Vikram Samvat

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Vikram Samvat (IAST: Vikrama Samvat; abbreviated V.S. (or VS) and B.S. (or BS); Loudspeaker.svg Listen  ) and also known as the Vikrami calendar, is the historical Hindu calendar in the Indian subcontinent. It is the official calendar of Nepal. In India it is used in several states. [1] [2] The calendar uses lunar months and solar sidereal years.



Barnala inscription
Barnala inscription.jpg
Plaque with description of Barnala inscription
Barnala inscription 2.jpg
Barnala Yupa pillar, Rajasthan

A number of ancient and medieval inscriptions used the Vikram Samvat. Although it was reportedly named after the legendary king Vikramaditya, the term "Vikrama Samvat" does not appear in the historical record before the 9th century; the same calendar system is found with other names, such as Krita and Malava. [3] In colonial scholarship, the era was believed to be based on the commemoration of King Vikramaditya expelling the Sakas from Ujjain. However, later epigraphical evidence and scholarship suggest that this theory has no historical basis. During the 9th century, epigraphical artwork began using Vikram Samvat (suggesting that the Hindu calendar era in use became popular as Vikram Samvat); Buddhist and Jain epigraphy continued to use an era based on the Buddha or the Mahavira. [4]

Vikramaditya legend

The Jain monk Kalakacharya and the Saka king (Kalakacharya Katha manuscript, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai) Westindischer Maler um 1400 001.jpg
The Jain monk Kalakacharya and the Saka king (Kalakacharya Katha manuscript, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai)

According to popular tradition, King Vikramaditya of Ujjain established the Vikrama Samvat era after defeating the Śakas.

Kalakacharya Kathanaka (An account of the monk Kalakacharya), by the Jain sage Mahesarasuri, gives the following account: Gandharvasena, the then-powerful king of Ujjain, abducted a nun called Sarasvati, who was the sister of the monk. The enraged monk sought the help of the Śaka ruler King Sahi in Sistan. Despite heavy odds but aided by miracles, the Śaka king defeated Gandharvasena and made him a captive. Sarasvati was repatriated, although Gandharvasena himself was forgiven. The defeated king retired to the forest, where he was killed by a tiger. His son, Vikramaditya, being brought up in the forest, had to rule from Pratishthana (modern Paithan in Maharashtra). Later on, Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away from the Śakas. To commemorate this event, he started a new era called the "Vikrama era". The Ujjain calendar started around 58–56 BCE, and the subsequent Shaka-era calendar was started in 78 CE at Pratishthana.[ full citation needed ]

Historical origins

The association of the era beginning in 57 BCE with Vikramaditya is not found in any source before the 9th century CE; earlier sources call the era "Kṛṭa" (343 and 371 CE), "Kritaa" (404), "the era of the Malava tribe" (424), or simply "Samvat". [5] [6] The earliest known inscription which calls the era "Vikrama" is from 842. This inscription, from the Chauhana ruler Chandamahasena, was found at Dholpur and is dated "Vikrama Samvat 898, Vaishakha Shukla 2, Chanda" (20 April 842). The earliest known inscription which associates the era with a king called Vikramaditya is dated 971, and the earliest literary work connecting the era to Vikramaditya is Subhashita-Ratna-Sandoha (993-994) by the Jain author Amitagati. [6]

A number of authors believe that the Vikram Samvat was not started by Vikramaditya, who might be a legendary king or a title adopted by a later king who renamed the era after himself. V. A. Smith and D. R. Bhandarkar believed that Chandragupta II adopted the title of Vikramaditya, and changed the era's name to "Vikrama Samvat". According to Rudolf Hoernlé, the king responsible for this change was Yashodharman. Hoernlé believed that he conquered Kashmir and is the "Harsha Vikramaditya" mentioned in Kalhana's Rajatarangini . [6]

Some earlier scholars believed that the Vikraa Samvat corresponded to the Azes era of the Indo-Scythian (Śaka) king King Azes. This was disputed by Robert Bracey after the discovery of an inscription of Vijayamitra, which is dated in two eras. [7] The theory was discredited by Falk and Bennett, who place the inception of the Azes era in 47–46 BCE. [8]


The Vikram Samvat has been used by Hindus and Sikhs. [9] One of several regional Hindu calendars in use on the Indian subcontinent, it is based on twelve synodic lunar months and 365 solar days. [9] [10] The lunar year begins with the new moon of the month of Chaitra. [11] This day, known as Chaitra Sukhladi, is a restricted holiday in India. [12] [ failed verification ]

The calendar remains in use by Hindus in Nepal and north, west and central India. [3] In south India and portions of east and west India (such as Assam, West Bengal and Gujarat), the Indian national calendar is widely used. [13]

With the arrival of Islamic rule, the Hijri calendar became the official calendar of sultanates and the Mughal Empire. During British colonial rule of the Indian subcontinent, the Gregorian calendar was adopted and is commonly used in urban areas of India. [14] The predominantly-Muslim countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh have used the Islamic calendar since 1947, but older texts included the Vikram Samvat and Gregorian calendars. In 2003, the India-based Sikh Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee controversially adopted the Nanakshahi calendar. [9] The Vikram Samvat is the official calendar of Nepal. [15]

