The ancient Vedas declares Yama as the lord of death in Hinduism. Yama lives in his palace named Kalichi. According to Vedic tradition, Yama was the first human who died and spotted the way to the celestial abodes, and became the ruler of the deceased.
The devtas are the wise entities of the heaven and Yama is one of the wisest of all. Yama is also referred as Dharma because he is believed to be the lord of justice. He is dedicated towards maintaining order and harmony.
He is visualized as green or red body, wearing blood-red robes and fiery red staring eyes on horrible face. He is seen riding buffalo and holds a loop of rope in his left hand and a mace.
Scriptures says that he is the son of Surya and Yami, or Yamuna, is his twin sister. Both the sons of Surya, Shani and Yama are judge. Shani gives bad or good results according to deeds that he has performed all through one’s life when living in this world whereas Yama award the results of one's deeds after death.
Chitragupta keeps track of actions of human beings on the earth in "Book of Destiny". A person is sent to Swarg or Nark after their death, and also the incarnation is decided on the basis of their Karma. Thus Chitragupta is the god's attendant. Popularly it is believed that when the person's lifespan is over Yama sends his attendants to earth to bring the person to his palace.
He was also worshiped as a son of Vivasvat (eighth son of Aditi) and Saranya. He is the protector of south direction. He reports to either Vishnu or Shiva.
In Katha Upanishad, Yama is portrayed as a coach. He fathered Yudhisthira, hence Yudhisthira is also known as Dharmaraja. He has incarnated as Vidura during Mahabharata period.
Other names by Garuda Purana
" In 2.8.28-29, "...the seven names of Yama, viz Yama, Dharma-raja, Mrtyu, Antaka, Vaivasvata, Kala, Sarva-pranahara...". His wife is Syamala (3.17.4-5, 3.29.16, 24-25).