Panchang- The Hindu Calendar

Panchang -Panchang is a Sanskrit Word consists of two words “panch” means five and “ang” means parts, these 5 parts are as follows: Tithi, Vaar,Nakshatra, Yog and Karana. The basic purpose of Hindu Panchang is to check various Hindu festivals. In Assam, Bengal, Odisha the Panchangam is referred to as Panjika.

  • Tithi– defines “day”, position of moon at Sunrise.Calendar shows ending point of time for the tithi that was active at Sunrise.
  • Nakshatra– defines “stars on that day”, position of the star at Sunrise. Calendar show sending point of time for the nakshatra that was active at Sunrise.
  • Yog– defines “probability”, time period prevalent in a day and is calculated by adding the longitudes of Sun and moon and dividing it into 27 equal parts.
  • Karan– defines “work being done” or Half of tithi, they are 11 in total androtate.
  •   Vaar–  defines week.

The casting of a Panchang involves mathematical work with high level of spherical geometry and an astronomical phenomena, such as sidereal movements of heavenly bodies. However, in practice the tabulation is done on the basis of short-cut formulations as done by ancient Vedic sages and scholars. It may state tabulations of positions of Sun, Moon, and other planets for everyday of the year on a fixed place (longitude, latitude) and time of day (24-hour format IST). The users calculate the remaining data using their relative difference from this fixed place and time.

There are several Panchang that contain information for more than one year. There is one Vishva vijaya Panchang that covers 100 years.It usually indicates the bad periods to be avoided, like Rahu kalam, Durmuhurtham, and Varjyam. For knowing completely as to how the information given in Panchang is to be used one needs to know Astrology.

Rahu Kalam or the period of Rahu is a certain period of time every day that is considered infelicitous for any new venture according to Vedic astrology. The segments are calculated by taking the total time between sunrise and sunset, at a given place, and then dividing this time duration by 8. Astronomically in the Hindu Panchang the ever varying planetary configurations mean that the auspicious hours during each day will not always fall at the same moment of time.

Durmurtham is the deficient time of the day when any work done or starting of any new thing is considered to result in something bad.

Varjyam occurs everyday based on the nakshatra. It is calculated based on small portion of degrees of every star(nakshatra).

There are theories related to Panchang named as Surya Siddhanta and Grahalaghava formed the basis for the myriad calendars in the past in different regions of India.

The Grahalaghava was compiled about 600 years ago and Surya Siddhanta was available more before that. These had become outdated and did not tally with actual astronomical events or each other. Hence, a committee was appointed by the Government of India with experts in the field drawn from various parts of the country who were involved with preparation of Panchang in local languages to draw up a reliable Panchang in which the mathematical calculations provides the positions of the planets and the constellations.

Let us know what each of the parts means in brief:


The calculation of Tithi is based on mathematical activity. A Tithi is the angle between Sun and the moon. The angle of 12 degrees makes one Tithi. Sun and moon both are always in motion. The moon appears to be growing when it goes away from Sun. The period of moon when it goes away from Sun is known as Shukla Paksha. The moon appears to be decreasing in size when it comes near to Sun.This period is known as Krishna Paksha. Hence, a rule to calculate the Tithi is evolved which is as follows:

Below are some Tithi’s that are considered to be terrific:

Chaturthi-Ganpati is the Lord of 4th lunar day, which is good for the destruction of one’s enemies, the removal obstacles, and acts of battle.

Panchami-The Naaga (Snake) rules this day, which is favorable for administering medicine,the purging of poisons and surgery.

Shashthi– Kartikeya presides over this day, which is favourable coronations , meeting new friends, festivities and enjoyment.

Saptami-The 7th Lunar day is ruled by Surya; one may begin a new journey,but carries the deal with movable nature.

Asthami-The rudra rules this day, which is good for taking up arms, building of one’s defenses, and fortification.

Navami-The Ambika rules this day, which is good for taking up arms, suitable for killing enemies, act of destruction and violence. Inauspicious for ceremonies and journeys.

Dashami-The day is ruled by dharmaraja and is auspicious for acts of virtue, religious functions, spiritual practices and pure activities.

Ekadashi– Rudra rule this day; fasting, devotional activities and remembrance of the supreme lord are very favorable.

Chaturdashi-kali rules this day, suitable for regulating poison and calling for elements and spirits.

Amavasya-The pirtu-devas rule the new moon, suitable for the propitiation of the manes and performance of austerities. Purnima is ruled by moon.

Tithi =(Bhogansha of moon – Bhogansha of Sun)/12

The Tithi is calculated on the basis of the formula given above, If the quotient obtained is between 1 to 15, then the Tithis will be of Krishna Paksha. If the quotient obtained is more than 15, then the Tithis will be of Shukla Paksha. Let us assume that we have got 17 after calculating with this method, this means that it is the Dwadashi Tithi of Shukla Paksha.

It should be noted that the beginning of a month in northern India is considered from Krishna Paksha.