Calendar system

Like the Gregorian calendar, the Vikram Samvat reconciles a solar year with lunar months, but it resembles the Hebrew calendar in its handling of the lunar-solar discrepancy. [9] Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which adds days to the lunar month to adjust for the mismatch between twelve lunar cycles (354 lunar days) [16] and nearly 365 solar days, the Vikram Samvat and Hebrew calendars maintain the integrity of the lunar month; an extra month 'appears', on a strict scientific basis, roughly once every three years (or 7 times in a 19-year cycle, to be more exact) to ensure that festivals and crop-related rituals fall in the appropriate season. The extra month appears in Chinese and Jewish calendars as well; in India it is called adhik maas. The Vikram Samvat is one of the lunisolar calendars developed by ancient human cultures. [9] [10] Early Buddhist communities in India adopted the ancient Hindu calendar, followed by the Vikram Samvat and local Buddhist calendars. Buddhist festivals are still scheduled according to a lunar system. [17]

The Vikram Samvat has two systems. It began in 56 BCE in the southern Hindu calendar system (amaanta) and 57–56 BCE in the northern system (purnimaanta). The Shukla Paksha, when most festivals occur, coincides in both systems. [13] [5] The lunisolar Vikram Samvat calendar is 56.7 years ahead of the solar Gregorian calendar; the year 2076 VS began in 2019 CE, and ended in 2020 CE.

The Rana dynasty of Nepal made the Vikram Samvat the official Hindu calendar in 1901, which began as Samvat 1958. [18] The new year in Nepal begins with the first day of the month of Baishakh, which usually falls around 13–15 April in the Gregorian calendar. The first day of the new year is celebrated in Bisket Jatra, an annual carnival in Bhaktapur. In 2007, Nepal Sambat was recognized as the national calendar.

In India, the reformulated Saka calendar is officially used (except for computing dates of the traditional festivals). In the Hindi version of the preamble of the constitution of India, the date of its adoption (26 November 1949) is presented in Vikram Samvat as Margsheersh Shukla Saptami Samvat 2006. A call has been made for the Vikram Samvat to replace the Saka calendar as India's official calendar. [19]

Divisions of a year

The Vikram Samvat uses lunar months and solar sidereal years. Because 12 months do not match a sidereal year, correctional months ( adhika māsa ) are added or (occasionally) subtracted (kshaya masa). A lunar year consists of 12 months, and each month has two fortnights. The lunar days are called tithis . Each month has 30 tithis, which vary in length from 20 to 27 hours. The waxing phase, beginning with the day after the new moon (amavasya), is called gaura or shukla paksha (the bright or auspicious fortnight). The waning phase is called krishna or vadhya paksha (the dark fortnight, considered inauspicious). [20]

Lunar metrics


Vikram Samvat is approximately 57 years ahead of Gregorian Calendar. Currently 2077 is running on Vikram Sambat Whereas In Gregorian Calendar 2020 is running. The names of months in the Vikram Samvat in Sanskrit and Hindi, [22] [23] with their roughly corresponding Gregorian months, respectively are:

  1. Vaiśākha or Vaisakh (April–May)
  2. Jyaiṣṭha or Jeth (May–June)
  3. Asādha or Harh (June–July)
  4. Srāvana or Sawan (July–August)
  5. Bhādrapada or Bhadon (August–September)
  6. Asvinā or Assu (September–October)
  7. Kārtikā or Kattak (October–November)
  8. Agrahāyaṇa or Maghar (November–December)
  9. Pauṣa or Poh (December–January)
  10. Māgha or Magh (January–February)
  11. Phālguna or Phaggun (February–March)
  12. Chaitra or Chait(March–April)

See also

Related Research Articles

An epoch, for the purposes of chronology and periodization, is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.

The Hindu calendar refers to a set of various lunisolar calendars that are traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and South-east Asia, with further regional variations for social and Hindu religious purposes. They adopt a similar underlying concept for timekeeping based on sidereal year for solar cycle and adjustment of lunar cycles in every three years, however also differ in their relative emphasis to moon cycle or the sun cycle and the names of months and when they consider the New Year to start. Of the various regional calendars, the most studied and known Hindu calendars are the Shalivahana Shaka found in South India, Vikram Samvat (Bikrami) found in Nepal, North and Central regions of India, Tamil calendar used in Tamil Nadu – all of which emphasize the lunar cycle. Their new year starts in spring. In contrast, in regions such as Kerala, the solar cycle is emphasized and this is called the Malayalam calendar, their new year starts in autumn, and these have origins in the second half of the 1st millennium CE. A Hindu calendar is sometimes referred to as Panchanga (पञ्चाङ्ग).

Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, Bhattaraka, Maharajadhiraja

Chandragupta II, also known by his title Vikramaditya, was one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta Empire in northern India.

Vikram may refer to:


Chaitra is a month of the Hindu calendar.

Indian national calendar

The Indian national calendar, sometimes called the Shalivahana Shaka calendar. It is used, alongside the Gregorian calendar, by The Gazette of India, in news broadcasts by All India Radio and in calendars and communications issued by the Government of India.

