Yadu is one of the five early Rigvedic tribes (panchajana, panchakrishtya or panchamanusha) mentioned in the Rigveda.[1][2][3] The Yadus had a tribal union with the Turvasha tribe, and were frequently described together.[4][5] The Yadus were a partly Indo-Aryan-acculturated Indus tribe.[3] By the time of the arrival of the Puru and Bharata tribes, the Yadu-Turvashas were settled in Punjab, with the Yadus possibly residing along the Yamuna River.[6]


The name Yadu is of non-Indo-Aryan origin.[7]


In Mandalas 4 and 5 of the Rigveda, the god Indra is stated to have saved the Yadu-Turvashas from drowning when they crossed rivers.[8][9] In Mandala 6, the Yadu-Turvashas are stated to have been "brought from far away" by Indra.[10][11]

The Yadu-Turvashas are treated relatively positively in Mandalas 5, 6, and 8,[12] and are stated to be the occasional allies and enemies of the Puru-Bharatas.[8] In the Battle of the Ten Kings, the Yadus were defeated by Bharata chieftain Sudas.[13]


  1. ^ Singh, Upinder (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Delhi: Pearson Education. p. 187. ISBN 978-81-317-1120-0.
  2. ^ Jamison, Stephanie; Brereton, Joel (2014). The Rigveda: The Earliest Religious Poetry of India. Oxford University Press. p. 54. ISBN 9780199370184.
  3. ^ a b Witzel, Michael (1999). "Substrate Languages in Old Indo-Aryan: (Ṛgvedic, Middle and Late Vedic)". Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies. 5: 3, 33.
  4. ^ Witzel, Michael (2001). "Autochthonous Aryans?: The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts" (PDF). Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies. 7: 7.
  5. ^ Erdosy, George; Witzel, Michael (1995). Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity. The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Rgvedic history: poets, chieftains and politics. De Gruyter. p. 204.
  6. ^ Erdosy & Witzel 1995, p. 262.
  7. ^ Witzel, Michael (1999). "Aryan and non-Aryan Names in Vedic India. Data for the linguistic situation, c. 1900-500 B.C." (PDF). Harvard Oriental Series Opera Minora. 3.
  8. ^ a b Erdosy & Witzel 1995, p. 235.
  9. ^ Jamison & Brereton 2014, p. 605, 695.
  10. ^ Erdosy & Witzel 1995, p. 222, 262.
  11. ^ Jamison & Brereton 2014, p. 829.
  12. ^ Erdosy & Witzel 1995, p. 237.
  13. ^ Erdosy & Witzel 1995, p. 239.