The Nakshatra present in moon at the time of birth of an individual is known as Janam Nakshatra. Nakshatra present in moon during the course of any activity is known as Nakshatra of that time. Initially, the zodiac was grouped in 12 Rashis for convenience; however the ancient seers have farther subdivided the heavens into 27 Nakshatras or star constellations for the call of proceeding. These constellations or the Nakshatras emerged as one of the most importan tcomponents in Astrology.

Vedic astrology identifies each constellation with a star.The 360 degree division of the sky is therefore further divided into 27 subdivision of 13.20 degrees identified with 27 stars. Each of these Nakshatrasis again subdivided into four Padas (quarters of 3 degrees and 20 minutes).Therefore the first Rashi, Mesha, which has 30 degrees, contains the entire 4 Padas of the 1st star constellation Ashwini, the entire 4 Padas of the 2nd star constellation Bharani and the 1st Pada of the third star constellation Krittika. In this manner, each Rashi comprises of 9 Padas.

Method of calculating Nakshatrsas

Look at the position of moon at the time of birth or when any other activity ishappening. Let us assume that moon is in the ninth sign and its Bhoganha is 6 degrees 5 minutes. We will now convert it into minutes. After converting it into minutes we will divide this number by 800. This means that 20 Nakshatras are completed and the 21st Nakshatra is running. The 21st Nakshatra is Uttara Ashadha Nakshatra. In this way, you can calculate the other Nakshatras also.The digit before decimal represents the number of Nakshatras which are passed.If 5 come before the decimal, then it means that 5 Nakshatras are passed and the sixth Nakshatra is running.


A Vaar (day) is from one sunrise to another sunrise. All the days including Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are known as Vaars.


The fourth part of a Panchanga is Yoga. The basis of calculating this is the position of Sun and moon. The Yogas are of 27 kinds. It give results accordingto their names. One adds Bhogansha of Sun and Bhogansha of moon to calculate the Yoga. Then divide the sum by 13 degrees 20 minutes. Converting 13 degrees 20 minutes into minutes we get 800 minutes. Divide 800 minutes by the number thus obtained that’s how yoga is calculated.


This is the fifth part of a Panchanga. It is considered to be half of a Tithi, hence,there are two Karana in a Tithi. The fixed Karanas come once in a month. Are petition of 7 Karanas occurs. These Karanas occur for 8 times in a month. There are total 11 Karanas in Astrology; Bava, Baalav, Kaulav, Taitil, Gar, Vanij,Vishti, Shakuni, Chatushpad, Naag, Kinshtughna. The first 7 Karans are known as’Char’, which means variable and the last 4 Karnas are called as ‘Sthir’ which means constant. Last 4 are known as ‘Sthir’ because they always come in a specific period starting from the second half of Krishna Paksh (Dark Fortnight)Chaturdashi and ending with first half of Shukla Paksha (Bright Fortnight)Pratipada. First 7 Karanas are known as Char, because they arrive repeatedly,in a specific sequence, covering the period starting from the second half of Shukla Paksha (Bright Fortnight) Pratipada and ending with first half of Krishna Paksh (Dark Fortnight) Chaturdashi.

There are two types of Indian calendars. One is the solar calendar(Surya ganana) based on the entry of the sun in to various zodiac signs and theother is the lunar calendar (Chandra ganana) based on the transit of the moon.Our Panchanga displays the lunar calendar which is the most widely followed Panchanga calendar in India.Now the lunar calendar is subdivided into the two parts one is Kartika month and counted after Purnima till next Purnima. Hence it is called the Purnimanta. This is popular in North India. The other starts with the month Chaitra and counted after Amavasya till the next Amavasya. Hence it is called Amavasyanta or Amananta calendar. This is popular in South India.

The Hindu Vedic sunrise and sunset & moon rise and moon set are as per the time when the center of the disc, i.e. half the disc,rises over the horizon. Hence The Hindu Vedic sunrise and sunset & moonrise and moon set times shown in our Panchanga are more by up to 5 minutes. 

Sadhya is the promising yoga which falls in Shukla Paksh . Venus (Shukra) is the planet which is responsible for ruling this Yoga. Sadhya means attainment. Person having this Yog will be strong in his or her decision making and will stick to the decisions made by the native. Patience plays a predominant role in native’s life to accomplish any task which he or she desires for.

Few traits which one should have:

  • Liberal
  • Intelligent
  • Creative
  • Perspicacious 
  • Faithful

It’s is to be noted that person will fulfill things without much of the labour, Destiny here will play its role in his or her favor. Where Karana is Garr which comes under movable Karanas in Panchang which is benefited and is ruled by land , in addition it is shows that the person of this Karana will be a good strategist, imaginative and talkative.

Hindu Calendar

“Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart- a leaf,a flower, a fruit or water- I accept with joy”

The Kalawa/mauli you are wearing right now, what do it signify ? The black thread on your ankle or the yellow thread on your chest. What’s the role of this ? Well to know more about our Hindu Religion and its tradition, read out to our next article “Importance of a Thread in Hinduism”.

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