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Vikram Samvat, Shaka Samvat, and Gregorian calendars: History & Significance in Current Era

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Vikram Samvat, Shaka Samvat, and Gregorian calendars: History & Significance in Current Era
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Vikram Samvat, Shaka Samvat, and Gregorian calendars: History & Significance in Current Era.

  • Vikram Samvat: A lunisolar calendar, meaning it follows both the lunar and solar cycles. It is named after King Vikramaditya, who is believed to have started the calendar in 57 BCE. The Vikram Samvat calendar is primarily used in Nepal and some parts of India, particularly in the western and central regions.

  • Shaka Samvat: A solar calendar, meaning it follows the solar cycle only. It is named after the Shaka era, which began in 78 CE. The Shaka Samvat calendar is the official national calendar of India and is also used in some parts of Nepal.

  • Gregorian Calendar: A solar calendar, widely used as the international standard calendar. It was introduced in 1582 CE by Pope Gregory XIII to replace the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is used in most parts of the world for civil and business purposes.

History: Who Started and Why It Was Started

  • Vikram Samvat: Established in 57 BCE by King Vikramaditya, believed to commemorate his victory over the Malavas.

  • Shaka Samvat: Initiated in 78 CE by Emperor Shalivahana to mark the beginning of his rule.

  • Gregorian Calendar: Introduced in 1582 CE by Pope Gregory XIII to address inaccuracies in the Julian calendar, ensuring a more precise alignment with the solar year.

Significance in Current Time

  • Vikram Samvat: Holds cultural and historical significance in Nepal and parts of India, particularly for celebrating festivals and traditional events.

  • Shaka Samvat: Serves as the official national calendar of India, used for official purposes and in some regions for religious and traditional practices.

  • Gregorian Calendar: Widely recognized as the international standard calendar, facilitating global communication, trade, and coordination.

Most Widely Used Hindu Calendar

The Vikram Samvat is more widely used than the Shaka Samvat among Hindu communities. It is the official calendar of Nepal and is used in several states in India, particularly in the western and central regions.

Today’s Day, Date, and Year in Vikram Samvat, Shaka Samvat, and Gregorian Calendar

As of today, October 4, 2023, the corresponding dates in the different calendars are:

  • Vikram Samvat: 2080 BS (Brihat Samvat)

  • Shaka Samvat: 1945 SE (Shaka Era)

  • Gregorian Calendar: 2023 CE (Common Era)


Vikram Samvat vs. Shaka Samvat – A Comparative Exploration

As a Calendar and History expert, let’s embark on a journey through the corridors of time, exploring the intricacies of Vikram Samvat and Shaka Samvat, delving into their similarities, differences, and the nuanced question of why one might be considered superior.


1. Origin from Indian History: Both Vikram Samvat and Shaka Samvat trace their roots to significant historical events in Indian history. Vikram Samvat commemorates the legendary victory of Emperor Vikramaditya, while Shaka Samvat marks King Shalivahana’s triumph over the Sakas.

2. Solar-Based Calendars: Both calendars are fundamentally solar-based, utilizing the solar year as the basis for their calculations. This means they incorporate the Earth’s position relative to the Sun to determine the length of a year.

3. Commemorative Nature: Both systems were established to honor and commemorate the victories of their respective founders over external forces, adding a cultural and historical layer to their calendars.


1. Different Starting Points: Vikram Samvat begins its count from 57 BCE, commemorating Vikramaditya’s victory over the Sakas. On the other hand, Shaka Samvat starts from 78 CE, signifying King Shalivahana’s conquest.

2. Lunar vs. Solar Influence: Vikram Samvat incorporates lunar months, while Shaka Samvat is more exclusively tied to solar months. This difference in calculation methods impacts the alignment of their respective months with the solar year.

3. Regional Usage: Vikram Samvat is more prevalent in North India and is widely used for Hindu festivals and cultural events. In contrast, Shaka Samvat serves as the official civil calendar in certain Indian states, emphasizing its administrative utility.

Why Vikram Samvat Might Be Considered Superior:

1. Cultural and Religious Significance: Vikram Samvat holds immense cultural and religious significance, especially in North India. It is deeply ingrained in the Hindu calendar, influencing the timing of festivals, rituals, and auspicious occasions.

2. Greater Prevalence: Vikram Samvat enjoys broader usage, not only in religious contexts but also in everyday life. Its widespread adoption makes it more ingrained in the cultural fabric of regions where it is prevalent.

