A calendar is a method of organizing days and months for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to social, religious, commercial, and administrative. In addition to that, it indicates the schedule of forthcoming activities. To put it another way, you may say that a calendar is a tangible record that organizes the days of the year for a variety of reasons.

India is a place of variety, home to different languages, regional cultures, and religious traditions across the country. There are several variations of the calendar used in India due to the country's rich cultural history. Every calendar is derived from a particular period. All calendars in India are constructed using the standard astronomical units of days, months, and years as their primary units of measurement.

The cultural significance of a calendar or its underlying system is taken into consideration when determining which calendar should serve as a nation's official national calendar. It is nearly usually connected to the history of the country and brings to mind a particularly golden age from within that history. The Gregorian calendar is not the only official calendar in use in India; the national calendar is based on the older Saka Calendar, which is also used alongside the Gregorian calendar.

Top 4 types of Calendars in India

1. Vikram Samvat

The Vikram Samvat, or Vikrami calendar, is an ancient Hindu calendar from India. The reign of King Vikramaditya is commemorated in the Nepali calendar, which is called Vikram Samvat. With the advent of epigraphical art after the 9th century, this calendar was brought into sharper light. The same calendar system existed under several names like Krita and Malava before the 9th century.

Below are just a few of the whom Vikram calendar stands out:

The Vikrama period, which ruled India and Nepal, began at this time.

King Vikramaditya's victory against the Saka dynasty is commemorated by naming this period him.

Before Vikramaditya in the 9th century B.C., the timeline begins in 57 B.C.

There are 354 days in a year on this lunar calendar.

Today, Vikram Samvat is the most widely recognized Era in traditional India.

Upon gaining power from the Saka monarchs in 57 BCE, many historians think that Chandragupta, king of Ujjain under the name Vikramaditya, initiated this lunisolar period.

Based on ancient Hindu ceremonies, this calendar is lunar in nature.

New Year's Day in Nepal, which is based on the solar calendar, begins around April 15th.

A year consists of 12 months and 354 days.

Although it is widely accepted that the Ganarajya was responsible for the development of this calendar, some insist that Vikramaditya was the inspiration behind the calendar's name.

This lunar table calendar was developed from an old Hindu calendar.

Almost the whole country of India uses it, except the state of West Bengal.

Across the northern parts of India, it kicks off in the month of Chaitra, and each new month begins on the day of Purnima (full moon)

Each of the VM Samvat's 12 months is split into two halves:

Shukla Paksha (15 days): starts with the dark of the moon and concludes with the light of the moon

Krishna Paksha (15Day15 days curs when the moon is full and ends when the moon is fresh.

2. Gregorian Calendar

In October 1582, the Gregorian calendar was adopted as a replacement for the previous Julian calendar. The most widely used calendar, it bears the name of Pope Gregory XIII. The orbit of Earth around the Sun is the basis for this calendar, which also accounts for leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long.

In contrast to other calendars, the Gregorian calendar has certain distinctive characteristics, including:

As the official government calendar, the Gregorian calendar is in use.

Beginning in 1582, it was widely adopted.

Pope Gregory XIII is honored with the naming of this calendar.

The previous Julian calendar was replaced due to an error in calculating leap years.

The number of days in a Julian year was 365.25.

The Julian Calendar, which incorrectly calculated leap years, was superseded by this new system.

To honor Pope Gregory XIII, its name comes from him.

This calendar has the widest international adoption.

A solar year with a January 1st start date and a duration of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds.

Although the Julian months were eventually abandoned, their use in the Gregorian custom printed calendar continued.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

3. Saka Samvat

Beginning with the Saka Era, the traditional Hindu calendar known as the Saka Samvat was adopted as the 'Indian National Calendar' in 1957. It is widely held that King Shalivanhana of the Shatavahana dynasty was responsible for launching the Saka Era. The Saka calendar, like the Gregorian calendar, has 365 days and 12 months. Chaitra, the first month of the Saka Samvat calendar, begins on the 22nd of the month, or the 21st of March in leap years.

This is a calendar era, associated with the year 78 of the Julian calendar.

It is also sometimes referred to as the Mahasakkarat or Shalivahana Saka period.

King Shalivahana's greatest military victories are celebrated in the Saka period.

Somaraja's Kannada book Udbhatakavya provides the earliest evidence linking King Shalivahana to the Saka period.

