India’s Calendar Year and Days of the Week


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

India has produced scholars of repute in various fields–astronomy, geography and allied fields like Mathematics. India’s traditional Hindu calendar is called Vikram Samvat. This is the year 2080 according to it, ahead of the Gregorian (Christian) year (2023) by 57 years. It starts with chaitra as its first month and consists of 365 days. It has a religious significance in India and in neighbouring Nepal.

The Chaitra month started on March 22 this year (2023).

Like the Gregorian calendar, a week in Vikram Samvat has seven days

Starting with Monday-Somvaar, the days are known as :

Somvaar —  Monday
Mangalvaar – Tuesday
Budhvaar – Wednesday
Brahaspativaar  – Thursday
Shukravaar – Friday
Shanivaar – Saturday
Ravivaar – Sunday

Whereas Monday is named after the Moon, Sunday  is named after the Sun, it is not clear what are the other days named after in the Christian calendar.

But the other five days are also named after planets: Mangalvaaris named after Mangal, Mars; Budhvaar named after planet Mercury; Brahaspativaarnamed after Jupiter; Shukravaar after Venus; Shanivaar after Saturn.

Thus we see that the Indian scholars used their planetary knowledge to name the seven  days of the week — that included the first and the last days and five more days after the planets.  It may be mentioned that these scholars could predict the occurrence of lunar and solar eclipses in the simple observatory — Janta Mantar, built in the northern city of Jaipur, capital of the state of Rajasthan.  The city is named after a royal family of the state.

India’s capital city Delhi also has a Jantar Mantar but it is used more for political demonstrations rather than as an observatory.

These days politics plays a large part in our everyday lives.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 7 Aug 2023.

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