad Yadav. The party came about as a result of Lalu Prasad Yadav, ex-president of Janata Dal, being evicted by Sharad Yadav, the then president, on corruption charges ...

, Janata Dal
Janata Dal
Janata Dal is an Indian political party which was formed through the merger of Janata Party factions, the Lok Dal, Congress, and the Jan Morcha led by V. P...

 (Republic), Janata Dal the Yadavs have considerable political influence, especially in the North Indian states of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

 and Bihar. Laloo Yadav became the chief minister of Bihar and Mulayam Singh in UP and in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

 Subhash Yadav became the Deputy chief minister for two terms. Arun Subhash Yadav became the Centre Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises.
  • Siddaramaiah
    Siddaramaiah
    Siddaramana Hundi was born 12 August 1948 in a remote village in Varuna Hobli of Mysore District, he comes from a poor farming community. He is the current leader of the opposition of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly...

     became the Deputy chief minister for two terms.
  • Rao Birender Singh
    Rao Birender Singh
    Rao Birender Singh was an Indian politician. He served as the Chief Minister of Haryana from 24 March 1967 until 2 November, 1967, and also served in the union cabinet...

     became the chief minister of Haryana
    Haryana
    Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

     and his son Rao Inderjit Singh became Minister of State of External Affairs and Defence.
  • Chaudhary Brahm Prakash was the first chief minister of Delhi
    Delhi
    Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

    .Ram Baran Yadav
    Ram Baran Yadav
    Dr Ram Baran Yadav is the current President of Nepal. He was elected in July 2008 and is the country's first President. He previously served as Minister of Health and as General Secretary of the Nepali Congress party....

     became President of Nepal.Yoga
    Yoga
    Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

     Guru Baba Ramdev
    Swami Ramdev
    Swami Ramdev is popularly known as Baba Ramdev. This young monk has attained immence popularity in a very short span of time. His yog-camps are attended by a large number of people in India and abroad...

     started a political party called Swabhiman.

All-India Yadav Mahasabha


The emergence of an English-educated elite among the Yadavs led to the formation of the All-India Yadava Mahasabha in 1924 in Allahabad
Allahabad
Allahabad , or Settled by God in Persian, is a major city of India and is one of the main holy cities of Hinduism. It was renamed by the Mughals from the ancient name of Prayaga , and is by some accounts the second-oldest city in India. It is located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh,...

. 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 Gollas of Hyderabad
Hyderabad State
-After Indian independence :When India gained independence in 1947 and Pakistan came into existence in 1947, the British left the local rulers of the princely states the choice of whether to join one of the new dominions or to remain independent...

, the Hyderabad Rashtra Yadav Mahajana Samajam, for example, appealed to the Census Commission that their caste names of Golla, Gowli, Gollawar and Ahir be changed to Yadava.

All India Yadav Mahasabha is also pressing Indian government for the formation of Yadav regiment in Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer 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.

Military service


The Ahir have served the Indian armed and defense forces throughout its history, with particularly prominent participation in the 1962 India-China War.

India-China War



In the India-China War of 1962, the Ahirs (almost all of them from the Ahirwal region of Southern Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

) of 13 Kumaon Regiment
Kumaon Regiment
The Kumaon Regiment is one of the most decorated regiments of the Indian Army. The regiment traces its origins to the 18th century and has fought in every major campaign of the British Indian Army and the Indian Army, including the two world wars...

 defended their position at Rezang La
Rezang La
Rezang La is a pass on the south-eastern approach to Chushul Valley in India. It is 3,000 yards long and 2,000 yards wide at an average height of 16,000 feet.-Overview:...

 in Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. The battle of Rezang La, a ridge overlooking the strategic Chushul plains in Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

, to defend the highest air strip in the world located at 16,000 feet — just across the Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 claim line. In the final phase of the Indo-China War of 1962, where Indian units typically offered little resistance while being routed by attacking People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 forces, the Ahir Charlie Company from 13 Kumaon Regiment
Kumaon Regiment
The Kumaon Regiment is one of the most decorated regiments of the Indian Army. The regiment traces its origins to the 18th century and has fought in every major campaign of the British Indian Army and the Indian Army, including the two world wars...

, fought literally to the last man. Of the 120 defenders, only four survived, all seriously wounded. Of the 120 soldiers, 114 were Yadavas from Ahirwal region of Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

, Rajasthan and Delhi. Six of the unit's soldiers, all from the Ahirwal region, received the Vir Chakra
Vir Chakra
Vir Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield. Award of the decoration carried with it the right to use Vr.C. as a postnominal abbreviation Vir Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield. Award of the decoration...

medal for this battle.

External links