Samvat (calendars)

Samvat (calendars)

Samvat is any of the various Hindu calendars. In India, there are several calendars in use:

* Vikrama Samvat: lunar months, solar sidereal years
* Shaka Samvat (traditional): lunar months, solar sidereal years
* Shaka Samvat (modern): solar tropical
* Bangla Calendar: solar tropical years
* Tamilnadu/Kerala: solar tropical years such as Malayalam calendar
* Nepali Bikram Sambat: solar tropical years

Most holidays in India are based on the first two calendars. A few are based on the solar cycle, Sankranti (solar sidereal) and Baisakhi (solar tropical).

Months and approximate correspndence

Indian months are listed below. Shaka and Chaitradi Vikram (UP, Rajasthan etc) start with Chaitra, Kartikadi Vikram (Gujarat, Maharashtra) start in Kartika.

Nakshatras are divisions of ecliptic, each 13° 20', starting from 0° Aries. The purnima of each month is synchronized with a nakshatra.

Time cycles in India

The time cycles in India are:
* 60-year cycle
* Year
* 6 seasons of a year
* about 60 days (2 months) in a season
* Month (lunar)
* 2 pakshas in a month, shukla (waxing) and krishna (waning)
* 15 tithis in a paksha (1-14, 15th is purnima or amavasya)
* 60 ghatikas (or 30 muhurtas or 8 praharas) in a 24-hour period (ahoratra).
* more to be added

Years are synchronized with the solar sidereal year by adding a month every four years. The extra month is termed as "adhik-mass" (extra month).

Date conversion

Converting a date from an Indian calendar to the common era can require a complex computation. To obtain the approximate year in the common era (CE):

* Chaitradi Vikram (past) : Chaitra-Pausha: subtract 57; Pausha-Phalguna: subtract 56.
* Shaka: add 78-79
* Kalachuri: add 248-249
* Gupta/Valabhi: add 319-320
* Bangla: add 593-594
* Vira Nirvana: subtract 527-526


* In UP/Rajasthan, months are purnimanta. In Gujarat/Maharashtra, they are amanta.
* In inscriptions, the years may be gata (past) or current.

ee also

* Hindu Calendar
* Ancient Indian units of measurement
* Perpetual Calendar of 800 Years

External links

* [ Pancanga: Vikrama/Saka to Gregorian conversion utility]


* Rai Bahadur Pandit Gaurishankar Hirachand Ojha, "The Paleography of India", 2 ed., Ajmer, 1918, reprinted Manshuram Manoharlal publishers, 1993.

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