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The Yadavas (literally, descended from Yadu) were an ancient Indian people who believed themselves to be descended from Yadu, a mythical king. The community was probably formed of four clans, being the Abhira, Andhaka, Vrishni, and Satvatas, who all worshipped Krishna. They are listed in ancient Indian literature as the segments of the lineage of Yadu (Yaduvamsha). A number of communities and royal dynasties of ancient, medieval and modern Indian subcontinent, claiming their descents from the ancient Yadava clans and mythical Yadava personalities also describe themselves as the Yadavas.

Amongst the Yadava clans mentioned in ancient Indian literature, the Haihayas are believed to have descended from Sahasrajit, elder son of Yadu and all other Yadava clans, which include the Chedis, the Vidarbhas, the Satvatas, the Andhakas, the Kukuras, the Bhojas, the Vrishnis and the Shainyas are believed to have descended from Kroshtu or Kroshta, younger son of Yadu.

It can be inferred from the vamshanucharita (genealogy) sections of a number of major Puranas that, the Yadavas spread out over the Aravalli region, Gujarat, the Narmada valley, the northern Deccan and the eastern Ganges valley. The Mahabharata and the Puranas mention that the Yadus or Yadavas, a confederacy comprising numerous clans were the rulers of the Mathura region. The Mahabharata also refers to the exodus of the Yadavas from Mathura to Dvaraka owing to pressure from the Paurava rulers of Magadha, and probably also from the Kurus