Bharathiya Panchanga

After the advent and popular acceptance of the Gregorian calendar, the use of the Bharathiya Panchanga has almost been very limited and in many cases it has been eliminated. The Panchanga has been labelled as “Hindu Calendar” or “Hindu Almanac”. These terms are wrong and they are used only for convenience of translation. It is interesting to know what is the “Bharathiya Panchanga”. What follows is a very brief explanation of the Panchanga.

For starters, Panchanga is an Astronomical document which gets created based on the movement of both the Surya and Chandra (sun and the moon hence Solo-Lunar) and the other of the 9 Grihas (which are not planets) through the 12 Raashis (something similar to, but not quite Zodiac signs) and the 27 Nakshatras (the 27 asterisms) in the sky.

The Panchanga indicates the seasons and seasonal changes we need to adopt in our life. It gives the planning for agriculture and festivals. Other than all this, it also gives us insights into the Astronomical events like Eclipses, Equinoxes Transition of the sun through the 12 Zodiacal signs (Sankranthi), Unusual Planetary Confluences etc. Let us first understand the basic difference between a Calendar, an Almanac and the Panchanga.

Calendar: A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time which are limited to usually Year, Month, Date and Day of the Week. A date is the designation of a single, specific day within a month. In such a system; the week has 7 days; a month has days varying from 28 to 31; a year has 12 months and 365 days. Once in four years, there comes a leap year with an extra day in February. A calendar is also a physical record (often paper) of such a system. A calendar can also mean a list of planned events, such as a court calendar.

Almanac: An almanac is an annual publication listing a set of events and other tabular data often arranged according to the calendar for the forthcoming year. It includes information such as the weather forecasts, farmers’ planting dates, tide tables, rising and setting times of the Sun and Moon, dates of eclipses (Sometimes), hours of high and low tides and some Abrahamic religious festivals. The set of events noted in an almanac may be tailored for a specific group of readers, such as farmers, sailors or astronomers.

Panchanga: The representation of Kaala (time) is always with respect to the Desha (place) in the Bharathiya Panchanga. Hence the Bharathiya Panchanga is called Desha – Kala Panchanga. Each of the Janapadas of Bharath (There were 108 Janapadas) had a different Panchanga according to their time zones. The time zone was decided upon by the sunrise and the sunset which in turn depended on the latitude and longitude of the Janapada. The Panchanga is an Astronomical document which gets created based on the movement of both the Surya and Chandra (sun and the moon hence Solo-Lunar) and the other of the 9 Grihas (which are not planets) through the 12 Raashis (something similar to, but not quite Zodiac signs) and the 27 Nakshatras (the 27 asterisms) in the sky.

The Panchanga gives the following details: 1) Kalpa, 2) Manvantara, 3) Yuga, 4) Shaka, 5) Samvatsara, 6) Ayana, 7) Rithu, 8) Maasa, 9) Paksha, then the Panch Anga 1) Thithi (Date), 2) Vara (Weekday), 3) Nakshatra (Active Asterism of the day) 4) Yoga (Alignment) and 5) Karana (A Karana is half of a Tithi). In total, we find 14 parameters being given to each day.

Along with this is given detailed information like Rithu Purvanumana (weather forecasts), Krishi Prayojana (farmers’ planting and probable harvest dates), Taranga Anumana (tide tables hours of high and low tides) and other tabular data like the Suryodaya (Sunrise), Suryastha (Sunset), Chandrodaya (Moon Rise), Chandrastha (Moon Set), dates of Grahana (eclipses) and the Nakshatras that would get affected by the Eclipse, special Graha Kootas (configuration of Grahas), Grahachaaras (Movement of the Grahas), all 64 Parvas (64 festivals; 33 major and 31 minor festivals), Jatras (Temple Fairs), Santha (Shandy) and many other things.