3. Alignment with Lunar Months: The inclusion of lunar months in Vikram Samvat allows for a connection with traditional Hindu practices, aligning with lunar cycles observed in various rituals and festivals.

In conclusion, while both Vikram Samvat and Shaka Samvat share commonalities in their solar-based origins and historical roots, the superiority of one over the other is subjective and context-dependent. Vikram Samvat’s rich cultural integration and widespread usage in North India contribute to its prominence, particularly in the realm of religious and everyday practices. However, the choice between them often boils down to regional traditions and preferences, highlighting the dynamic nature of calendars in shaping cultural identities.….


Hindu Festivals based on  Vikram Samvat & Shaka Samvat months

Greetings, Calendar Enthusiasts! Today, let’s embark on a journey through time and traditions as we explore the unique months of Vikram Samvat and Shaka Samvat, unraveling the tapestry of important festivals woven into these ancient calendars.

Months of Vikram Samvat:

  1. Chaitra: The advent of spring marks the beginning of the Vikram Samvat calendar with the month of Chaitra.
  2. Vaishakha: As flowers bloom, Vaishakha graces the calendar, celebrating nature’s vibrancy.
  3. Jyeshtha: The sun’s warmth intensifies in Jyeshtha, mirroring the onset of the Indian summer.
  4. Ashadha: Monsoon arrives in Ashadha, bringing relief from the scorching heat.
  5. Shravana: The month of Shravana embraces the monsoon’s rhythm, heralding fertility and growth.
  6. Bhadrapada: Festivities escalate with Bhadrapada, showcasing the richness of Indian culture.
  7. Ashwayuja: Autumn begins with Ashwayuja, captivating hearts with its mellow charm.
  8. Kartika: The festival of lights, Diwali, illuminates Kartika, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness.
  9. Margashirsha: Margashirsha marks the winter season’s onset, inviting coziness and celebrations.
  10. Pausha: Winter’s chill intensifies in Pausha, creating a perfect backdrop for winter festivities.
  11. Magha: Magha brings the promise of spring, hinting at the renewal of life.
  12. Phalguna: Vikram Samvat concludes with Phalguna, leaving us in anticipation of the approaching new year.

Months of Shaka Samvat:

The months of Shaka Samvat closely mirror those of Vikram Samvat, offering a parallel journey through the seasons and festivities.

Now, let’s illuminate our path further by exploring some of the captivating festivals calculated based on these calendars:

Important Festivals in Vikram Samvat & Shaka Samvat:

Please note that the specific tithi (lunar day) may vary from year to year. Also, the Shaka Samvat calendar aligns closely with the Vikram Samvat calendar, so the festivals are generally observed on the same tithis in both systems.

1. Chaitra (March-April):

  • Gudi Padwa/Ugadi: Pratipada (1st day)
  • Navratri Begins: Pratipada (1st day)

2. Vaishakha (April-May):

  • Akshaya Tritiya: Tritiya (3rd day)
  • Parashurama Jayanti: Tritiya (3rd day)
  • Narasimha Jayanti: Chaturdashi (14th day)

3. Jyeshtha (May-June):

  • Vat Savitri Vrat: Purnima (Full Moon)

4. Ashadha (June-July):

  • Rath Yatra: Dwitiya (2nd day)

5. Shravana (July-August):

  • Nag Panchami: Panchami (5th day)
  • Raksha Bandhan: Purnima (Full Moon)
  • Krishna Janmashtami: Ashtami (8th day)

6. Bhadrapada (August-September):

  • Ganesh Chaturthi: Chaturthi (4th day)
  • Navratri Begins: Pratipada (1st day)

7. Ashwayuja (September-October):

  • Navratri/Durga Puja Begins: Pratipada (1st day)
  • Vijayadashami/Dussehra: Dashami (10th day)

8. Kartika (October-November):

  • Diwali: Amavasya (New Moon)
  • Govardhan Puja: Pratipada (1st day)

9. Margashirsha (November-December):

  • Dev Uthani Ekadashi/Tulsi Vivah: Ekadashi (11th day)

10. Pausha (December-January):

  • Makar Sankranti: Purnima (Full Moon)

11. Magha (January-February):

  • Vasant Panchami: Panchami (5th day)
  • Maha Shivaratri: Chaturdashi (14th day)

12. Phalguna (February-March):

  • Holi: Purnima (Full Moon)

Please note that these dates are indicative, and the specific tithi may vary based on the lunar calendar. It’s advisable to consult a Hindu Panchang or a calendar for accurate and current information.

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