Vani’s Musings

Hindu Months and Time Eras

Posted on: February 1, 2007

The Hindu Months

In Hindu astrology, as in Western astrology, the zodiac is divided into twelve signs (Rasis). Each of the twelve signs is in thirty-degree segment of the full zodiac. In addition to the twelve signs, the Hindu zodiac is further divided into twenty-seven Naksatras or lunar mansions. Each naksatra is a thirteen degree and twenty minute segment of the zodiac. Specifically, a Naksatra is the number of degrees the moon travels across the sky in a twenty-four hour period. The degrees of the twenty-seven Naksatras when totaled together equal the three hundred and sixty degrees of the entire zodiac. The names of the Indian months originated from the names of the Naksatras where Purnima (the full moon) always takes place. Of the twenty-seven Naksatras only twelve of them have full moons. The names of the Hindu months with their corresponding Western periods are as follows:

Naksatra Hindu Month Western Month
Chitra Chaitra March-April
Visakha Vaisakha April-May
Jyestha Jyaistha May-June
Purva-asadha Asadha June-July
Sravana Sravana July-August
Purva-bhadra Bhadrapada August-September
Asvini Aasweeja September-October
Krttika Kartika October-November
Mrigashira Maargashira November-December
Pusya Pausa December-January
MaKha Maagha January-February
Uttara-phalguni Phalguna February-March

Hindu Time Eras

India has many time eras. In general there are two kinds of eras: those named after prominent religious leaders and those named after kings. In addition, there are two annual time periods that mark the beginning of an era: the month of Caitra (March-April) and the month of Karttika (October-November). In most parts of North India and South India the custom is to begin each year with Caitra (March-April) and each month with the full moon. But in Gujarat the years begin with Karttika (October-November) and the months with the new moon. The two most important eras are the Sakabda and the Samvat. The Sakabda or Salivahana era (AD 78), now used throughout India, is the most important of all. It has been used not only in many Indian inscriptions but also in ancient Sanskrit inscriptions in Indochina and Indonesia. The reformed calendar promulgated by the Indian government from 1957 is reckoned by this era. It is variously alleged to have been founded by the Hindu king Salivahana. To reduce Saka dates to dates AD, 78 must be added for a date within the period ending with the day equivalent to December 31 and 79 for a later date.

The Samvat or Vikrama era (58 BC) is said in the Jain book Kalakacaryakatha to have been founded after a victory of King Vikramaditya over the Sakas. But some scholars credit the Scytho-Parthian ruler Azes with the foundation of this era. It is sometimes called the Malava era because Vikramaditya ruled over the Malava country, but it was not confined to this region, being widespread throughout India. The years reckoned in this era are generally indicated with the word Vikrama Samvat, or simple Samvat. To reduce Vikrama dates to dates AD, 57 must be subtracted from the former for dates before January 1 and 56 for dates after.

The Bengali era is also known as the Laksmana era (AD 1119) said to have been founded by the king Laksmanasena of Bengal and still used throughout Bengal and preserved until modern times. To convert Bengali era to AD, 593 years must be added. The Chaitanya era starts from the appearance of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in 1486. To convert the Chaitanya era to dates AD add 1486 years to the Chaitanya date. The Chaitanya dating system is only in use by Chaitanya Vaisnavas.


20 Responses to "Hindu Months and Time Eras"

Very informative post, Vani. Was aware of months… but not much about hindu eras…

Wow 😮 Amazing storehouse of knowledge u are….Nimma blog visit madtaidre knowledge quotient definite aagi hechchaagatte…

Nakshathra, maasa, tithi, vara, varsha yella navu chikkovvriddaga magii pustaka hidkondu bayipaaata madbekittu, i wonder if that practice still exists in hindu families.

Good post vaNi 🙂

Wow! Excellent.. nanna blog nalli ondu comment haakiddu sari alva ?

Nice one, I always awe at such information & rituals. I try to learn from different source about what exaclty all these are.. Tobe very practical, not all Hindu family get this luxury of knowing this. I knew that some communities belonging to Hindu religion has all this as part of their daily rituals.
The day starts with kaaragre vasathe & ends with Ramaskandam. If you ask this to any person , they would not be able to related this unless they belong to a very much a dhaarmika kutumba. No matter what relating all these to the hindu puraaNa, vedas is a benevolent art. Strictly speaking they are all designed to teach us morals & disciplines which sometime are rejected because of the time factor 🙂

I know a friend who used to relish chicken even belonging to a saathvik(here definition is who eats veg food at home) family. When asked he used to say, naaLe sandhya vandane maadtheenalla so paapa hogatte with a chirpy smile!!

All said & done, nammalle eshtu jana idanna appreciate maadtheevi gottilla. sometime I myself skip the pooja session in the morning because of getting late to office… & later give a reason!!!!!

ella sari, olle post maatra vaaNi, important aagi. No Hi-Fi jargons. namma tara normal-range -school nalli odidro middle class family avarige arthaa ago tara ide! 🙂

really happy that you wrote about this.
i agree with diya’s comment.
continue the good work. 🙂

Vani keep up the good work.

As veena points out these obvious things are getting lost and oblivious due to time factor.

