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Understanding Panchang - Auspicious Dates & Timings

Panchang, also known as Panchanga, is a calendar in Indian astrology, preferably known as the Hindu calendar. This calendar contains important Hindu dates and timings marked for each month of the Hindu year. It is well known used in India and some parts of South Asian countries. Whenever there is an occasion around the corner, elders of the family would check - is today auspicious day in Hindu calendar? After proper consultation from reliable priests or pandits, they then decide whether to choose the day or not. But what do they refer to in order to select a good time tomorrow for pooja? They go through daily Panchang.

The Panchangam meaning is derived from two Sanskrit words: “Panch” means “Five”, and “Anga” means “limbs” or “parts”. This indicates that Panchang is conceptualised using five astrological elements - Tithi, Nakshatra, Yoga, Var, and Karna. We’ll read about these elements later and also know their importance. For now, let us understand Panchang meaning in English in a better way. Additionally, it is freely available as the online Panchangam on the internet today.

The Indian Panchang is a standard document in the form of a calendar. Next time someone’s wedding dates or pooja dates are decided, just know that it is based on Panchang. In fact, today's panchang in English and Hindi is the most looked-after topic in Vedic astrology. By noticing every planet’s movements and positions, astrology Panchang provides dates and timings for various Poojas, fasts, Tithis, Muhurats and festivals. In a Hindu family, the dates and timings for every festival change every year. Panchang serves as a guide to indicate influences on humans at a specific time and date.

Elements of Panchang

The five elements forming Indian panchang, or the Hindu Calendar, are as follows. You can find its mentions in our online Panchangam as well. These elements form the basis of finding a good time tomorrow for Pooja.

  • Tithi

The Tithi represents the lunar day or phase of the moon in a Lunar month. A month of four weeks is usually referred to as the Lunar month in Panchang. Todays Tithi is calculated on the stages of the Moon and the position of the Sun. Hence, Panchangam can be called a “Luni-Solar calendar”.

Some Tithis are considered auspicious, while others are considered inauspicious. There are 30 Tithis in a Lunar month, and each Tithi holds unique significance. They are further placed into five categories in the following manner:

  • Nanda (Ananda or Happy) Tithi: Pratipada (1st), Shashti (6th), Ekadashi (11th)
  • Bhadra (Arogya or Healthy) Tithi: Dwitya (2nd), Saptami (7th), Dwadashi (12th)
  • Jaya (Victory or Winning) Tithi: Tuesday- Tritiya (3rd), Ashtami (8th), Trayodashi (13th)
  • Rikhta (Nashta or Loss) Tithi: Saturday- Chaturthi (4th), Navami (9th), Chaturdashi (14th)
  • Poorna (Sampoorna or Full or New Moon) Tithi: Thursday- Panchami (5th), Dashami (10th), Amavasya (New Moon) or Purnima.

  • Nakshatram

The Nakshatra or Nakshatram refers to the position of the Moon in one of the 27 constellations or star groups in the sky. Following are the 27 constellations or Nakshatras whose position is considered with respect to Moon at any given time of birth. Pandits usually look for today nakshatra and tithi together in astrology Panchang.

  1. Ashvini/Aswini (अश्विनी )
  2. Bharani (भरणी )
  3. Krittika/Krithika (कृत्तिका )
  4. Rohini (रोहिणी )
  5. Mrigashirsha ( मृगशीर्ष )
  6. Ardra (आर्द्रा )
  7. Punarvasu ( पुनर्वस )
  8. Pushya ( पुष्य )
  9. Ashlesha ( आश्ळेषा/आश्लेषा )
  10. Magha ( मघा )
  11. Purva Phalguni ( पूर्व फाल्गुनी )
  12. Uttara Phalguni ( उत्तर फाल्गुनी )
  13. Hasta ( हस्त )
  14. Chitra ( चित्रा )
  15. Swati ( स्वाति )
  16. Vishakha ( विशाखा )
  17. Anuradha ( अनुराधा )
  18. Jyeshtha ( ज्येष्ठा )
  19. Mula ( मूल )
  20. Purva Ashadha ( पूर्वाषाढा )
  21. Uttara Ashadha ( उत्तराषाढा )
  22. Shravana ( श्रवण )
  23. Dhanishtha ( श्रविष्ठा/धनिष्ठा )
  24. Shatabhisha ( शतभिषक्/शततारका )
  25. Purva Bhadrapada ( पूर्वभाद्रपदा/पूर्वप्रोष्ठपदा )
  26. Uttara Bhadrapada ( उत्तरभाद्रपदा/उत्तरप्रोष्ठपदा )
  27. Revati ( रेवती )

