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Rashtriya Panchang or Indian National Calendar

Rashtriya Panchang

Calendars have been used by humans since time immemorial to keep a track of time in a cyclic manner, known as a year.

This has helped our ancestors to know when to plant a crop, best time to hunt and organise various other social activities. These have been further marked by observing several traditions and celebrating various festivals.

All calendars of the world work on observations based on periodical, astronomical cycles. Where a year is based on Earth's orbit around the sun, the months are based on the moon's orbit around the Earth and the day is calculated by the time Earth takes to complete one rotation on its axis.

India has around 30 calendars or Panchangs being followed in different states and provinces. These differences are based on the era of beginning, initial date of the year and the methods of calculations.

At the time of Independence as an integration of national life was called for, one of the important domains was the calendar. On the suggestions of a Calendar Reform Committee set up, India incorporated a lunisolar calendar viz Rashtriya Panchang or National Calendar since March 22, 1957, which could be adopted uniformly throughout India.

The Indian national calendar is the official civil and religious calendar in use in India. It is based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days. In the Saka Era, year 0 starts in 78 CE. If we add 78 to current Gregorian Calendar, we will arrive at: 2020 + 78 = 2098 Saka Year.

According to in India New Year falls on the first day of the month of Chaitra. It is celebrated as various festivals in various parts of the country. First day of Chaitra Navratri, Ugadi, Gudi Padwa , Cheiraoba, Navreh and Cheti Chand to name a few.

In Story

How Old is Muttaji


Putta putti jumped out of bed. It was Muttaji's birthday and they had to catch a train.

Muttaji, was the twin's mother's mother's mother who lived in Mysore with Ajji and Ajja. Ajji was the twins mother's mother. No one actually knew when Muttaji's birthday was; Ajji had always celebrated it on Makar Sankranti.

"How oid is Muttaji amma?" asked Putti. Amma smiled, "You ask her when you get there."

The moment they reached the old green house in Mysore, the twins burst into Muttaji's room. "Happy Birthday Muttaji. How old are you today?"

Muttaji hugged the twins. "How old am I? How does it matter?"

"It does!" cried Putta and Putti.

Muttajji smiled. "Well," she said, "I know that around five years before I was born, our Maharaja went to a grand party for Indian Maharajas and Maharanis in Delhi, when a British king and queen had come to visit India."

"Who was this king, Muttajji? If you know, we can find out which year he visited. if we add five years to that, we will know when YOU were born!" said Putti.

"I've forgotten, Putti. Wait!" said Muttajji. "Let me see if I can remember something else"

"I must have been 16," continued Muttajji, "our Maharaja inaugurated our big dam, and the beautiful gardens next to it, during the Dasara festival that year."

"Is it the KRS, Amma?", The twins ran to the library and found a book on the history of Mysore. "Here it is!" Putti whispered.
"The KRS Dam and the adjacent Brindavan Gardens, were opened to the public in1932."

The twins grinned - that means Muttajji got married in 1932, 84 years ago!

"And Muttajji says she was about 16 then," said Putta. "If she is right, the Muttajji was born in 1916."
Putta said, "Now we have to find out if that big party for kings and queens in Delhi, which Muttajji said happened five years before she was born, happened in 1911."
They ran to Ajja their granddad in the reading room. "Ajja, was there a grand party for a British king who visited India around 1911?"
Ajja frowned. "1911? Aaan yes. It was the year the Gateway of India was built in Bombay to welcome the British Emperor, George V! There were several grand parties, not one."
"Not bad at all!" cried the twins. "Thanks, Ajja!" They knew exactly how old Muttajji was!
Five minutes later, the twins were racing towards Muttaji's room.
"Muttajji! you were born in 1916! You are exactly 100 years old today!"

By: Roopa Pai, Kaveri Gopalakrishnan.



Vidya Rattan Sharma

Mr Vidya Rattan Sharma is a well-known name in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. Having a unique passion for finding solutions to centuries old problems he has been continuously working to improve the condition of the community by creating several innovative products in the area of cooking stoves, traditional medicine, organic farming and animal husbandry.

Mr Sharma started his journey as a cook in a local NGO 'Sutra' (then SWRC) cooking meals for their employees in Rajasthan. Seeing his passion for making innovative cookstoves, he was appointed for the task of training the local people in making the Nadda Chulha, an innovation of the organisation.

His stint of 5 years at Sutra turned out to be the perfect start to his future. In 1991 he started his journey as a Founder Director of Society for Development and Environment Protection (DEEP).

His most cherished innovation is the DEEP chulha. It has not only helped its users to reduce smoke in the kitchens and health related problems due to it, Deep chulha has improved the fuel efficiency by as much as 50%.