Balinese and Javanese Hindus also utilize the Saka calendar in Indonesia.

This calendar is used alongside the Gregorian calendar by the Gazette of India.

In honor of their triumph against the Kushana, the Sakar dynasty established the Saka Samvat calendar.

Shalivahana, a ruler of the Satavahana dynasty, is credited by several historians as the city's founder.

It all started in the year 78 C.E.

It's the first day of the Saka Samvat calendar. This calendar eventually became the official national calendar of India in 1957.

Other names for the Saka calendar include the Shalivahana Saka period and the Mahasakkarat Era.

A year in the Saka calendar consists of 365 days.

The calendar also features a fixed number of days in each month.

Many other nations, like Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, etc. also utilize this calendar in conjunction with the solar year that begins with April.

To learn more about the 12 months that make up the Saka Calendar, see below:

ChhaiChhatraishakha

Jyeshtha

Ashadha

Shravana

Bhaadra

Ashwin

Kartika

Agrahayana

Pausha

Magha

Phalguna

Also Read About: 10 Benefits Behind Keeping a Diary

4. Hijri Calendar

The Hijri calendar, used by Muslims, is a lunar calendar with 354 or 355 days spread across 12 lunar months. Muslim celebrations and observances, such as the yearly fasting season and the time for making the Hajj to Mecca, are all calculated using the Hijri calendar.

Below are some key details regarding the Hijri calendar:

To mark the Hijra or prophet Muhammad's travel from Mecca to Medina in the year 622 A.D., the Islamic calendar year started.

The lunar cycle provides the basis for the Islamic calendar's 12 months.

A total of 354 days are available.

It coexists alongside the Gregorian calendar and is used to date events in many Muslim nations.

This calendar is used by Muslims all around the world to determine when it is appropriate to observe Ramadan, Hajj, and other Islamic holidays.

The Hijri wall calendar has 12 months, all of which are listed here.

Muharram

Rabia Awal

Safar

Jumaada Awal

Rabia Thani

Jumaada Thani

Sha’ban

Rajab

Shawwal

Dhul-Hijjah

Ramadan

Dhul-Qi’dah

Conclusion

Discover the ins and outs of the several calendars used by IndiaIndianIndian communities in this informative chapter. Some regions of India utilize the Lunar System, while others use the Solar System, and yet others use a hybrid Luni-Solar System to frame their calendars. In India, four distinct calendars coexist. Gregorian Calendar, also known as the Scientific Solar Calendar; Hijri Calendar, also known as the Islamic Lunar Calendar; Vikram Samvat, also known as the Hindu Lunar Calendar; Saka Samvat, also known as the Hindu Solar Calendar. India's modern national calendar, which began in 1957, is largely based on the ancient Saka calendar.

Originally developed by ancient Hindus, the Vikram Samvat calendar is a sublunar in use today. On October 15, 1582, the Gregorian Calendar was officially adopted. It celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the progenitor of the Christian religion. Since the Julian Calendar incorrectly calculated leap years, it was replaced by this system.

FAQs: Calendars

Q. How many different types of calendars are there nowadays?

Ans. Numerous calendar systems are in use today, but they may be categorized into three broad families: solar, lunar, and lunisolar/solilunar. A solar calendar, as its name indicates, is based on the Sun, or more accurately, on Earth's orbit around the Sun.

Q. What are the most widely used calendars?

Ans. These days, people all across the world utilize variations of the Gregorian calendar. ISO 8601:2004 is the worldwide standard for the representation of dates and times, and it uses this calendar. It's a solar calendar with a year that lasts 365 days and 12 months that vary in duration.

Q. Which is India's oldest calendar?

Ans. Hindu Calendar is the oldest calendar in India. Subhash Kak claims that the first day of the Hindu calendar occurred considerably earlier in time. He uses Greek historians' descriptions of Maurya kings to highlight the calendar's 6676 BCE inception date (it's called the Saptarsi calendar). King Vikramaditya is honored with the beginning of the Vikrami calendar in 57 BCE.

Q. What is the name of the modern calendar?

Ans. The Gregorian calendar, based on the motion of the Earth around the Sun, is the most used system of dates worldwide. Named after Pope Gregory XIII, who in 1582, published the papal bull Inter gravissimas announcing calendar modifications for all of Catholic Christendom. The Gregorian calendar, established by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, consists of 365 days plus an additional day every four years (the leap year) except for years that are divisible by 100 but not by 400.