Types of calendars followed in India

Sandarbha Desk
Sandarbha Desk

In India, four types of calendars are followed:

  1. Vikram Samvat (Hindu lunar calendar)
  2. Saka Samvat (Hindu Solar calendar)
  3. Hijri Calendar (Islamic lunar calendar)
  4. Gregorian Calendar (Scientific solar calendar)- followed universally

Vikram Samvat: 

  • Dates back to 57 B.C.
  • Introduced by King Vikramaditya to mark his victory over the Saka rulers.
  • 57 B.C. is the zero year.
  • It is a lunar calendar as it is based on the movement of the moon.
  • Every year is divided into 12 months and each month is divided into two phases.
  • The bright half is called the Shuklapaksha (15 days). It starts with the new moon and ends with a full moon.
  • The dark half is called the Krishnapaksha (15 days). It starts with the full moon and ends with a new moon.
  • The month begins with the dark half.
  • There are 354 days in a year.
  • Hence every third and fifth year in a cycle of five years has 13 months (the 13th month is called Adhik Mass).

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Saka Samvat: 

  • The zero year of Saka Samvat is 78 A.D.
  • It was started by Saka rulers to mark their victory over Kushanas.
  • It is a solar calendar.
  • It was adopted by the Government of India as the official calendar in the year 1957.
  • Every year has 365 days.

The names of the months in Saka Calendar are:

  1. Chhaitra (March 21 – April 20)
  2. Vaishakha (April 21-May 21)
  3. Jyeshtha (May 22-June 21)
  4. Ashadha (June 22- July 22)
  5. Shravana (July 23-August 22)
  6. Bhaadra (August 22-September 22)
  7. Ashwin (September 23-October 22)
  8. Kartika (October 23-November 21)
  9. Agrahayana (November 22-December 21)
  10. Pausha (December 22-January 20)
  11. Magha (January 21- February 19) and
  12. Phalguna (February 20-March 20/21)

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Hijri calendar: 

  • It is a lunar calendar.
  • The zero year is 622 A.D.
  • It was initially started and followed in Saudi Arabia.
  • Every year has 12 months and 354 days.
  • The first month is called Muharram.
  • Ninth month is called Ramzaan. During this month, Muslims observe a fast for the purification of souls. The morning breakfast is called Shehri and evening food is called Iftar.
  • The 12 months of the calendar are:
  1. Muharram
  2. Safar
  3. Rabi’ al-awwal (Rabi’ I)
  4. Rabi’ al-thani (Rabi’ II)
  5. Jumada al-awwal (Jumada I)
  6. Jumada al-thani (Jumada II)
  7. Rajab
  8. Sha’ban
  9. Ramadan
  10. Shawwal
  11. Dhu al-Qi’dah
  12. Dhu al-Hijjah

Gregorian calendar: 

  • Scientific calendar.
  • Every year has 364.25 days.
  • It is a solar calendar and followed universally.

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