The Telugu Calendar

Many regional calendars are being used in India apart from the Hindu calendar and the Gregorian (Western) calendar. These calendars are mainly used for religious and social purposes. The classification of these calendars is complicated, and the easiest way to classify them is by their region of usage. However, this classification may not be diversified, as all calendars are intrinsically inter-linked with each other.

Here, we discuss about the Telugu Calendar. ‘Southern Amanta Lunisolar Calendar’ is followed in Andhra Pradesh and is commonly known as Telugu Calendar. It is also used in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Calculation of days and months
Days and months in a Telugu Calendar are calculated based on the motion of both the moon and the sun. Hence, it is called as a ‘Luni-Solar’ calendar. A month is calculated from a new moon to new moon. However, the day of the new Moon is considered the last day of the previous month instead of the first day of the new month.

Leap Month (Adhika Masa)
A day of a Telugu calendar is calculated based on the motion of the moon. On an average, there are about 29.5 days in a lunar month. This equates to 354 days in a lunar year, about 11 days short of a solar year. To offset this disparity in lengths between the solar and lunar years, a leap month is added every third year.

Skipped Month (Kshaya Masa)
Kshaya masas or ‘skipped months’ are the interesting aspects of the Telugu lunisolar calendar. Certain months are skipped from the lunisolar calendar occasionally.

The solar months of Margasira, Pausa and Magha are generally small. At a certain time, there might be no new Moon in these months and the corresponding lunar month is skipped from the calendar. To help you better understand this we have re-phrased it as:

‘In any lunar year, if two consecutive solar months occur between two consecutive new moons, then the lunar month, with the same name as the solar month in which this occurs, is skipped.’

Suppose, if Mesh and Vrishabh months occur in a lunar month, then it will be called Chaitra-Vaishaakh kshaya. And there will be no separate months called Chaitra and Vaishaakh.

The Southern amanta lunisolar calendar follows Salivahana or Saka era. The Salivahana era begins its count of years from the year corresponding to 78 Common Era of the Gregorian calendar. .

The years of a Telugu Calendar are named according to the names of the Jovian years. It has a sixty year cycle and starts the new year on Chaitra Sudhdha Paadyami. The calendar starts again from first year after the completion of sixty years.

New Year
The people of Andhra Pradesh celebrate Ugadi as the New Year’s Day. While the people of Karnataka term it as Yugadi and it is referred as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra.

As the calendar is lunisolar, the New Year falls on different day each year. The Saka or Telugu calendar begins with the month of Chaitra, which generally falls in the months of March or April of the Gregorian calendar.

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