Solar months of Ancient Indian Calendar

Shri Phadnis writes…

“There is no such thing as a Solar Month in indian calendars. Can Shri. Oak state the names and days of all 12 months and when the first month begins?”

My Response…

Taittiriya Samhita (Yajurveda) does talk of 12 solar months of Indian calendar.

Chaturtha Kanda – Chaturtha Prapathak – 11 (Taittiriya Samhita 4:4:11) states…


a (Ye are) Madha and Madhava, the months of spring.

b (Ye are) Çukra and Çuci, the months of summer.

c (Ye are) Nabha and Nabhasya, the months of rain.

d (Ye are) Isa and Urja, the months of autumn.

e (Ye are) Saha and Sahasya, the months of winter.

f (Ye are) Tapa and Tapasya, the months of the cool season.


The text does not tell us either the beginning of the year or the duration of each month in days.

6 thoughts on “Solar months of Ancient Indian Calendar

  1. How do you say these are Solar months? These could be old names of Lunar months, in use when the the seasons corresponded with the respective months. Even todya, people count – Chatra -Vaishakh- Vasant Ritu. etc.

  2. I will leave it to those much more enlightened than me about Taittiriya Samhita to weigh in.

    But let’s not digress from the original issue of ‘Adhika masa’ correction. This is precisely the reason I delayed responding to your query on ‘Solar months of Indian Calendar’. The discussion about them is irrelevant to ‘adhika masa’ correction in synchronizing Luni-solar calendar.

    You have opened too many loose threads (antiquity of current nomenclature of Indian lunar months, method of adhika masa in Mahabharata Times, existence of solar months in ancient Indian calendar…and I am at loss to comprehend what any of it has to do with any of the specific issues of Mahabharata timeline.

    Granted, this has contributed to my better understanding of Adhika masa and such, but what is its value in solving the problems of ancient history (which is what I am concerned with).

    In this context, do read blog article of B N Balagangadhara, reproduced by me on my blog. If you search under ‘arguments and theories’ you will find it.

  3. Not sure of exact reference (probably in Taittiriya Samhita only) but these Madhu, Madhava etc months are called ‘अर्कज मास’. If अर्क is सूर्य then they are solar months.

  4. Amey, Can you find out where the word ‘arka masa’ appears. I found out few additional references on these months. The mystery only deepens and I have a solution (I think). At a minimum I have a theory that would be backed with ‘full force’ evidence from various ancient Indian documents.

    What I need is a reference to a cycle – Yuga – of say 24 years (25 or 26, etc. would do). This would provide additional corroboration to my new theory for ancient Indian Luni-solar calendar.

    And it is a possibility that it may bring Shri Modak, Shri Phadnis and Shri Oak on the same wavelength. Of course, they not coming to same wavelength only provides additional opportunity for improving the theory.

  5. I know I have already come across Yuga of 5 years, 12 years (Jupiter cycle), 60 Years (Jupiter cycle..but might have been combined with Jupiter/Saturn, 96 years cycle an such). So far 24-25-26 years cycle has eluded me.

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