Calendars used by India

In India 4 types of calendars followed

  • Vikram Samvat
  • Saka Samvat
  • Hijra calender
  • Gregorian calendar

1.Vikram calendar

  • Date back to 57 BC by king Vikramaditya to mark his victory over the saka rulers
  • That means 57 B.C = Zero year
  • It is a Lunar calender i.e based on movement of moon
  • It has 12 months & each month divided into 2 phases.
  • Shuklapaksha (15 days) – Starts new moon & ends full moon
  • Krishnapaksha (15 days) – Starts full moon & ends new moon
  • Month begins with a ‘dark half’
  • There are 354 days in a year
  • Hence every 3rd & 5th year in a cycle of 5 years has 13 months – Adhik mass

2.Saka calendar

  • Zero year 78 AD
  • Started by Saka ruler to mark victory over Kushsans
  • 365 days
  • Also known as ‘Indian national calendar’ introduced in 1957 based on the traditional Hindu calendars


There are 12 months in Hindu lunar calendar

  1. Chaitra
  2. Vaiśākha
  3. Jyeṣṭha
  4. Āṣāḍha
  5. Śrāvaṇa
  6. Bhādrapada, Bhādra or Proṣṭhapada
  7. Ashvin
  8. Kārtika
  9. Agrahāyaṇa, Mārgaśīrṣa
  10. Pauṣa
  11. Māgha
  12. Phālguna

Purshottam maas is an extra month or thirteen in the Hindu calendar.

3.Hijri calendar

  • The Islamic calendarMuslim calendar or Hijri calendar (AH) is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days.
  • Being a purely lunar calendar, it is not synchronized with the seasons.
  • With an annual drift of 10 or 11 days, the seasonal relation repeats about every 33 Islamic years (every 32 solar years).
  • It is used to date events in many Muslim countries (concurrently with the Gregorian calendar).
  • Also used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper days on which to observe the annual fast (Ramadan), to attend Hajj, and to celebrate other Islamic holidays and festivals.
  • The first year was the Islamic year beginning in AD 622 during which the emigration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra, occurred.

4.Gregorian calendar

  • Used throughout most of the world & also known as “Universal calendar”
  • It began to be used from 1582.
  • It replaced the previous Julian calendar because the Julian Calendar had an error: it added a leap year (with an extra day every four years) with no exceptions.
  • The length of the Julian year was exactly 365.25 days (365 days and 6 hours), but the actual time it takes for the Earth to go around the Sun once is closer to 365.2425 days (about 365 days, 5 hours and 49 minutes).
  • This difference is about eleven minutes each year.

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