Panchanga means Five (Panch) – Limbs (Anga). That is because a Panchanga has 5 parts: Thithi, Vara, Nakshatra, Yoga and Karana (this is other than the 9 others mentioned above). Given below is a very brief explanation of the five. After which I shall be describing the rest of the 9 parameters too, but briefly

1. Thithi: Thithi is a Solo-lunar day; it is the time it takes for the longitudinal angle between the Moon and the Sun to increase by 12°. One Thithi equals 12-degree difference between Moon and Sun. Thithis begin at varying times of day and vary in duration from 19 hrs to approximately 26 hrs. This is so, because the moon along with the earth takes an elliptical (not circular) revolution of the sun. There are 15 Thithis and they repeat after 15 days. The 15 Thithis are Pratipada, Dwitheeya, Tritheeya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, Dashami, Ekadashi, Dwadashi, Tryodashi, Chaturdashi, Amavasya or Poornima.

2. Vara or Vāsara: Vāsara refers to the weekdays and the names of the week in many western cultures bear striking similarities with the Vāsara. There are seven days of the week. These are named after different celestial bodies and they are as follows:

Soma Vasara – Monday (dedicated to Moon).

Mangala Vasara – Tuesday (dedicated to Mars).

Budha Vasara – Wednesday (dedicated to Mercury).

Guru or Brihaspathi Vasara – Thursday (dedicated to Jupiter)

Shukra Vasara – Friday (dedicated to Venus).

Shani Vasara – Saturday (dedicated to Saturn).

Ravi Vasara – Sunday (dedicated to Sun).

3. Nakshatra: Nakshatra is a group of stars – they are asterisms. Just as the units used for measuring the distance is miles or kilometers, space (Akash Mandal) is measured in terms of Nakshatras (asterisms/group of stars). The whole zodiacal ellipse has been divided into 27 parts and each part has been given the name of Nakshatra.

The 27 Nakshatras are: Ashwini, Bharani, Kritika, Rohini, Mrigashira, Arudra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Ashlesha, Magha, PoorvaPhalguni, UtharaPhalguni, Hastha, Chitra, Swathi, Visakha, Anuradha, Jyeshta, Moola, Poorvashada, Utharashada, Shravana, Dhanishta, Shatabhisha, PoorvaBhadrapada, UtharaBhadrapada and Revathi.

4. Yoga: The Sanskrit word Yoga means ‘union’, but in astronomical calculations it is used in the sense of ‘alignment’. First one computes the angular distance along the ecliptic of each object, taking the ecliptic to start at Mesha or Aries. This is the longitude of that object. The longitude of the sun and the longitude of the moon are added and normalized to a value ranging between 0° to 360° (if greater than 360, one subtracts 360). This sum is divided into 27 parts. Each part will now equal 800′ (where ‘ is the symbol of the arc minute which means 1/60 of a degree). This is a Yoga.

There are 27 Yogas and they are: 1. VISHKAMBHA (Supported) 2. PRITI (Fondness) 3. AYUSHMAN (Long-lived) 4. SAUBHAGYA (Good Fortune) 5. SOBHANA (Splendor) 6. ATIGANDA (Danger or obstacles) 7. SUKARMA (Virtuous) 8. DHRITI (Determination) 9. SOOLA (Spear, Pain) 10. GANDA (Danger or obstacles) 11. VRIDDHA (Growth) 12. DHRUVA Constant) 13. VYAGATHA (Beating) 14. HARSHANA (Thrilling) 15. VAJRA (Diamond, Thunderbolt) 16. SIDDHI 17. VYATAPATA (Calamity) — prone to sudden mishaps and reversals, fickle and unreliable 18. VARIYAN (Comfort) 19. PARIGHA (Obstruction) 20. SIVA (Auspicious) 21. SIDDHA (Accomplished) 22. SADHYA (Amenable) 23. SUBHA (Auspicious) 24. SUKLA (Bright White) 25. BRAHMA (Priest, God) 26. INDRA (Chief) 27. VAIDHRITI (Poor Support).

