The Indian Calendar
With around 30 religious calendars widely used in India in 1952, the Indian government decided it was about time
for a National Calendar of India for civil purposes and for a standardised computation of the religious calendar based on
astronomical observations. The civil calendar was set up in 1957 based on the Shalivahana lunisolar calendar with a
New Year’s day festival called Ugadi in the Deccan region of India and Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra state. The first month, Caitra,
is 30 days long with an extra day added in leap years. The next five months have 31 days, then rest have 30 days.
Leap years in the Indian calendar match the Gregorian calendar. Years in the Indian calendar are counted from the
equinox of 22nd March, 79 CE which is 1st Caitra, year 1 in the Saka Era. The re-formed Indian calendar began with
Saka Era, 1st Caitra, 1879, corresponding to 22nd March, 1957. Days begin at sunrise. Note: I understand the Vikram Samvat
calendar might become the new National Calendar for India as it is for Nepal but, to an outsider, it really
doesn’t seem an improvement as it would be very diffficult to decide which version to choose (see below).