  • Yoga

Yoga or Yog in Panchang represents the combination of the Moon and the Sun at specific positions. There are 27 Yogas, each associated with distinct planetary influences. Moreover, Yogas are considered by means of Ghatis, an ancient measurement system of time. In the Panchang system, one Ghati accounts for 24 minutes.

Let us have a look at all the Yoga.

  1. Vishkambha: Signifies strength, overcoming obstacles and focused determination.
  2. Priti: Represents love, affection and harmony in relationships.
  3. Ayushman: Symbolises longevity, good health and vitality.
  4. Saubhagya: Sign of prosperity, luck and good fortune
  5. Shobhana: Indicates beauty, elegance and aesthetic sense.
  6. Atiganda: Suggests transformation, change and major shifts.
  7. Sukarma: Denotes positive actions, righteous deeds and good karma.
  8. Dhriti: Represents patience, steadfastness and determination.
  9. Shoola: Indicates pain, challenges and the need for inner strength.
  10. Ganda: Suggests confusion, ambiguity, and indecisiveness.
  11. Vriddhi: Signifies growth, expansion and progress.
  12. Dhruva: Represents stability, constancy and unbreakable principles.
  13. Vyaghata: Indicates sudden changes, conflicts and turmoils.
  14. Harshana: Signifies joy, happiness and contentment.
  15. Vajra: Symbolises strength, strength, and uncompromising determination.
  16. Siddhi: Denotes accomplishments, success and achieving goals.
  17. Vyatipata: Indicates unforeseen events, disturbances and challenges.
  18. Variyan: Represents nobility, righteousness and virtuous actions.
  19. Parigha: Signifies obstacles, restrictions and defence mechanisms.
  20. Shiva: Represents auspiciousness, blessings and divine grace.
  21. Siddha: Indicates fulfilment, perfection, and spiritual attainment.
  22. Sadhya: Signifies accomplishments, realisation and goal completion.
  23. Shubha: Denotes auspiciousness, positivity and favourable outcomes.
  24. Shukla: Symbolises purity, clarity and brightness.
  25. Brahma: Represents creative energy, innovation and divine intelligence.
  26. Indra: Signifies power, authority and leadership qualities.
  27. Vaidhriti: Denotes a mixed or variable nature, a combination of different attributes.

  • Karna

Karna is an essential element of Panchang, representing half of a Tithi. There are 11 Karnas, each spanning a specific duration during the lunar month or cycle. Like Tithis, Karnas also influence the selection of auspicious times for various events and activities.

The 11 Karnas are further divided into two groups: Fixed Karanas and Movable Karanas.

  • Fixed Karanas: Fixed Karanas do not change their position with the movement of the Moon and reflect the Sun’s position.
  • Movable Karanas: Movable Karanas move along with the Moon as it orbits the Earth. Each Karana brings its own attributes, and based on its impacts, essential events and ceremonies are scheduled.

They are classified as follows for deciding the suitability of the day:

Naga (Movable)Nara (Fixed)

  • Var

The Var, also known as Vara, refers to the seven days of the week. Each day is associated with a particular planet(graha) and has its own characteristics and influences. For example, Sunday is associated with the Sun, Monday with the Moon and so on. Vara is often considered when planning religious observances and other activities, as it is believed that the ruling planet of the day can influence the result of the undertaken actions. Moreover, people follow specific rituals and practices on each Vaar to seek blessings and positive energy.

Types of Panchangam

Over time, various organisations and regions have developed different types of Panchangams to cater to the diverse needs of the people. Let’s explore the most used types of Panchangams and their significance.

