What is Panchang?

 Panchang or Hindu calendar depends upon celestial happenings, may be considered the ancient Indian version of Ephemeris, which is used by Indian astrologers for carrying out calculations in Vedic astrology.

Panchang is always location specific.Important and accurate informations of various auspicious and inauspicious Muhuratas,Var, Tithi, Karan, Yog and Nakshatra, dates for festivals, Vrata or Upvaas (fast to please God) rainfalls, dry spells, ups and downs in the market are available in the Hindu calendar or Panchangam.

Transit and position of planets, whether in combustion or retrograde, constellations(Nakshatra),daily movement or the position of Moon as well as the angularangularDefinition: Angles represent cardinal qualities(90°,180°,270°),major points in a astrological chart....
relationship between Sun and Moon can easily be known from Panchanga.

People obtain important information of sunrise, sunset, Rahukalam, Lagna pravesh (starting of ascendants) exact wedding time or marriage Muhurat, Masik rashifal (monthly prediction)exact time for occurrence of eclipses, rituals to be performed, list of Indian government holidays through the Panchanga or Indian calendar.

Panchang or Panchangam is known as Panjika in eastern region of India, including West Bengal,Orissa and Assam.

It is available in many Indian languages in tabular form and the calculations are obtained in hours, minutes and seconds ,i.e.,Indian standard time, as well as Ghati or Ghatika, Pal and Vipal, i.e.,Local mean time.

 Indian Vedic unit of time

2 1/2 Ghati=1 hour, 2 1/2 Pal=1 minute, 2 1/2 Vipal=1 second

Ghatika or Ghati is also known as Nizhika (in South India) and Danda in West Bengal.

Panch meaning five and anga meaning limbs (parts), when added together, form Panchang or five elements. These five elements are as follows:

 1) VAAR:

Vaar means days of the week or din, from Sunday to Saturday and the duration is from the sunrise to the next day’s sunrise.

 2) TITHI:

Tithi means date or lunar day. Tithis are 30 in numbers. The whole month is divided into two pakshas of fifteen days each.

     When the moon is waxing, it is called Shukla Paksha or bright fortnight. The last day which is the brightest and has full moon, is called Puranmasi or Purnima or end of the month.

When the moon is waning, the fortnight is called Krishna Paksha or dark fortnight. The last day, which is the darkest and has new moon is called Amavashya or Amavas.

Tithi (date)may start or end at any time of the day, as they depend upon the position of the sun and moon. Tithi will vary in duration, according to the degrees of sun and moon. Tithi are of five kinds and start with Pratipada or Padwa.They commence in the following order:

i)    Nanda (happiness)-Pratipada, Shasthi and Ekadashi

 ii)   Jaya (victory)- Tuesday-Tritiya, Ashtami and Trayodashi

 iii)  Bhadra or Vishti (inauspicious for all events)- Dwitiya, Saptami and Dwadashi

 iv)  Rikta (loss or nashta)-Saturday - Chaturthi, Navami and Chaturdashi

 v)   Purna (complete-sampurna)- Thursday Panchami, Dashmi and Amavashya or Purnima

 3)  NAKSHATRA (constellations):

There are 27 Nakshatras or constellations. These constellations complete the cyclecycleDefinition: A complete revolution of planet in the heaven....
of 360° of ZodiacZodiacDefinition: Heaven divided into 12 signs, of 30° each....
and is divided into 27 parts. Each constellationconstellationDefinition: A group of visible stars making a figure and visible at the night sky. Constellations(Nakshatras) are 27 divisions of zodiac, each measuring 13.20'. They are also termed as Lunar mansions (Nakshatra in Indian Vedic astrology). ...
13°20’ and is divided into four padas (charanas). With the help of Nakshatras, the astrologers can predict the future of an individual and marriage compatibility between a boy and girl. Nakshatras are also used for commercial predictions. A Nakshatra (constellation) helps in prediction and the  destiny of the specific day is decided according to the characteristics of that particular Nakshatra, present on that day.

 The Hindu festivals are based on Nakshatras (constellations) and Muhuratas (right time to start), with the help of these, astrologers advise the auspicious time to start a new business, marriage, naming a new born child (Namakaran Sanskar), journey, purchasing of property or constructing a new house.

4) YOGAS :

Yogas are 27 in numbers. Sun and moon’s longitudes are added and then this sum is divided into 27 parts, each measuring 13°27’. The starting or first yoga is Vishkumbh and the last one is Vadhriti. Yogas yield good or bad results according to their nature. 


A tithi has two karanas, or a Karana is half of a tithi (6 degrees difference between sun and moon).

They are 11 in number. Out of these 11, 4 (kinstughna, Chaturpada,Sakuni,Naga) are fixed and always occur once in a month and the remaining 7 occur turn by turn, in a fixed order.These seven Karana are:

 1.Bava, 2.Balav, 3.Kaulav, 4.Taililya, 5.Gara, 6.Vanij, 7.Visti or Bhadra. Vishti or bhadra is most inauspicious and is avoided for all important works.

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Panchang is considered important for most of the Indian matters and can be divided into the following two parts:

a)  Panchang for daily astrology:

It helps people in their daily needs. It also helps in preparing birth carts and predicting through it for marriage, naming a new born baby(Namkaran Sanskar),starting the journey for an important event and constructing a new house. It also helps in predicting the occurrence of eclipse, celebrating Hindu festivals,performing important rituals and other significant matters which are decided by using the daily astrologyastrologyDefinition: The study of the influence of celestial bodies on earth....

b)  Panchang for business astrology:

For commercial purpose the following five elements are considered.

1. Vaar (day)   2. Tithi (date)   3. Nakshatra (constellation)   4. Maasa (month) and 5. Rashi (moon sign).

Muhurata is also considered for starting a new business.

What is a Muhurat?

Muhurat or an auspicious moment is the right moment which is usually elected to perform an important event or a ceremony without any hurdle.

Abhijit Muhurta


Abhijit means victorious and muhurta means right moment to start any important work, event or ceremony. Anything done during this period makes sure that one will be successful. Abhijit muhurta is a selected moment, one of the most simple method to select an auspicious time for performing any important event or ceremony without any calculation of Var, Tithi or Nakshatra. Abhijit muhurta of a place begins 24 minutes before and 24 minutes after 12 noon, i.e. L.M.T of that particular place . Performing of most of the marriage ceremonies in Punjab are preferred during this Abhijit muhurta.

Travelling towards south direction should be avoided in Abhijit muhurta.


See the article Shubh Muhurat for marriage in Vedic astrology.



View this month's panchang here !

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