Malayalam calendar

Mampalli copper plate (10th century AD), the earliest record to mention the Kollam Era.

The Malayalam Calendar is a sidereal solar calendar used in Kerala. The origin of the calendar has been dated to 825 CE, the beginning of the Kollam Era.[1][2][3]

There are many theories regarding the origin of the era, but according to recent scholarship, it commemorated the foundation of Kollam after the liberation of the southern Chera kingdom (known as Venadu) from the Chola dynasty's rule by or with the assistance of the Chera emperor at Kodungallur.[4] The origin of the Kollam Era has been dated to 825 CE, at the end of the three year-long great convention in Kollam held at the behest of the Venadu King Kulasekharan. Scholars from west and east were present in the convention, and the Thamizh Kanakku (Calendar) was adopted.

Kollam was the capital of Venadu and an important port town of the Chera Kingdom in that period. Kollam Aandu was adapted in the entire Chera Kingdom (the current day states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala), the majority of which is now in Kerala. In Malayalam-speaking Kerala, it is now called the Malayalam Era or 'Kollavarsham’ (Kollam Thontri Aandu). The earliest available record mentioning the Kollam Era is a royal decree by Sri Vallavan Goda, the King of Venadu, dated to c. 973 CE (Kollam Era 149). In the inscription, the phrase "Kollam Thontri Aandu" is employed.[5] Another era, referred to as "Kollam Azhintha Aadu", counting from 1097 CE, was reckoned by the Cholas for some time. It is tentatively calculated that the Chola overlords captured the port of Kollam in 1097 CE.[5]

History[]

The origin of the Kollam Era has been dated to 825 CE, when the great convention in Kollam was held at the behest of King Kulashekharan. Kollam was an important town in that period, and the Malayalam Era is called 'Kollavarsham', possibly as a result of the Tharisapalli plates.

There are multiple conflicting accounts regarding the origins of the Malayalam calendar, some of which are mentioned below:

Months[]

Makaram month (middle of January) was the starting of the Kollam Aandu (year). It was similar to the other calendars followed in the Pandya and Chola Kingdoms. The Chera kingdom had two harvests, one in Makaram and the other in Kanni, so the year started in Makaram, the harvesting month. Later, in the 20th century, after Venadu (the Travancore Kingdom) joined the Indian Union, the Calendar was aligned with that of the Sanskrit Calendar to have the Year Starting in Medam (April middle).

The Malayalam months and the Sanskritic Sauramāsa (solar month) are almost the same, raising many doubts that which came first. If you see, Chingam is a month in Kollam Era. Sanskrit also has the solar month, the Simham, and so on. This is unlike the case in Tulu calendar which follow the names of lunar months. The following are the months of the astronomical Malayalam calendar:

Comparative table showing corresponding months of other calendars
No. Months in Malayalam Era In Malayalam Tamil calendar Sanskrit solar month Saka era Tulu calendar Sign of zodiac Gregorian Calendar
1. mēṭam മേടം Chithirai Meṣa ChaitraVaiśākha Paggu Aries April–May
2. iṭavam ഇടവം Vaikasi Vṛṣabha VaiśākhaJyaiṣṭha Besa Taurus May–June
3. mithuṉam മിഥുനം Aani Mithuna JyaiṣṭhaĀṣāḍha Kaarthel Gemini June–July
4. kaṟkkiṭakam/
kaṟkkaṭakam
കർക്കിടകം Aadi Karkaṭaka Āṣāḍha–Śrāvaṇa Aaty Cancer July–August
5. ciṅṅam ചിങ്ങം Aavani Siṃha ŚravanaBhādrapada Sona Leo August–September
6. kaṉṉi കന്നി Purattasi Kanyā BhādrapadaAśvina Nirnaala Virgo September–October
7. tulām തുലാം Aippasi Tulā AśvinaKārtika Bonthyel Libra October–November
8. vr̥ścikam വൃശ്ചികം Karthigai Vṛścikam KārtikaMārgaśīrṣa Jaarde Scorpio November–December
9. dhaṉu ധനു Margazhi Dhanu MārgaśīrṣaPauṣa Peraarde Sagittarius December–January
10. makaram മകരം Thai Makara Pauṣa/Taiṣya-Māgha Ponny Capricorn January–February
11. kumbham കുംഭം Maasi Kumbha MāghaPhālguna Maayi Aquarius February–March
12. mīṉam മീനം Panguni Mīna PhālgunaChaitra Suggy Pisces March–April

Days[]

The days of the week in the Malayalam calendar are suffixed with Aazhcha (ആഴ്ച), meaning week.

