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Coin of the Yaudheyas with depiction of Kumāra Karttikeya

Yaudheya (Hindi:यौधेय) or Yaudheya Gana (Hindi:यौधेयगण) was an ancient confederation who lived in the area between the Indus river and the Ganges river. They find mention in Pāṇini's Ashtadhyayi and Ganapatha. There are other references to them namely in Mahabharata, Mahamayuri, Brihatsamhita, Puranas, Chandravyakarana and Kashika. As references are spanned from writings of early period to the medieval period, the chronology of Yaudheyas perhaps spans from as early as 500 BCE till 1200 CE. They were in zenith of their power from about 200 BCE to 400 CE.

Jat[1][2][3][4] Ahirs,[5][6] and Rajput[7] of clans Joiyas, Joyias, Joyas, Joyeas, Joeyas, Joiyas or Johiya of Bahawalpur and Multan Divisions (Pakistan) and Bikaner, Rajasthan (India) claim to be the modern descendents of Yodhey ancestry. Yodhey community and kings of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab were probably of Jat origin,[8][9][10] [11]

Puranic reference[edit]

Karttikeya shrine with antelope. Yaudheya, Punjab, 2nd century CE

Puranas (e.g. Brahmanda, Vayu, Brahma and Harivamsha) described Yaudheyas as the descendants of Usinara and Nrigu.[12]

Literary and epigraphical references[edit]

The earliest mention of Yaudheyas is in Ashtadhyayi (V.3.116-17 and IV.1.178) of Pāṇini (c.500 BCE) where Yaudheyas are mentioned amongst Ayudhajivin Sanghas.

Later, the Junagadh rock inscription (c. 150 CE) of Rudradaman I[13] acknowledged the military might of the Yaudheyas "who would not submit because they were proud of their title "heroes among the Kshatriyas"", although the inscription claims that they were ultimately vanquished by Rudradaman.[14][15]

Rudradaman (...) who by force destroyed the Yaudheyas who were loath to submit, rendered proud as they were by having manifested their' title of' heroes among all Kshatriyas.

— Junagadh rock inscription[16]

The Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta[17] also mentioned about the Yaudheyas. Varahamihira in his Brihatsamhita (XIV.28 and XVI.22) placed them in the northern division of India.

Numismatic evidences[edit]

Karttikeya With Spear And Cock in a coin of Yaudheyas.jpgSixHeadedKarttikeyaYaudheyaCoin.jpg
Kumāra Karttikeya with vel and rooster, coin of the Yaudheyas Six-headed Karttikeya on a Yaudheya coin. British Museum.

Their territory included on the west–Sutlej, Depalpur[disambiguation needed], Satgarha, Ajundhan, Kahror, Multan, on the east - Bhatner, Abohar, Sirsa, Hansi, Panipat and Sonipat and on the north - Kangra. These were listed based on the assumptions of coin finds. Even Haryana and Panjab were included in the territory they might have ruled.

The existence of a powerful clan known as Yaudheyas has come to light mainly from their coins and coin-moulds found in large number in this area.[18]

Later developments[edit]

Yaudheyas were the rulers of South-Eastern Punjab and Rajasthan.

Colonel Minchin, a British historian, says that "the extreme north-eastern portion of the state Bahawalpur and a portion of Bikaner, was inhabited by a race called the Yaudheyas to whom General Cunningham, another historian, attributes the foundation of the town of Ajudhan or Ayodhaunne, the battle field, which is evidently connected with their own name of yaudheya or Ajudhiya inscription of Samudara Gupta and at a still early date by Pāṇini in the Junagarh inscription of Rudra Dama. Now as the great grammarian was certainly anterior to Chandra Gupta Maurya, his mention of the Yaudhas proves that they must have been a recognized clan before the time of Alexander. General Cunningham identifies them with the existing tribes of Joiyas, which is included by colonel Tod amongst the 24-ruling race of Rajputana. He stated that this race possessed the same haunts as the Dahia or Dahers, which are now extinct, but in fact both these groups are still found in the Bahawalpur state. But since these two chroniclers were speculating, much research needs to be done.


Yaudheya were and are Hindus.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ James Todd, Annals and Antiquities, Vol.II, p. 1126-27
  2. ^ Thakur Deshraj, Jat Itihas, Delhi, 2002, p. 624
  3. ^ Jibraeil: "Position of Jats in Churu Region", The Jats - Vol. II, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2006, p. 222
  4. ^ Dr Brahma Ram Chaudhary: The Jats - Vol. II, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2006, p. 250
  5. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=LzHpZ5N5MhcC&pg=PA64&dq=ahirs+and+jats&hl=en&ei=6gZ_TbTVCYTnrAfZrfjABw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBzgU#v=onepage&q=ahirs%20and%20jats&f=false
  6. ^ Geography from ancient Indian coins & seals By Parmanand Gupta-page-64
  7. ^ Cunningham, A. Coins of Ancient India, London, 1891,pp. 75-76
  8. ^ James Todd, Annals and Antiquities, Vol.II, p. 1126-27
  9. ^ Dashrath Sharma, Rajasthan through ages , p 200
  10. ^ Gauri Shankar Ojha, Rajputane ka pracheen itihas, c. johiya
  11. ^ Thakur Deshraj, Jat Itihas, Delhi, 2002, p. 624
  12. ^ Pargiter, F.E. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition Motilal Banarasidass, Delhi, 1972 pp.109
  13. ^ Junagadh Rock Inscription of Rudradaman I, accessed on 23 March 2007.
  14. ^ Rosenfield, "The dynastic art of the Kushans", p132
  15. ^ Rapson, "A catalogue of the Indian coins in the British Museum", p.lx
  16. ^ Source
  17. ^ Allahabad Posthumous Stone Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta, accessed on 23 Marah, 2007.
  18. ^ Allan, John A Catalogue of the Indian Coins in the British Museum (Ancient India), London, 1936, Pl. XXXIX.22

Further reading[edit]

  • Dasgupta, K.K. A Tribal History of Ancient India: A Numismatic Approach, Calcutta, 1974.
  • Lahiri, Bela Indigenous States of Northern India (Circa 200 B.C. - 320 A.D.), University of Calcutta, 1974.

External links[edit]