The final version of Deep chulha is equipped with provision to boil water for bathing and cleaning purposes with the help of tanks placed on the sides of its walls, which is then carried to the washrooms through pipes.

Mr Sharma has invented technologies for drying pulses without losing nutritional content in sunlight, growing mushrooms with more output in regions where climate is non-supportive and harvesting rainwater by constructing low cost and algae restraining concrete block tanks. A number of his programs, products and techniques have been adopted by governments of many states.

Presently Mr Sharma is working with Help Age India to serve the elderly people in his area. He was awarded the 'Rising personalities of India' award by Friendship Forum of India in 2002 for his outstanding innovations.

Mr Sharma believes in keeping his innovations as 'Open Source' so that maximum people can benefit from them. His determination, dedication and selfless contribution to work and society is an inspiration to all.



If there was no calendar, we would forget birthdays, anniversaries, miss appointments and never know what day it is. Thank goodness it exists!

Find the given Calendar related words in the word search puzzle

Word Power



In Formation


The Great Wheel of Konark Temple - Orissa

An architectural marvel of Eastern India and a symbol of India's heritage, the Konark Sun Temple, is situated in the eastern state of Odisha, India dedicated to the Sun God. The word 'Konark' is a combination of two words 'Kona' meaning 'Corner' and 'Arka' meaning 'Sun'. It was built by King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of the Ganga dynasty within a period of 12 years (1243-1255 A.D.). It is an immense conception of artistic, scientific and engineering magnificence of ancient India.

Sun Temple of Konark has been designed in the shape of a huge chariot drawn by 7 mighty horses representing the seven days of the week. There are 12 pairs (total 24 wheels) of gorgeously decorated wheels at its base. The huge wheels of the Konark Temple are one of the major attractions for visitors. The wheels are 9 feet 9 inches in diameter which create a sundial. One can calculate the precise time of day just by looking at the shadow cast by the spokes.


The Konark wheel sundial has 8 major spokes that divide 24 hours into 8 equal parts, which means that the time between two major spokes is 3 hours.

There are also 8 minor spokes alternating with major spokes. Each minor spoke runs exactly in the middle of 2 major spokes. This means that the minor spoke divides the 3 hours in half, so the time between a major spoke and a minor spoke is an hour and half or 90 minutes.

The edge of the wheel has a lot of beads. There are 30 beads between a minor and a major spoke. So, the 90 minutes are further divided by 30 beads. This means that each bead carries a value of 3 minutes.

The beads are large enough, so you can also see if the shadow falls in the center of the bead or on one of the ends of the bead. This way we can further calculate time accurately to the minute.

Imagine how much time and coordination would have happened between the astronomers, engineers and sculptors to create something like this, 750 years ago.


  1. When did Year 1 start? Has the year always started on 1 January?

    When Julius Caesar introduced his calendar in 45 B.C.E., he made 1 January the start of the year, and it was always the date on which the Solar Number and the Golden Number were incremented.

  2. When and Why did Sunday become the day of rest?

    Roman Emperor Constantine chose Sunday as the day of rest and prayer in the year 321. He did so to please both Christians (Sunday marks resurrection of Christ) and Pagans (who worshiped the sun gods) in his empire.

  3. How did the months of the year get their names?

    January: Named after Janus, the God of beginnings and endings.
    February: Named after the festival Februa, a period of celebration.

March: Named after March, the Roman God of War.
April: Named after Roman Goddess, Aphrodite and derived from Latin word, 'Aperire' meaning, 'to open', representing the opening of buds in spring.
May: Named after Maia, earth goddess of growing plants
June: Named after Juno, the queen of the gods and patroness of marriage and weddings
July: Named after Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.
August: Named after Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C
September: Derived from 'Septem', Latin word for seven
October: Derived from 'Octo', Latin word for eight
November: Derived from 'Novem', Latin word for nine
December: Derived from 'Decem', Latin word for ten


  • Calendar is a table or register with the days of each month and week in a year.
  • Calender is a machine in which cloth or paper is pressed by rollers to glaze or smooth it.
  • 'Calendar and calender' are pronounced the same but have different spellings and meanings.
      • Week is a noun, referring to a period of seven days.
      • Weak is an adjective for something that is not strong.
      • The homonyms 'week' and 'weak' do very different things despite sounding alike.
      • Year - A measure of time. The year right now is 2017.
      • Ear - The part of the body you hear with.
      • Year' and 'ear' are exactly the same except for the Y sound.

      A.D. - anno domini ("in the year of the Lord"-the year Jesus was born).
      B.C. - It stands for the English phrase "before Christ,"



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