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Vikram Samwat (Bikram Sambat, or Vikram Samvat, Devanagari:विक्रम संवत, abbreviated "V.S.") is the calendar established by Indian emperor Vikramaditya. It is a popularly used calendar in India and the official calendar of Bangladesh and Nepal.

The Vikrama Samvat was founded by the emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain[1] following his victory over the Sakas in 56 BCE, although it is popularly (and incorrectly) associated with the subsequent king Chandragupta Vikramaditya. It is a lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition (see Hindu calendar and Vedic time keeping). The Vikram Samvat calendar is 56.7 years ahead (in count) of the solar Gregorian calendar. For example, the year 2056 BS began in CE 1999 and ended in CE 2000. In Northern India the calendar starts with the first day after the new moon in the month Chaitra, which usually falls in March/April in the Gregorian calendar. Again in Western India the same era begins with the first day after the new moon in the month of Kartika which usually falls in October and November in the Gregorian calendar.



No. Name Nepali [1] Days
1 Baishākh बैशाख 30 / 31
2 Jeṭha जेष्ठ 31 / 32
3 Asār आषाढ़ or असार 31 / 32
4 Sāun श्रावण or सावन 31 / 32
5 Bhadau भाद्र or भादौ 31 / 32
6 Asoj आश्विन or असोज/अगहन 30 / 31
7 Kartik कार्तिक 29 / 30
8 Mangsir मार्ग or मंसिर 29 / 30
9 Push पौष or पुष/पूस 29 / 30
10 Magh माघ 29 / 30
11 Falgun or Phagun फाल्गुन or फागुन 29 / 30
12 Chaitra चैत्र or चैत 30 / 31
No. Name North Indian languages Days
1 Vaishakh वैशाख or बैसाख 30 / 31
2 Jyeshtha ज्येष्ठ or जेठ 31 / 32
3 Aashadh आषाढ़ 31 / 32
4 Shraawan श्रावण or सावन 31 / 32
5 Bhadrapad भाद्रपद or भादो 31 / 32
6 Ashvin आश्विन 30 / 31
7 Kartik कार्तिक 29 / 30
8 Aghrahaayan अग्रहायण or अगहन 29 / 30
9 Paush पौष or पुष/पूस 29 / 30
10 Margsheersh मार्गशीर्ष or माघ 29 / 30
11 Phalgun फाल्गुन or फागुन 29 / 30
12 Chaitra चैत्र or चैत 30 / 31


This calendar derives its name from the original king Vikramaditya of Ujjain. After the rise of the Rana oligarchs in Nepal, Vikram Sambat came into unofficial use along with the official Shaka Sambat for quite some time. They discontinued Shaka Sambat in its 1823rd year and replaced it with Vikram Samwat for official use since then to date. Vikram Sambat came into official use in its 1958th year. The calendar is widely in use in western India, where it is known as the Vikram Samvat.

The date is supposed to mark the victory of king Vikramaditya over the Sakas, who had invaded Ujjain. To the new era was established to commemorate this event. Alternatively, it is thought to correspond to the Azes era, of the Indo-Scythian king Azes I.

Kalakacharya and the Saka King (Kalakacharya Katha-Manuscript,Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai

The story is described in "Kalakacharya Kathanaka", a much later work by a Jain sage called Mahesara Suri (Probably circa 12th century CE). The Kathanaka (meaning, "an account") tells the story of a famed Jain monk Kalakacharya. It mentions that Gardabhilla, the then powerful king of Ujjain, abducted a nun called Sarasvati who was the sister of the monk. The enraged monk sought help of the Saka ruler, a "Sahi", in Sakasthana. Despite heavy odds (but aided by miracles) the Saka king defeated Gardabhilla and made him a captive. Sarasvati was repatriated. Gardabhilla himself was forgiven though. The defeated king retired to the forest where he was killed by a tiger. His son, Vikramaditya, being brought up in the forest, had to rule from Pratishthana (in modern Maharashtra). Later on Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away the Sakas. To commemorate this event he started a new era called the Vikrama era. This story seems to be a jumbled one, as the original Vikramaditya began his rule from Ujjain and not from Pratishthana. The Ujjain calendar started around 56 BCE to 58 BCE, and the subsequent Shalivahan Saka calendar was started in 78 A.D. at Pratishthan.


The new year of Bikram Samwat is one of the many festivals of Nepal, marked by parties, family gatherings, the exchange of good wishes and participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year.

In addition to Nepal, the Bikram Sambat calendar are also recognized in northern India, eastern India, and in Gujarat and Maharashtra among Hindus. In Buddhist communities, the month of Baishakh is associated with Vesak, known as Visakah Puja or Buddha Purnima in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, Visakha Bucha in Thailand, Waisak in Indonesia and Wesak in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. It commemorates the birth, Enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha on the one historical day, the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June. Although this festival is not held on the same day as Pahela Baishakh, the holidays typically fall in the same month (Baishakh) of the Bengali, Hindu, and Theravada Buddhist calendars, and are related historically through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in South Asia.


The basic rule of thumb for conversion (This method is not exact and almost all of the time it gives wrong dates. However for general idea it is very useful)

Nepali Date to English: Subtract - 56 Years - 8 Months - 15 Days

English Date to Nepali Date: Add - 56 Years - 8 Months - 15 Days
Also, or

Nepali Calendar with English date :


  1. ^ The cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia by Edward Balfour, B. Quaritch 1885, p502
  • "The dynastic art of the Kushan", John Rosenfield.

See also

External links



Up to date as of February 01, 2010
(Redirected to Samvat (calendar eras) article)

From Familypedia

Samvat is a term that refers to eras that are used in Indian calendars. They are:

  1. Vikrama Samvat
  2. Shaka Samvat
  3. Bangla Samvat
  4. Jaina Samvat (Mahavira Nirvana)

Conversion of current dates to these eras

Converting dates from the currently used Gregorian calendar to these eras involves the following simple corrections to be made to the Gregorian calendar year number:

  1. Vikrama: add 57 or 56
  2. Shaka: subtract 78 or 79
  3. Bangla: subtract 593 or 594
  4. Jaina (Mahavira Nirvana): add 527 or 526

From the above, use the first correction (i.e. 57 in the case of the Vikrama Samvat) if the date falls between the beginning of the Indian year and the end of the Western year, and the second correction (56 in the case of the Vikrama Samvat) if the date falls between the beginning of the Western year and the end of the Indian year.

The Kali "Samvat"

The Kali Era is not called a "Samvat" in common Indian usage, but since it's also an era, it might be useful to mention it here too. The Hindu calendar article has more information on the Kali Era. The conversion is given here:

  • Add 3101 or 3100 (using the same guidelines as above) to the Gregorian year to get the number of elapsed Kali years.
  • Add 3102 or 3101 to get the current Kali yuga number.
  • Remember that the former (of the above two) is the standard, as explained at the Hindu calendar article.
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Simple English

The Vikram era, or Vikram samvat is an Indian calendar starting in 57 BC. The date is supposed to show when the King Vikramaditya beat the Sakas, who had invaded Ujjain. A new calendar was started just to honor this time.

The story

The story of this event is told by a monk called Mahesara Suri.

The powerful king of Ujjain, called Gardabhilla, kidnapped a nun, who was the sister of the monk. The monk went to the Saka King to get help, and in the end, the Saka King beat Gardabhilla and catpured him and made him a prisoner. But in the end, Gardabhilla was forgiven and run away to a forest, where he was killed by a tiger.

Later on Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away the Sakas. To commemorate this event he started a new era called the Vikrama era.


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