5. Karana: A Karana is half of a Thithi. It is the time required for the angular distance between the sun and the moon to increase in steps of 6° starting from 0°. (Compare with the definition of a Thithi). There are 11 Karanas out of which 4 are fixed and 7 are moveable Karanas and they are as follows:

4 Fixed Karanas in Panchanga

1. Shakuni 2. Chatushpada 3. Naga 4. Kinstughna

7 Moveable (Recurring) Karanas in Panchanga

1. Bava, 2. Balava 3. Kaulava 4. Taitula 5. Garaja 6. Vanija 7. Visti (Bhadra)

6. Kalpa: Kalpa in Sanskrit, means ‘a formation or creation’, in this context it means “a long period of time related to the lifetime of the universe (creation)”, derived from root klip in Sanskrit, meaning ‘to create, prepare, form, produce, compose, invent’. A Kalpa consists of one day and one night of Brahma (this is discussed later in this document). The present Kalpa is named as Shwetavaraha Kalpa.

7. Manvantara: There are 14 Manvantaras in each Kalpa. Each Manvantara belongs to one Manu, it has a set of different Saptarishis and it has an Avatar of God Vishnu associated with it. Vishnu is associated as HE is the God of maintenance and sustenance. In each of these Manvantaras, there are 72 Chaturyugas that is Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. Each Chaturyuga cycle is said to have 25,000 years (I follow this convention).

The 14 Manvantaras are: Swayambhu Naama Manvantara, Svarochisha Naama Manvantara, Uttama Naama Manvantara, Tapasa/Tamasa Naama Manvantara, Raivata Naama Manvantara, Chakshusha Naama Manvantara, Vaivasvata Naama Manvantara (the present Manvantara), Savarni Naama Manvantara, Daksa Savarni Naama Manvantara, Brahma Savarni Naama Manvantara, Dharma Savarni Naama Manvantara, Rudra Savarni Naama Manvantara, Raucya/Deva Savarni Naama Manvantara and Indra Savarni Naama Manvantara. The completion of these 14 Manvantaras with 72 Chaturyugas is considered as one day of Brahma as the universe is in its expansion mode. At the end of this the universe starts to shrink and the same amount of time is taken for a night of Brahma.

8. Yuga: A Yuga is an epoch or era in the Bharathiya Panchanga. There are a total of four Yugas and they are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. It is said that each Yuga has 1/4th less duration and Dharma than the previous, with a proportion of 4:3:2:1. These four ages combined make a larger cyclic age called a Chatur Yuga (Four Epoch Cycle) which is consisted of 25,000 Prithvi Varasha (earth years). There are many conventions as far as the number of years that forms a Chatur Yuga varying from 25,000 years per Chatur Yuga to 43,20,000 years per Chatur Yuga. I follow the former cycle duration of 25,000 years per Chatur Yuga. Within a Yuga, there are Sandhis (Transitions), the starting transition is called Sandhya and ending transition is called Sandhyansa, both lasting 1/10th the main part of the Yuga. Most of the characteristic changes can occur in these Sandhyas and Sandhyansas, especially if that change is from Kali Yuga to Satya Yuga (two extremes).

9. Shaka: The Shaka era or present Shalivahana Shaka is a historical calendar era, the epoch (its year zero) of which corresponds to Julian year 78. It is commonly known in Indian languages as Shalivahana Shaka (era of Shalivahana) and continues to be used in Bharathiya Panchanga. This could mean the time and the year from where a change in the Panchanga was instituted. In the Panchanga when we say “Shalivahana Shaka” it means “the branch which started from Shalivahana” (The Shatavahana King usually attributed to Shatakarni).

10. Samvatsara: Other than these details, the name of the Samvatsara is also added. The Panchaga followes a cycle of sixty years called ‘Shashti Samvatsara’. ‘Samvatsara’ roughly means the period of one full year. The time in which the Graha Guru / Brihaspati (Planet Jupiter) with its average speed crosses the journey of one Raashi is referred to as ‘Samvatsara’. Brihaspati takes twelve Samvatsaras to complete one round of all the Raashis. Five such cycles are taken in a Shashti Samvatsara (Sixty Years) cycle. The names of the Sixty Samvatsaras repeat again and again in a cycle.

