Namma Rashtriya Panchanga…
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Namma Rashtriya Panchanga…

March 28, 2017


If you had listened to All India Radio Mysuru (FM 100.6) at 5:54 am on 22nd March 2017, the announcer would have said that as per the national calendar it was the first day of the month of ‘Chaitra’ of ‘Shalivahana Saka’ year 1939! This information intrigued me quite a bit as we normally celebrate the “Chandramana Ugadi” around the fourth week of March and the “Souramana Ugadi” on 14th of April every year.

The fact is that when the great Indian astronomer Aryabhata (476-523 AD) devised the Hindu calendar as per the Earth’s rotation around the Sun (most probably then mistakenly assumed the other way round), he asserted 22nd March (the day on which the Sun is right above the equator and the day time and night time are equal) as the New Year Day correctly.

He also asserted 22nd March 78AD as the beginning of the Shalivahana Saka.  At that time astronomy was purely based on visual observations of celestial bodies without telescope and one can expect some minor errors. This in fact happened and his Solar year was short by a few minutes compared to the actual Solar year.

This minor error has resulted in pushing the Souramana Ugadi by a day every once in 60 years and thus by the middle of last century it was being celebrated on the 14th of April. In 1955, the Government of India constituted a high-level committee who corrected this error and though officially 22nd March is the New Year Day as per the Souramana calendar, for sentimental reasons it is being celebrated on 14th of April every year.

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Fortunately, none of the festivals such as Navarathri, Vijayadashami, Krishna Jayanthi, Shivarathri, etc., are affected as these festivals are based on Chandramana calendar. Similarly, most Indians perform their birthdays and death anniversaries of their ancestors as per the Chandramana calendar and hence are correct.

– U.B.Acharya, Jayalakshmipuram, 26.3. 2017

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Namma Rashtriya Panchanga…”

  1. Suresh says:

    Yes indeed, Rashtriya Panchanga by AIR-Mysore at 6AM. every morning gives conflicting dates.
    Let me admitI am a big zero about Hindu Calender and cannot understand the fundamentals like Adhika Maasa etc.
    My father died in December and my mother in January but my mother’s Annual death cermony is performed earlier than my father’s !! Due to lack of my knowledge in this, I feel the Education ministry should have included a short curriculum in High School about Almancs to enable students know about different types of Hindu calenders.
    Has the Ministry ignored thinking that this is taught in Sanskrit Paatshala ? Or in Madrasas for Islamic calendar?


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