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India is a country that is famous all over the world for the unity it possesses in spite of its diverse culture. It is a country that celebrates almost every major festival that exists in this world. Festivals of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and what not. In India, every festival is celebrated with a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm. But, with so many festivals, it is no surprise that it becomes kind of difficult to keep track of every festival. In order to make it easier for you, we have brought Indian calendar of the year 2020 In this calendar, every necessary information about important festivals and government holidays is provided for you.

Origin of the Indian Calendar Shalivahanan Shaka Calendar or Indian National calendar is one of the most popular and widely used calendars along with the Gregorian Calendar. It is used for many purposes including news broadcasting. In a survey conducted by Calendar Reform Committee in 1950s, it was revealed that around 30 different types of calendars were being used to decide the dates of different festivals of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist communities. The study also concluded that all of these calendars were based on principles that were derived on the basis of ancient astronomical practices, beliefs and customs of these religions. At the same time, a different Islamic calendar was being used by Muslims, and the state for using Gregorian Calendar for official administrative purposes. After the survey, the committee in the year 1957 C.E finalised a formal and structured lunisolar calendar which was declared as the National Calendar of India. The leap years in The National Calendar of India corresponded with the leap years of the Gregorian Calendar. Even after so many attempts to create a binary and uniform platform, it is still observed that different variations and types of calendars are used by the people, while on the other hand, Government still uses the Gregorian calendar to decide holidays on the basis of beliefs and traditions of different regions and religions. Hindu astrologers use Panchang or Panchangam, which is basically a Hindu calendar. It is used to fix marriages and also for different astrological and Horoscope purposes.

Structure of Indian Calendar The Indian National Calendar or the Shaka Calendar is designed on the basis of luni-solar calendar as per time. It is divided into 12 months and 365 days like the Gregorian calendar. The first month of Indian National Calendar is called Chaitra and the last month is named Phalgun. Below are the names of the months in the calendar.

  • Chaitra
  • Vaishakha
  • Jyeshtha
  • Ashadha
  • Shravana
  • Bhadra
  • Ashwin
  • Kartika
  • Agrahayana
  • Pausha
  • Magha
  • Phalguna

It is undoubtedly an advanced version of still existing Indian Solar Calendars. The principle unit of this calendar is the civil day and the era is identified as the Saka era. It is designed in a way that it corresponds the tropical year, also known as Sayana year and not with the traditionally known Sidereal or Nirayana year. The religious holidays in this calendar are decided on the basis of lunisolar calendar which focuses on the positions of Sun and the Moon. Most of the festivals occur on the Lunar tithi (date) while the rest are decided on the basis of Solar tithis. While predicting possible future, and deciding mahurats according to the Vedia Astrology, Lunar calendar is considered as the main element by astrologers. While on the other hand, a Solar Calendar tells the apparent position of the sun in the universe at different points of time. An excellent example of Solar calendar is the Gregorian calendar, which is one of the most popular calendars in the world. .

Indian Solar Calendar

In the reference table provided below, we have the months of Indian calendar and their respective Gregorian dates. These days are decided on the basis of the position of the sun, as in the Gregorian calendar.

S. No Indian Religious Calendar (Solar Month) Approx. Gregorian Dates
1 Chaitra March 14
2 Vaishaka April 13
3 Jyeshtha May 14
4 Ashadha June 14
5 Shravana July 16
6 Bhadrapada August 16
7 Ashwin September 16
8 Kartika October 17
9 Margashirsha November 16
10 Pausa December 15
11 Magha January 14
12 Phalguna February 12

Types of Calendars

There are three types of affiliated calendars in India-

  • The Solar Calendars: This type of calendar is designed of the basis of the motion of the sun on yearly basis, both the sidereal and tropical. Some famous examples of this type of calendar are, Gregorian, Roman, French and Indian Solar calendars that are very popular in the regions of Tripura, Haryana, Kerela, Assam, Bengal, Kerela, Punjab, Orrisa and Tamil Nadu. Solar calendars have no concepts of days, so days are summed up to form leap years in it. The Indian National Calendar also belongs to the same category.
  • The Lunar Calendars: These types of calendars solely depend on the phases of the moon. The Islamic calendar, also known as Islamic Hejira Calendar is one of the most famous examples of lunar calendars. It has 12 months and two months of this calendar cover the time period between two new moons. Each month is this type of calendar is almost 29.5 days long.
  • • The Lunisolar Calendar: This type of calendar depends on both, the yearly motion of the sun and monthly phases of the moon. Some popular examples of this type of calendars are Jews and Babylonian calendars and also Indian calendars used in parts of Gujrat, Bihar, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.

Adoption and Official Usage

As we have already mentioned, the Indian Calendar was officially adopted by the Calendar Reform Committee in 1957, and it was considered as an important and integral part of Nautical Almanac and Indian Ephemeris. It was the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who voiced the requirement and importance of a unified calendar in India. He said that – “They (different calendars) represent past political divisions in the country. Now that we have attained Independence, it is obviously desirable that there should be certain uniformity in the calendar for our civic, social, and other purposes, and this should be done on a scientific approach to this problem.” While making this calendar, it was made prior that it must be free of any kind of religious and regional conflict, which existed in different regional calendars of India. After a survey and proper research, the committee introduced Saka calendar and it was made official on March 22 of the year 1957, according to the Indian calendar, this date is Chaitra 1 of 1879.

Significance of Saka Calendar

The Saka calendar is a tribute to the ancient innovation and ideas of Indian people as it projects the beliefs, cultures and traditions of this great nation. It is followed Internationally by Indians and Hindus living in different countries of the world. Some most popular uses of the Saka calendar are –

  • Gazette of India
  • All India Radio Broadcasts
  • By the Government of India in official and administrative purposes

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