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Malayalam Calendar (also known as Malayalam Era or Kollavarsham or Kollam Era) is a solar and sidereal calendar used in Kerala, India. The origin of the calendar has been dated as 825 CE.[1][2]

It is believed that this Malayalam calendar commenced during the time of King Kulashekhara. First day of year (Chingam 1) 1190 ME is on August 17 2014. The Nestorian's fled from the Islamic conquests and chose korukeNikollam (a famous trade centre) as a refuge. They established a church colony and invited a bishop/matron from Persia. This was during 824-825 and they stated a new era. They called year kollam thondriya aanT (beginning of the year). Since they were against the Roman church they were against Anno Domini or the Islamic era they had to create a calendar of their own. Nestorians were merchants; when trade flourished their dates started to be used widely. The problem was the difficulty in accepting that Christians started the era.


The Malayalam months are named after the Signs of the Zodiac. Thus Cingam (from Simham or Lion) is named after the constellation Leo and so on. The following are the months of the astronomical Malayalam calendar:

Comparative table showing corresponding months of other calendars
Months in Malayalam Era In Malayalam Gregorian Calendar Tamil calendar Saka era Sign of Zodiac
Chingam ചിങ്ങം August–September Aavani SravanBhadrapada Leo
Kanni കന്നി September–October Purattasi BhadrapadaAsvina Virgo
Tulam തുലാം October–November Aippasi AsvinaKartika Libra
Vrscikam വൃശ്ചികം November–December Karthigai KartikaAgrahayana Scorpio
Dhanu ധനു December–January Margazhi AgrahayanaPausa Sagittarius
Makaram മകരം January–February Thai PausaMagha Capricon
Kumbham കുംഭം February–March Maasi MaghaPhalguna Aquarius
Minam മീനം March–April Panguni PhalgunaChaitra Pisces
Medam മേടം April–May Chithirai ChaitraVaisakha Aries
Edavam (Idavam) ഇടവം May–June Vaikasi VaisakhaJyaistha Taurus
Mithunam മിഥുനം June–July Aani JyaisthaAsada Gemini
Karkadakam കര്‍ക്കടകം July–August Aadi AsadaSravana Cancer


The days of the week in the Malayalam calendar are suffixed with Azhca (ആഴ്ച - week).

Comparative table showing corresponding weekdays
Malayalam മലയാളം English Kannada Tamil Hindi
Njayar ഞായര്‍ Sunday Bhanuvara Nyaayiru Ravivar
Thinkal തിങ്കള്‍ Monday Somavara Thinkal Somvar
Chowva ചൊവ്വ Tuesday Mangalavara Chevvai Mangalvar
Budhan ബുധന്‍ Wednesday Budhavara Budhan Budhvar
Vyazham വ്യാഴം Thursday Guruvara Vyazhan Guruvar
Velli വെള്ളി Friday Shukravara Velli Sukravar
Shani ശനി Saturday Shanivara Sani Shanivar

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[edit]

The festivals Antupirapp (ആണ്ടുപിറപ്പ് - new year, more commonly called Antupiravi (ആണ്ടുപിറവി) or Puthuvarsham (പുതുവര്‍ഷം)), celebrated on the 1st of Medam, Vishu (വിഷു - astronomical new year), and Onam (ഓണം), celebrated on the star [tiruʋoːɳəm] in the month of Chingam, are two of the major festivals, the greatest of them being Onam (ഓണം). (See also, Kerala New Year.)

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

Formerly the New Year in the Malabar region was on the 1st of Kanni and that in the Travancore region was on the 1st of Chingam. When the Government of Kerala adopted Kolla Varsham as the regional calendar the 1st of Chingam was accepted as the Malayalam New Year. Medom is the first month according to the astronomical calendar; it is identical with Chaitram of the Saka Varsha. The first of these months are supposed to mark the vernal equinox. Astronomically the calendars need to be corrected to coincide with actual vernal equinox which falls on the 21st of March. (Chaitram 1 usually falls on March 20, and Medom 1 falls on April 14.)

Derived names[edit]

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

The agricultural activities of Kerala are centred around the seasons. The southwest monsoon which starts around June 1 is known as Edavappathi, meaning mid-Edavam. 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Broughton Richmond (1956), Time measurement and calendar construction, p. 218 
  2. ^ R. Leela Devi (1986). History of Kerala. Vidyarthi Mithram Press & Book Depot. p. 408. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malayalam_calendar — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

5 news items

Zee News
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:12:02 -0700

Thiruvananthapuram: With the commencement of "Karkitakam" of Malayalam calendar Thursday, Hindu homes in Kerala have begun to reverberate with the chant of verses from their most popular spiritual classic "Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilupattu" penned by ...
Jagran Josh
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 03:59:18 -0700

Karkkidakam (July - August) is the last month of Malayalam calendar and is considered as month of rain and scarcity (Panjamaasom). It brings good luck and prosperity to the families as well as spiritual strength to go through different difficulties ...


Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:52:30 -0700

The month of Karkidakam or the last month of the Malayalam calendar year is considered to be ideal for all kinds of rejuvenation therapies in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine. The therapy is undertaken for elephants across the state ...

AEG India

AEG India
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:19:32 -0700

This is the last month as per the Malayalam Calendar. On the first day of the month starts with reading of the epic Ramayana which completes on the last day of the month. Last day of this month is on 16th August 2014. This entry was posted in Current ...
Deccan Chronicle
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 18:35:22 -0700

Thiruvathira Njattuvela marks an important period on the Malayalam calendar, evoking memories of the hoary agrarian traditions and myths and legends that sustained the people. Njattuvela means planting njaaru or saplings in the paddy field. But this ...

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