Comparative table showing corresponding weekdays
No. Malayalam മലയാളം Sanskrit English Kannada Tamil Hindi Arabic Punjabi
1. ñāyaṟ ഞായർ Bhānu vāsara Sunday Bhanuvara Nyaayiru (ஞாயிறு) Ravivaar/Itvaar

(रविवार/इतवार)

al-aḥad Ravivaar/Aitvaar (ਰਵਿਵਾਰ/ਐਤਵਾਰ)
2. tiṅkaḷ തിങ്കൾ Soma vāsara Monday Somavara Thingal (திங்கள்) Somvaar

(सोमवार)

al-ithnayn Somvaar

(ਸੋਮਵਾਰ)

3. covva ചൊവ്വ Maṅgala vāsara Tuesday Mangalavara Chevvai (செவ்வாய்) Mangalvaar

(मङ्गलवार)

al-thalāthāʾ Mangalvaar (ਮੰਗਲਵਾਰ)
4. budhaṉ ബുധൻ Budha vāsara Wednesday Budhavara Budhan (புதன்) Budhvaar

(बुधवार)

al-arbaʿā Budhvaar

(ਬੁਧਵਾਰ)

5. vyāḻam വ്യാഴം Guru vāsara Thursday Guruvara Vyazhan (வியாழன்) Guruvaar/Brihaspativaar

(गुरूवार/बृहस्पतिवार)

al-khamīs Guruvaar/Veervaar (ਗੁਰੂਵਾਰ/ਵੀਰਵਾਰ)
6. veḷḷi വെള്ളി Śukra vāsara Friday Shukravara Velli (வெள்ளி) Shukravaar

(शुक्रवार)

al-jumuʿah Shukarvaar

(ਸ਼ੁਕਰਵਾਰ)

7. śaṉi ശനി Śani vāsara Saturday Shanivara Shani (சனி) Shanivaar

(शनिवार)

al-sabt Shanivaar

(ਸ਼ਨੀਵਾਰ)

Like the months above, there are twenty seven stars starting from Aswati (Ashvinī in Sanskrit) and ending in Revatī. The 365 days of the year are divided into groups of fourteen days called Ñattuvela (ഞാറ്റുവേല), each one bearing the name of a star.

Significant dates[]

Vishu (വിഷു), celebrated on the first day of Medam, and Onam (ഓണം), celebrated on the star Thiruvonam [t̪iruʋoːɳəm] in the month of Chingam, are two of the major festivals. The first day of Chingam is celebrated as the Kerala New Year, replacing Vishu (വിഷു), which was considered the beginning of a year until 825 CE. Vishu is still celebrated as the traditional Malayali New Year, particularly in erstwhile Malabar and South Canara areas, as it is astronomically significant, 'Medam' being the first among the 12 rashis (the zodiac signs corresponding to the 12 months of a solar year).[citation needed]

The Makaravilakku festival is celebrated in the Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala on the first day of Makaram month. This marks the grand finale of the two-month period to the Sabarimala pilgrimage. The 1st of Makaram marks the winter Solstice (Uttarayanam) and the 1st of Karkaṭakam marks the summer solstice (Dakshinayanam) according to the Malayalam calendar (according to the astronomical calendar, the summer solstice is on 21 June, and the winter solstice on 21 December).[citation needed]

Chaitram 1 (usually coinciding with 20 March) or Medam 1 (mostly coinciding with 14 April, for 2019 it was on 15 April), both in the proximity of the date of the vernal equinox (21 March), mark the beginning of the new year in many traditional Indian calendars such as the Indian national calendar and the Tamil calendar. When the Government of Kerala adopted Kolla Varsham as the regional calendar, the first of Chingam, the month of the festival of Onam, was accepted as the Malayalam New Year instead.[citation needed]

Derived names[]

Many events in Kerala are related to the dates in the Malayalam calendar.

The agricultural activities of Kerala are centred on the seasons. The southwest monsoon which starts around 1 June is known as Etavappathi, meaning mid of month Etavam. The northeast monsoon which starts during mid October is called thulavarsham (rain in the month of thulam). The two harvests of paddy are called Kannikkoythu and Makarakkoythu (harvests in the months kanni and makaram) respectively.[citation needed]

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ "Kollam Era" (PDF). Indian Journal History of Science. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  2. ^ Broughton Richmond (1956), Time measurement and calendar construction, p. 218
  3. ^ R. Leela Devi (1986). History of Kerala. Vidyarthi Mithram Press & Book Depot. p. 408.
  4. ^ Noburu Karashmia (ed.), A Concise History of South India: Issues and Interpretations. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014. 89.
  5. ^ a b Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 74-76, 143.
  6. ^ a b A. Sreedhara Menon (2007) [1967]. "CHAPTER VIII - THE KOLLAM ERA". A Survey Of Kerala History. DC Books, Kottayam. pp. 104–110. ISBN 978-81-264-1578-6. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  7. ^ Kerala government website Archived 2007-11-21 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ In the Travancore State Manual, Ch:XIII, pages 49-50, by Sri. T.K. Velu Pillai according to keralainfoservice
  9. ^ "Chronology".
  10. ^ Kalady: The Triumph of Faith Over Time. Dir. Rajesh Krishnan, K. Anand, and S. Thyagarajan. Sri Shankara Advaita Research Center, Sringeri, 31 May 2010. DVD.
  11. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: sharadapeetham (25 April 2012). "Kalady: The Triumph of Faith Over Time (Rediscovery of Sri Adi Shankaracharya's Birth Place)" – via YouTube.
  12. ^ K. V. Sarma, Kollam Era, Indian Journal of History of Science, 31(1), 1996, pp. 93-100
  13. ^ "Kollam - Short History". Statistical Data. kerala.gov.in. Archived from the original (Short History) on 21 November 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2014.

External links[]