Foremost, I wish you a very Happy Shobhakruthanama Samvastaram.

Here are a set of questions I think you have ever questioned yourself at least once till now.
What does the term Ugadi mean? And Why is Ugadi celebrated?What is the significance of the Hindu calendar? 
How is time measured, & how do the planets play a crucial role in measuring time? How do the stars present in our galaxy help predict the future and past?What are the conclusions that our ancestors drew by observing the sky? 

Proceeding further, I'll explain what astronomy is and how Ugadi is related to it. Astronomy is the study of everything in the universe beyond Earth's atmosphere. That includes objects we can see with our naked eyes, like the Sun, the Moon, the planets, and the stars. Vedanga Jyotisha is another of the earliest known Indian texts on astronomy. It includes the details about the Sun, Moon, Nakshatras, and lunisolar calendar. The Vedanga Jyotisha describes rules for tracking the motions of the Sun and the Moon for ritual.

India has achieved significant achievements in Mathematics, Physics, and Medicine in ancient India. The ancient and the most significant Indian astronomers and thinkers like Aryabhata, Bhaskarcharya, Brahmagupta etc., revealed the facts about the universe, which were mysteries to the people in those days. They discovered that the earth is spherical, the sun is at the centre, and the planets revolved around them (the heliocentric theory) before Copernicus. They revealed many mysteries about time, methods for determining the positions of planets, the cause of day and night, and several other cosmological concepts.

What does the term Ugadi mean? And Why Ugadi is celebrated. 

The name Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga means an age, and adi means beginning. Ugadi means the beginning of a new era or year. You heard it right. It's a new year to the people, which is celebrated in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Goa in India. The calendar we follow worldwide is known as the Gregorian calendar. Here in India, we use the Hindu calendar, also known as Panchangam.

What is the significance of the Hindu calendar?

The Hindu calendar, Panchanga, is one of the various lunisolar calendars that are traditionally used. Ugadi follows a lunisolar calendar, which follows both the sun and the moon. It also takes March 22 or the equinox (the day the sun is directly over the equator and day and night are equal lengths).

The Hindu calendar includes a total a 60-year cycle. Each Ugadi year has a specific name in Panchangam, and the name of the year represents the character of that year. 2023 is a Sobhakritu year, the 37th year in the 60-year cycle.

The Hindu calendar is based on a geocentric model of the solar system. A large part of this calendar is defined based on the movement of the sun in Sanskrit, known as saura mana, and the moon around the earth in Sanskrit, known as chandramana.

The name panchang is derived from two words; namely, Pancha means five, and ang means limbs. It means it includes the five essential elements of tithi (lunar day), nakshatra (the constellation the moon is aligned with), karana (half-day), yoga (a particular angle of the sun and moon) and vara or vasara (solar weekday). 

The day as per the Panchang starts with sunrise and ends with a consecutive sunrise. On the other hand, the Gregorian calendar finds the day begins at 12:00 pm.

How is time measured?

TIME. It sounds simple, but it is a complicated topic to explain. It's a fourth dimension. Even Einstein wrote a theory of general relativity to explain space-time. The concept of time is clearly described in the Vedas before so-called famous scientists were born. Time is a relative. We measure time with respect to a stationary body (planet) and another body's moves.

Our ancestors looked to the sky to measure the time they observed the cyclical patterns of the sun and moon, and thus, according to their cycles, they started measuring time. The three most cyclical events are the earth's rotation, which cycles around itself, causing repeated days and nights.

The second one is the moon revolves around the earth, causing repeated waxing(a waxing moon is a moon that gets more sunlight on it as the days go by)and waning (a waning moon is a moon after a full moon in which it gets less sunlight as the day goes by). The first half of the lunar month is called Shuklapaksha, or the waxing phase and the second half of the lunar month are called Krishna Paksha or the waning phase.

The third one is the earth's revolution around the sun, causing repeated occurrences of various seasons. The festival marks the onset of spring and the milder weather after the harsh winter.

Festivals times are based on these three major cyclical events.

Source: Mypandit

The Telugu calendar consists of 12 months. Telugu months are called Maasalu. The months in the Telugu calendar are Chaitra, Vaishakha, Jyeshtha, Ashadha, Shravana, Bhadrapada, Ashwin, Kartika, Margashirsha, Pushya, Magha, and Phalguna. The months in the sauranama calendar are just named after the rashi into which the sun moves, and in chandramana, they are named after the nakshatra.

The New moon day (Amavasya) marks the new month. Ugadi celebrated the day after Amavasya with the 27th nakshatra Revati. The first month of the Telugu calendar is Chaitra, and Ugadi is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra maasam and called Chaitra shudhdha paadyami.

Prediction of the future by Astronomers

If we look at the clear night sky, we can see thousands of stars. If we link those stars, a pattern is formed. The patterns which are made of a group of stars are called constellations. Nearby our solar system or within our galaxy, we can find 12 prominent zodiac constellations in Telugu. These are rashi phalalu. Those are Aries (Mesha), Gemini (Mithuna), Taurus (Vrushabha), Leo (Simha), Crab/Cancer (Karka), Virgo (Kanya), Scorpion (Vrushika), Libra (Tula), Capricorn (Makara), Saggitarius (Dhanusha), Aquarius (Kumbha), Pisces (Meena). Initially, these constellations were used to track the sun's movement and determine the time during ancient times.

A total of 27 nakshatras are located in the elliptical plane. An elliptical plane is the orbital plane of the earth around the sun. These nakshatras have divided in the form of sectors. These nakshatras are further divided into four quarters called padas. A particular planet rules each nakshatra. 

27 (stars) × 4 Padas=108 SEGMENTS

These 108 segments are grouped into 12 rashis or constellations based on the shape they resemble. There's a deeper meaning in the name of each nakshatra and rashis. Depending on the nakshatra and rashi, the time is measured based on the sun's movement (sauramana) and the moon's (chandramana). Based on the Rashi, Nakshatras and Pada, astrologers use panchangam to predict the future.

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi is famous for its Ugadi Pachadi. It is a mixture of six different types of flavours or tastes, and those are sweet, salt, sour, pungent, spice and bitter. Each flavour indicates an emotion.


Flavour or taste








Raw Mango



Neem Flowers



Black Pepper






It is also believed that the first taste we experience after eating Ugadi Pachadi will decide our majority of emotions throughout the year.

Ugadi pachadi conveys the message that life isn't fair for everyone. Every individual will face the challenges life throws at us, and we must accept and embrace them.

That's for today, please comment your thoughts and don't forget to subscribe to Vigyan Geeks newsletter.

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