The sixty Samvatsaras are: 1. Prabhava 2. Vibhava 3. Shukla 4. Pramoda 5. Prajāpati 6. Āngirasa 7. Shrīmukha 8. Bhāva 9. Yuva 10. Dhātri 11. Īshvara 12. Bahudhānya 13. Pramādhi 14. Vikrama (2000-2001) 15. Vrisha (2001-02) 16. Chitrabhānu (2002-03) 17. Svabhānu (2003- 04) 18. Tārana (2004-05) 19. Pārthiva (2005-06) 20. Vyaya (2006-2007) 21. Sarvajeeth (2007- 08) 22. Sarvadhāri (2008-09) 23. Virodhi (2009-10) 24. Vikrita (2010-11) 25. Khara (2011-12) 26. Nandana (2012-13) 27. Vijaya (2013-14) 28. Jaya (2014-15) 29. Manmadha (2015-16) 30. Durmukhi (2016-17) 31. Hevilambi (2017-18) 32. Vilambi (2018-19) 33. Vikāri (2019-20) 34. Shārvari (2020-21) 35. Plava (2021-22) 36. Shubhakruti (2022-23) 37. Sobhakruthi 38. Krodhi 39. Vishvāvasu 40. Parābhava 41. Plavanga 42. Kīlaka 43. Saumya 44. Sādhārana 45. Virodhikruthi 46. Paridhāvi 47. Pramādicha 48. Ānanda 49. Rākshasa 50. Anala 51. Pingala 52. Kālayukthi 53. Siddhārthi 54. Raudra 55. Durmathi 56. Dundubhi 57. Rudhirodgāri 58. Raktākshi 59. Krodhana and 60. Akshaya.

11. Ayana: The year has two Ayanas in each Samvatsara and they are 1. Utharayana which is the northwardly sun and 2. Dakshinayana which is the southwardly sun. According to this principle, the year is divided into two distinct ‘Aayanas” or “Kaal” or periods based on the position of the Sun. These two are Utharayana Kaala and Dakshinayana Kaala.

12. Rithu: This part of the world that is Bharat has not four but six Rithus (Seasons). The Bharathiya New Year begins with the Vasanth Rithu (Spring). Usually, the Yugadi festival which is actually the celebration of New Year falls around 21 of March of the Gregorian calendar. As we all know that 21st of March is the summer equinox the day and night being of same duration. That is the day on which the sun is actually on the equator. Bharathiya Panchanga recognizes this and we celebrate the New Year near about that date.

During Utharayana there are three Rithus (Seasons) 1. Shishira Rithu (Late Winter) which consists of Magha and Phalguna Maasas and is characterised by Cold and dryness 2. Vasantha Rithu (Spring) which consists of Chaitra and Vaisakha Maasas and is characterised by Dryness and Heat and 3. Ghrishma Rithu (Summer) which consists of Jyeshta and Aashada Maasas and is characterised by Extreme Heat, Wind and Little Showers of Rain.

The Dakshinayana has three seasons 1. Varsha Rithu (Rainy Season) which consists of Shravana and Bhadrapada Maasas and is characterised by Rain and Humidity 2. Sharad Rithu (Autumn Season) which consists of Aswayuja and Kartika Maasas and is characterised by Pleasant Temperature and little Humidity and 3. Hemanta Rithu (Winter Season) which consists of Margashirsha and Powsha Maasas and is characterised by Extreme Cold and Dryness.