  • Dainik Panchang:

Dainik Panchang, also known as Todays Panchang/Daily Panchang, is a widely used type of Panchangam that provides essential information for a specific day. For example, finding today good time for pooja. It includes details like todays Tithi (Lunar day), Vaar(weekday), Nakshatra (Lunar mansion), Yoga (luni-solar day) and Karana ( half Lunar day), sunrise, sunset and other important planetary positions.

  • Tomorrow Panchang:

Tomorrow Panchangam is similar to Daily Panchang, providing information regarding the essential elements for the upcoming day. It allows people to plan in advance for important events, ceremonies or personal activities based on the astrological considerations presented in the Panchangam. Suppose we decide to conduct an Aarti or Pooja the next day. For this, we may refer to Tomorrow’s Panchang and decide the tomorrow good time for pooja.

  • Month Panchang:

Month Panchang is yet another interesting Panchangam. It is a comprehensive calendar that presents the daily Panchang details for an entire month. It allows people to have an overview of the auspicious and inauspicious days, festivals and other important astrological information for the entire month. Here, you will find all the important Tithis, Muhurats, festivals and Vrats marked and stated for the entire month on the basis of the Hindu Year.

  • ISKCON Panchang:

ISKCON Panchang is a Panchangam prepared by the famous International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). It is purely based on Vedic astrology and provides detailed information on various religious and spiritual events, along with the traditional Panchang elements. The ISKCON Panchang often includes special dates related to the worship of Lord Krishna and other significant Vaishnava (Hare Krishna) festivals alongside the usual sunrise, sunset, tithis, nakshatras and rashis.

  • Chandrabalam:

Chandrabalam is an important column for Panchangam that denotes the strength and auspiciousness of the Moon during a particular day. Hence, it is often separately made in the online Panchang. People who know its daily importance look for this part of today's panchang in English as it influences the success and prosperity of various activities. Chandrabalam is divided into five categories, indicating different levels of auspiciousness for today panchanga. This part of the Panchangam enables people to make informed decisions and seek favourable outcomes in goals.

Significance of Panchang

The Panchang holds immense significance in Hindu culture and is an integral part of daily lives for millions of people. Its history can be traced back to ancient times when sages and scholars studied the movements of planets in order to develop this detailed timekeeping system. Since then, it has served as a concise astrology calendar that guides individuals in understanding the activities of planets and their impact on various aspects of life.

The Panchang provides info on suitable and unsuitable timings for conducting various activities, such as weddings, religious ceremonies, festivals, housewarming events and naming occasions. In addition to finding tomorrow good time for pooja, Panchang plays a vital role in Vedic astrology, enabling astrologers to construct accurate horoscopes and make predictions about an individual’s life. In today’s modern world, where people lead busy lives, the Panchnag remains a valuable tool to stay connected with traditional values and customs and naturally connect with the universe.

Uses of Panchang

The Panchang serves a wide range of essential purposes in Hindu culture and society, making it a valuable tool for decisions regarding various aspects of life. The primary uses of Panchang include the following:

  • Planning Festivals and Religious Observances: It helps in coordinating various festivals according to Lunar and planetary positions, ensuring that they are celebrated on the most appropriate and spiritually important day. You can look for today good time for pooja in online panchangam as well.
  • Astrological Guidance: By analysing the birth charts and considering the planets’ positions, today, in nakshatra and rashi, people look for guidance in areas like career, relationships, health, and spirituality.
  • Agricultural Activities: Farmers rely on Panchang to plan their agricultural activities, such as sowing, harvesting and irrigation, to maximise crop yield and agricultural success.
  • Health and Well-being: Panchang has a special column called Chandrabalam, the auspiciousness of the Moon, which is a people's daily reminder to take precautions for good health.