The Tamil calendar is a sidereal Hindu calendar used by the Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It is also used in Puducherry, and by the Tamil population in Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu farmers greatly refer to this. It is used today for cultural, religious and agricultural events, with the Gregorian calendar largely used for official purposes both within and outside India. The Tamil calendar is based on the classical Hindu solar calendar also used in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Manipur, Nepal, Odisha, Rajasthan and Punjab

Shaka era

The Shaka era or Shalivahana Śaka is a historical calendar era, the epoch of which corresponds to Julian year 78. It is commonly known in Indian languages as Shalivahana Śaka or in RTGS Mahasakkarat and continues to be used in traditional calendars.


Amāvásyā is the lunar phase of the New moon in Sanskrit. Indian calendars use 30 lunar phases, called tithi in India. The dark moon tithi is when the Moon is within the 12 degrees of angular distance between the Sun and Moon before conjunction (syzygy). The New Moon tithi is the 12 angular degrees after syzygy. Amāvásyā is often translated as new moon since there is no standard term for the Moon before conjunction in English.

The Vira Nirvana Samvat (era) is a calendar era beginning on 7 October 527 BCE. It commemorates the Nirvana of Lord Mahaviraswami, the 24th Jain Tirthankara. This is one of the oldest system of chronological reckoning which is still used in India.

Vikramaditya 1st century BCE emperor of Ujjain, India.

Vikramaditya was an emperor of ancient India according to oral traditions. Often characterized as an ideal king, he is known for his generosity, courage, and patronage of scholars. Vikramaditya is featured in hundreds of traditional Indian stories, including those in Baital Pachisi and Singhasan Battisi. Many describe him as a universal ruler, with his capital at Ujjain.

Nepal Sambat

Nepal Sambat is the lunar calendar used by the Nepalese-speaking people native to the Indian subcontinent of Nepalese nationality and ethnic Nepalis. The Calendar era began on 20 October 879 AD, with 1140 in Nepal Sambat corresponding to the year 2019–2020 AD. Nepal Sambat appeared on coins, stone and copper plate inscriptions, royal decrees, chronicles, Hindu and Buddhist manuscripts, legal documents and correspondence. Though Nepal Sambat is declared a national calendar, it is used widely in Nepal. It is mostly used by the newar community whereas Bikram Sambat (B.S) remains the dominant calendar throughout the country. All the major festivals are based on Bikram Sambat along with official purposes.

There are numerous days throughout the year celebrated as New Year's Day in the different regions of India. Observance is determined by whether the lunar calendar is being followed or the solar calendar. Those regions which follow the Solar calendar, the new year falls on Baisakhi in North and Central India,Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh Rongali Bihu in Assam, Tamil Putthandu in Tamil Nadu, Vishu in Kerala, Bishuva Sankranti in Odisha and Poila Boishakh in Bengal in the month of the calendar, i.e., Vaishakha. Generally, this day falls during 14th or 15th of the month of April. Those following Lunar calendar consider the month of Chaitra as the first month of the year, so the new year is celebrated on the first day of this month. Similarly, few regions in India consider the period between consecutive Sankarantis as one month and few others take the period between consecutive Purnimas as a month.

Paksha refers to a fortnight or a lunar phase in a month of the Hindu lunar calendar.

Bengali calendars

The Bengali Calendar or Bangla Calendar is a luni-solar calendar used in the Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent. A revised version of the calendar is the national and official calendar in Bangladesh and an earlier version of the calendar is followed in the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam. The New Year in the Bengali calendar is known as Pohela Boishakh.

Ghimire Surname list

Ghimire is one of the surname of the Brahmin /Chhetri belonging to Kashyap Gotra and Brahmins/ chetri Varna in the Hindu Varna System. They have been living in the hill regions of Nepal for 2000 years. Their ancestor, royal priest Gudpal Vyas, lived in Ghamir, Dhurkot, Now called Ghamir, Gulmi, Nepal who moved from Ujjain, which was ruled by King Vikramaditya, ancient city situated on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River in the Malwa region of central India. Which is today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh, and it is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.. Research Scholar, Parashu Ram Ghimire argues that the Ghimires are the original people of Nepal. But were migrated from India. The Brahmins came Musikot from Ghamir were called Ghimire later.

The Balinese saka calendar is one of two calendars used on the Indonesian island of Bali. Unlike the 210-day pawukon calendar, it is based on the phases of the Moon, and is approximately the same length as the Gregorian year.

Siṃha is one of the twelve months in the Indian solar calendar.

Shalivahana was a legendary emperor of ancient India, who is said to have ruled from Pratishthana. He is believed to be based on a Satavahana king.

The Bangladeshi calendar is a civil calendar used in Bangladesh, alongside the Gregorian calendar and the Islamic calendar. With roots in the ancient calendars of the region, it is based on Tarikh-e-Ilahi, introduced by the Mughal Emperor Akbar on 10/11 March 1584. Amartya Sen states that only traces of Akbar's influence survive. The calendar is important for Bangladeshi agriculture, as well as festivals and traditional record keeping for revenue and taxation.


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