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Indian National Calendar

Saka calendar is the Indian national calendar

The Indian national calendar (sometimes called Saka calendar) is the official civil calendar in use in India. It is used, alongside the Gregorian calendar, by The Gazette of India, news broadcasts by All India Radio, and calendars and communications issued by the Government of India. The Saka calendar is also used in Java and Bali with Hinduism religion in Indonesia. Nyepi, is celebration of the Saka new year in Bali.

The term may also ambiguously refer to the Hindu calendar, and the Saka era is commonly used by different calendars as well.

The current national calendar of India was set up in 1957 by the Calendar Reform Committee that formalized a lunisolar calendar in which leap years coincide with those of the Gregorian calendar, and the months are named after the traditional Indian months (see table). This reformed Indian calendar began with Saka Era, Chaitra 1, 1879, which corresponds to March 22, 1957.

The Indian National Calendar, often called the “Hindu Calendar,” is based on both lunar and solar years. The start of the Indian National Calendar year coincides with March 22, except in a leap year, when it coincides with March 21. The year is counted from the first year of the Saka era, in A.D. 78. The year 2010 translates to Saka era 1931-1932. 

Month Number of days
Caitra 30*
Vaisakha 31
Jyaistha 31
Asadha 31
Sravana 31
Bhadra 31
Asvina 30
Kartika 30
Agrahayana 30
Pausa 30
Magha 30
Phalguna 30

* In a leap year Caitra has 31 days.

The first month of Saka Calendar is Chaitra month (usually March 21st or 22nd) and the last month is Phalguna (20th February). In leap years, Chaitra masam has 31 days and starts on 21st March. The 12 months in a Saka Year are Chaitra month, Vaishakha month, Jyaishtha month, Ashadha month, Shravana month, Bhadrapada month, Ashvini month, Kartika month, Agrahayana month, Pausha month, Magha month and Phalguna month. The first 6 months of the year all have 31 days, while the last 7 months all have 30 days only.

The national Calendar of India is used along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes- (i) Gazette of India, (ii) news broadcast by All India Radio, (iii) calendars issued by the Government of India and (iv) Government communications addressed to the members of the public.

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