Kaal Garna - How To Read Panchang For Muhurat

Muhurat refers to an auspicious or favourable time or moment that is carefully chosen for conducting specific activities or events. In the context of Panchang, Muhurat Calculation or Kaal Garna involves the precise selection of a favourable period based on the motion, speed and position of the planets. Calculating Muhurat involves the following steps:

  1. The first step is to identify the purpose of the event or activity for which Muhurat needs to be calculated. Different activities have different astrological requirements, and the Muhurat must be selected accordingly.
  2. The Panchang is then consulted to find the Tithi, Yoga, today nakshatra and rashi and Karana for the desired date. These elements are crucial in determining the auspiciousness of Muhurat.
  3. The positions of the planets and their influences on the selected date are then considered. This is done to look for beneficial alignments to ensure a favourable Muhurat.
  4. Next, malefic planetary periods are identified, and that particular date is avoided for Muhurat.
  5. Based on the above considerations, an auspicious Muhurat is selected.

Samvat - The Hindu Calendar Era

“Samvat” refers to the era or year system used to denote years in the Hindu calendar or Panchang. It is a significant part of the Indian calendar system, and different regions may follow different Samvat eras. It plays a significant role in determining the dates of festivals, religious observances and important events. Two commonly used Samvat eras in India are - Vikrama Samvat (VS) and Saka Samvat (SS).

  • Vikrama Samvat: This era is associated with the legendary king Vikramaditya and is widely used in Northern India. It begins approximately 57 years before the Saka era. For example, the year “2023 AD”, which is the current year in the English or Gregorian calendar, corresponds to the year “2080” in the Vikrama Samvat.
  • Saka Samvat: Saka Samvat was established by the Saka dynasty and is widely used in Western India and some southern regions. It starts from 78 AD. For example, the year 2023 AD corresponds to the year 1945 in the Saka Samvat.

The following is a table that explains the difference between Vikram, Saka, and Gregorian( a normal calendar) Eras. This is an example to give a clear picture of what we are actually talking about.

Gregorian YearVikram Samvat (VS)Saka Samvat (SS)

Seasons and Months of the Samvat

In Panchang, the Samvat or era we follow also brings its seasons and months. The Hindu calendar, or Panchangam, follows a lunar system and incorporates six seasons, each comprising two Lunar Months. This further helps to clarify a good time for Pooja tomorrow.

The following table sheds light on the system of seasons and months that are followed in todays panchanga and the upcoming.

Seasons (Ritu)Months as per Hindu CalendarMonths (in English)
Vasanta ( Spring season)Chitra, VaisakhaMarch-April, April-May
Grishma ( Hot summer)Jyastha, AshadhaMay-June, June-July
Varsha ( Monsoon or heavy rainfall)Sravana, BhadraJuly-August, August-September
Sharada ( Autumn or pleasant weather)Ashvini, KartikaSeptember-October, October-November
Hemanta (Early Winter season)Margashirsa, PausaNovember-December, December-January
Shishira ( Peak of winter or extreme cold)Magha, PhalgunaJanuary-February, February-March

Frequently Asked Questions

Panchangam meaning indicate a complete Hindu calendar system that provides essential information about planetary movements, auspicious timings and festivals using five astrological elements - Tithi, Yoga, Vaar, Nakshatram, and Karna. Pandits usually use these to find good time for pooja tomorrow.
The usage of Panchang, the Hindu calendar, extends to five different aspects of suitability - Sankalp (purpose), suitable Vrat dates, right dates and timings for shraddha or aarti, and other auspicious ceremonies. The position of the Sun, Moon, and other planets is also marked.
The first-ever Panchang was written around 1000 BCE. According to Rashtriya Panchang, published by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, it has the first of its mentions in the Saka Era, which began in 78 AD. Based on this period, how to read panchang was further calculated.
Panchang offers numerous benefits, such as helping in astrological predictions, deciding wedding dates and Muhurats, deciding today nakshatra and tithi for Namkaran or naming, and determining auspicious dates and timings for rituals and festivals. It also benefits with favourable blessings of the planets.
A Tithi, or a lunar day in the Hindu calendar, lasts approximately 23 hours and 37 minutes. It is identified by the angle formed by the distance between the Sun and the Moon, which changes daily. Look for tithi duration in todays panchanga to check.
The Panchak is a union of five Nakshatras in Panchang - Dhanishta, Purva Bhadrapada, Shatabhisha, Uttar Bhadrapada, and Revati. According to the Hindu calendar, this is considered inauspicious. Any rituals and religious ceremonies like weddings must be avoided in this period.

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