Veena – One small anctedote.
Somebody came to swami vivekananda and said – I have eatan fish and am wondering if am worthy of worshipping god.
Swamis eyes blazed and he said – A small piece of flesh can not come between a worthy sadaka and GOD. Dont worry , remove that thought from mind and do your pooja.

Our prana or mind is made up of what food we eat. You already are aware of the 3 types of food. That is the primary reason why sadakas are told to keep away from meat etc. But if you are as englightend as ramakrishna, vivekanada etc you can ignore that food portion.

Bellur my comment is applicable to all who are contributors – either through their own blogs or as guests on other’s blogs 😉 Hats off to all of u 🙂

very informative.

Can u also mention about Adhika maasa, please?
This year we have an adhika maasa.

Thanks everyone,

It’s always nice to hear good words. Hope to keep you all entertained.

Sure Srik, I will put a post out on that pretty soon.

Something that keeps people talking about jyotishya made me write this:

The nakshatra is the snapshot of positions of all the nava grahas in terms of position at time of birth. Thats why your place, time of birth is insisted while finding out your nakshatra – REVERSE ENGINEERING.

The human body like all other objects in this universe are subject to gravitational pull. Visible forces like tides on earth mass like seas have been documented well enough related to our CHANDRA.

Very similar to that, all the other heavenly objects push/pull onto our human bodies too. Some cause good things while the others cause bad. They are all based on simple maths.

So sade-sathi, mangala dosha etc are very much prevailiant and irrespective of wether you belive in it or NOT, it does have the effect.

Jyothisya is the science which has documented the effects of these heavenly bodies on human bodies. Nakshatras are the starting point.

cheers to vani for bringing this up.

Hey this is so enlightening..
Can anybody lists all the nakshatra names in total ? like bharaNi, makha, uttaarashaaDa, revathi & the rest non-12.
IS there any standard data which is considered the best ? I mean a kid which takes birth in this particular place at particular time will have the brightest future ?
I have heard about Chinese calendar which says if the kids takes birth in so & so month it will be a male/female etc., Not too sure about the logic here.
Also Numerology says, if the name is changed to so & so your destiny changes etc., & so is vastu….

Can somebody explain the reasoning behind all these ?

Vani & others, pls get us enlighten more!

I dont have much experience with vastu, numerology but have very limited data on jyothishya which is as thus:

There are 2 types of predictions that are done. The first one is based on the nakshatra – rashi which is relative to current date to our date of birth. Jyothshiya reconginizes that en mass people do not have the same effect from the navagrahas all ways.

At best they experience transitional effects or Gochara pala.

A reading of your Janma jathka aka nakshatra aka positions of grahs with respect to you coupled with the current distance the body near/away from you called gochara is used.

There are associate and dissosiative grahs. Example is Budha and shani cancel out the effects in general. But, rahu and kethu togather inflict accidents,killings…

Please watch Udaya TV on sunday mornings 7Am to 730 for general awareness or knowledge even if you dont believe or hate the presentator 🙂

Hope it helped.

Yes, it did.. I vaguely understands the data they use from kundali. They talk about lot of rahus ketus & 12 ne mane etc.,
It goes above my head. Switching on TV on sunday so early in the morning! Its a joke.. well that jain guy is liked by most of the people since he puts in some curious thoughts!

Yes, Veena thats the concept of jythishya. This 12th mane is derived from the birth time,place aka nakshatra.

I was just trying to give you how important it is ( for believers) this concept of nakshatra and jyothishya.

Wah, got one person up at least.

Hello Vani,

I’ve been reading your posts for quite sometime, today I hit on this one. Great work, your attempt to revive traditional knowledge is commendable. Not many would be interested, and even if they were, their knowledge would be limited. Do keep the zest going in this arena!


friends how r u

then u r intrest to make friendship with me

if yes means plz mail me

I got your e-mail through email

I am Mohan.G, Date of Birth:19/02/81, Thursday, Time:00.14am, Maka(Star), Leo(Rasi), I am Hindu, I have love affairwith with One Christian girl, name Priyadarshini.S, date of Birth:14/03/84, from last one year both are loving each other very deeply. But since one month she is not speaking to me and changed her mobile number.
From one month i am depressed very much due to her,
Pls check my astrology, according to my horoscope is it possible to marry her, i am decided to make suicide, pls am depressed a lot due to her. she is very gud girl she loved me a lot. but one small quarrel occurred between us. from that day she is not speaking. pls give your suggstion.

I am awaiting your e-mail.

Today she called me and told i forgot u, dont distrub me, i will marry other persson, i am not interested to see u or to marry u, i am so disappointed. is it possible to come and marry me. pls tell me, i dont no her number wat to do.

if not possible or possible pls tell me, i dont no wat to do. Icant forget her.

Thaking u

I would like to know my date of birth in english era.My date of birth mentioned in my kundali is 14th Baisakha 1931 sakabdha.Please help me to know my date of birth in english year,month and date.

Thanking You,


kindly tell me the procedure to convert 21-1 1885(sakabd) to the English date.

Please tell me the exact english date for sakabad 21-1-1885

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