North Indian and South Indian Lunar Months

North Indian and South Indian Lunar Months

The Hindu Calendar -- Luni-solar calendar

This is the most widely followed calendar in India. It is based on the Moon’s transit. 


The day usually begins at dawn, or just before, according to which astronomical and astrological systems are used. The day is divided into 15 muhurtas, each of about 48 minutes, and the night is similarly divided. Traditionally brahmanas chant the Gayatri mantra at sunrise, noon and sunset because these are considered particularly important times of the day. The first two muhurtas (about one hour) of the morning before dawn are considered most auspicious, especially for spiritual practices.



The lunar months are counted by Tithis or the phases of the moon. Every 12 degree difference between the sun and the moon forms a Tithi. The lunar Tithi or day is taken from Sun rise, i.e., the Tithi prevailing at the time of sunrise is the day’s Tithi.
As the motion of the moon is not uniform, a Tithi may be longer than a day or shorter than a day.



 Within each month, there are two "fortnights" or "paksh" each consisting of 15 "lunar days." Although the solar and lunar days technically begin at different times, each solar day is ascribed one particular lunar day numbered from one to fifteen, either of the bright fortnight Shukla Paksh (waxing moon) or the dark fortnight or Krishna Paksh (waning moon).
A lunar fortnight, or Paksha, can vary from 13 to 15 days because of this.



New moon to full moon to new moon completes a lunar month. The moon takes about 29.53 days to complete one round of the earth. Months average out to 29.5 days, so occasionally a day will be dropped. For example, in one month, the fourth day of the waxing moon may be followed by the sixth.



 In one year there are twelve months of 29.5 days, accounting for a total of 354 days.The shortfall means that the date of each festival moves back 11 days each year. To rectify this, an extra leap month is added about once every three years. This extra leap month is called Adkika Masa.


There are two types of lunar calendar which are used in India:-

1.  Amavasyant or Amanta Lunar Hindu Calendar. {South Indian}

2. Purnimant or Purnimanta Lunar Hindu Calendar {North Indian}

1.  Amavasyant or Amanta Lunar Hindu Calendar. 

Hindu calendar, in which ends lunar month on no moon day or Amavasya, is known as Amavasyant or Amanta calendar. 

(Amavasya+Ant = ending on Amavasya)

This calendar is mainly followed in the (southern and eastern) states of :-

* Andhra Pradesh,
* Assam,
* Gujarat,
* Karnataka,
* Kerala,
* Maharashtra, 
* Tamil Nadu,
* Tripura 
* West Bengal

2. Purnimant or Purnimanta Lunar Hindu Calendar:

Hindu calendar, which ends lunar month on full moon day or Poornima, is known as Purnimant or Purnimanta lunisolar calendar. 

 (Purnima+Ant = ending on Purnima)

This calendar is mainly followed in the (northern) states of :-

* Bihar,
* Chhattisgarh,
* Haryana,
* Himachal Pradesh,
* Jammu and Kashmir,
* Jharkhand,
* Madhya Pradesh,
* Orissa,
* Punjab,
* Rajasthan,
* Uttarakhand
* Uttar Pradesh

Thus there are two main calendars. 

Amavasyant:- In South India, the new month generally begins after Amavasya (new moon) i.e. Amavasya is the last day of the previous month.

 Purnimant:- In North India, the new month generally begins after Poornima (full moon) i.e.Poornima is the last day of the previous month.

Festival days will still fall on the same day, or very closely, but the name of the month may be different.

For example:-

Lord Krishna's Birthday (Krishna Janmashtami) falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the dark moon (Krishna Paksh): --

in the North this is in the month of Bhadrapad ; and in the South in Shravana.


* Please note that we have collected above information from various sources. If you have some information kindly share. Thank You.


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