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Difference Between Shak Samvat And Vikram Samvat | विक्रम संवत और शक संवत में अंतर

Difference Between Shak Samvat And Vikram Samvat

Difference between Shak Samvat and Vikram Samvat calendar

The first-ever calendar was created by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia. It divided a year into 12 lunar months and had 360 days. It was really different from what we use nowadays. After them, almost all civilizations that left a mark on the history of human development had a calendar. Our ancestors made calendars to understand the time and organize their life around it. It helped keep track of significant events. There are tons of types of calendars created by different people or civilizations which organize things in very different ways. The two most popular Indian calendars which might seem like the opposite but are accepted equally are Shak Samvata and Vikram Samvata.

What is Shak Samvat?

More popularly known as the Saka calendar, Shak Samvat is the national calendar of India based on the Shak Calendar which is adopted as the official Civil calendar beside the Gregorian Calendar. Shak Samvat is one of the national symbols of India.

What is Vikram Samvat?

Also known as Bikram Sambat or Vikrami calendar, Vikram Samvata is a national calendar of Nepal. It was historically used in the Indian subcontinent. It is also used in many states of India as it is a historical calendar for Hindus.

Difference between Shak Samvat and Vikram Samvat

Origin, based on and starting points

The Saka calendar is based on the Saka era around the celebration that took place at the time of the crowning of Shalivahan king in 78 AD. This era is also known as the Shalivahan Saka era or Mahasakkarat Era. It corresponds to the Julian year 78, thus, if you add 78 to any year of Saka you will get a Christian year.  Gudi Padao (March-April) indicates the start of this particular year. It was adopted by the Govt. of India as a national civil calendar on 22nd March 1957.

On the other hand, Vikram Samvata is based on the Vikram era that prevailed in India and Nepal. It is named after king Vikramaditya to mark his triumph over the Saka rulers. It started in 57 BC. So, you need to subtract 57 years from any Vikram year to get the Gregorian date corresponding to it. The first day of Karthik that follows Diwali marks the new year in this calendar.

Days/months structure

The Shak Calendar consists of 365 days and 12 months which is pretty similar to the structure of the Gregorian calendar. The first month of the Saka Samvata is Chaitra which begins on March 22 and corresponds with March 21 during the leap year.

Saka Samvat Gregorian Months
Chaitra March 21- April 20
Vaishakha April 21- May 21
Jyestha May 22 – June 21
Ashadha June 22 – July 22
Shravan July 23 – August 22
Bhadra August 22 – September 22
Ashwin September 23 – October 22
Kartika October 23 – November 21
Agrahayana November 22 – December 21
Pausha December 22 – January 20
Magha January 21 – February 19
Phalgun February 20 -March 20/21

Vikram Samvat is a little different as it has only 354 days in a year. These days are divided into 12 months. The structure is again similar to the Gregorian calendar. The biggest difference between Saka and Vikram calendars is their new year. The first month of Saka, i.e, Chaitra is the last month of the Vikram Calendar.

Vikram Samvata Gregorian Calendar
Baishakh April – May
Jestha May – June
Ashadh June – July
Shrawan July – August
Bhadra August – September
Ashwin September – October
Kartik October – November
Magshir November – December
Poush December – January
Magh January – February
Falgun February – March
Chaitra March – April

Age and used by

Both of the calendars have a different starting point, Vikram Samvat is 135 years older than the Saka Samvat. And even though, Vikram Calendar is the official calendar of Nepal, it is also used in plenty of Indian states, especially up north. Saka Calendar on the other hand is the official Indian Civil calendar.

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