13. Maasa: The Maasa (Month) of the Bharathiya Panchanga consists of 30 Thithis. Some people follow the month starting from Amavasya (New Moon) and such a Panchanga is called Amavasyath Panchanga; whereas some others follow the convention of starting the month on Purnima (Full Moon) and such a Panchanga is called as the Purnimath Panchanga. These conventions are called as Chandramana Maasas. However there are some who follow the Sankramanas (Crossing over of the Sun to the next Zodiac) as the beginning of the month, this is called as the Saourymana Maasa (Solar Month). Anyways the year consists of 12 Maasas (12 Monthsa). Each of the above six Rithus are allocated two Maasas (Two Months). The 12 Chandramana Maasas are Chaitra, Vaishaka, Jeyshta, Aashada, Shravana, Bhadrapada, Aashvauja, Karthika, Maargashirsha and Powsha. The 12 Souryamana Maasas are Mesha, Vrishabha, Mithuna, Karkataka, Simha, Kanya, Tula, Vrischika, Dhanur, Makara, Kumbha and Meena.

14. Paksha: As discussed earlier, each season has two months and each month has two parts that are the ascending moon and descending moon. They are called Shukla Paksha (ascending moon) and Krishna Paksha (decending moon). Shukla Paksha is starting with one day after Aamavasya (New Moon) called as Pratipada and runs up to the Purnima. The Krishna Paksha starts one day after Purnima (Full Moon) again called Pratipada and runs up to the Amavasya.

While taking a Sankalpa (Strong Resolve), the Desha and Kala in the form of a Desha – Kala Sankalpa is recited. The Sankalpa which I follow is as follows: Shubhe Shobhane muhurte Shwetavaraha Kaple, Vaivasvata Manvantare, Ashtavimsat Kali Yuge, Prathama Pade, Jambhoo Dweepe, Bharata Khande, Bharata Varashe, Dandakaranye (Since I come from the south of Vidhyachala), Godhavaryaha Shubha Dakshina Teere (Since I come from further down South of Godhavari river), Shalivahana Shake, Bhoudhavatare, Asmin varthamane Prabhavadi shashti Samvasarana madhye Srimat ____________ naama Samvatsare, ________ Ayayane, ______ Rithu, _______ Maase, ________ Pakshe, _______ Thithou, ______ Vasare, ______ Nakshatre, ______ Yoga, _______ Karane, Yevenguna vesheshna vishistanaam, Shubha Tithou, Mamopakta samasta duritakshaya dwara Sri Parameshvara preethyarthm……… Then the specific purposes are added to the Sankalpa.

Under the aegis of Bharathiyatha Anusandan Kendra Trust (BAKT) we are making a Panchanga which is integrated with the Gregorian Calendar but it will not start with January 1 st instead it will start with Chitra Shuddha Prathama of Shubhakruta Naama Samvatsara (April Sat 2nd 2022). Hope this will inspire you to follow the Panchanga instead of the ‘not-so- scientific-Gregorian Calendar’. The Gregorian Calendar used to start on 1 st of March at the time it was invented. Then over a long period of time it got changed to January 1st; yet keeping the names of the month the same. Like September is from Latin “Septa” meaning 7, October is from Latin “Octō” meaning 8, November is from Latin “Nova” meaning 9 and December is from “Decca” meaning 10. One can note that September is the 7th month from March and similarly the other months are 8th, 9th and 10th months respectively. With January as the first month September which is actually been the 9th month is named September which means 7 th!!!! Later all the months are named wrongly!!!!

My request to people is while telling the date please tell the Bharathiya Panchanga first followed by the Gregorian calendar date. Like “Shubakruta naama Samvatsara, Utharayana, Vasantha Rithu, Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada Shani Vasara followed by Saturday, 2nd April 2022”. If the whole thing is too long at least telling “Chaitra Shuddha Prathama Shani Vasara followed by Saturday, 2nd April 2022” would be alright.

This Bharathiya Panchanga” is made according to the co-ordinates of Bengaluru, Karnataka State.

To order the Panchanga send a e-mail to with details like:

1. Name:

2. Address to which to be sent:

3. Number/s of Panchanga required:

For convenience of shipping / couriering, a minimum order of 5 Panchangas is expected.

Since each Panchanga is priced at Rs.100/- the payment mode shall be as follows:


2. Current Account Number: 37997606784

3. Name of the bank & Branch: State Bank of India, J P Nagar.

4. IFSC Code: SBIN0007117






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