The history of calendars in India is a remarkably complex subject, owing to thecontinuity of Indian civilization and to the diversity of cultural influences. In the mid-1950s when the Calendar Reform Committee made its survey, there were about 30calendars in use for setting religious festivals. Up till today, numerous calendars arestill used in India for different purposes: The Gregorian calendar is used by thegovernment for civil matters; the Islamic calendar is used by the Muslims; the Hindususe both the solar and the lunisolar calendars for both civil and religious purposes.The aim of this report is to briefly describe the workings of the Indian solar andlunisolar calendars, and to highlight the differences between the two methods of measuring the solar year from a fixed point on the ecliptic: the
system and the
system. I will explain these terms later in the firstand second section. Prior to that, I will introduce some basic astronomical conceptsthat are required to understand the fundamental units of time, namely the day, monthand the year.The third section introduces the two schools of
(calendar) makers who areresponsible for all Indian calendric information pertaining to celebration of festivals, performance of rituals as well as on all astronomical matters. The ‘Old’ School basetheir calculations on an ancient astronomical treatise called the
whilethe ‘Modern’ School uses the modern
to obtain the true positions of the luminaries as observed in the sky. I will explain and highlight theunderlying differences between the two schools in detail.Finally, the last section comprises computer codes written to produce true longitudevalues of the Sun and the Moon, calculated based on modern methods. They aremodified from the computer codes originally written by Nachum Dershowitz andEdward M. Reingold in Lisp, but converted to Mathematica by Robert C. McNally.Their calculations are based on old Siddhantic methods
I will discuss the calculationsin detail.