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Panchanga Calculations

By Kshitij Sharma, October 6, 2006

This post is nothing but reiteration of what I have already mentioned in the panchanga.html page. It is just for the sake of completeness.

Panchanga or Panchang is Hindu Almanac. The literal translation of Panchanga is “Five Limbs”. The five energies it represents are considered for selecting an appropriate and auspicious time for ceremonies or certain actions. Panchanga is consulted in matters of timing, i.e. calculating muhurta concerning marriage, education, travel and agriculture to name a few. It is very interesting to note the importance given to Sun and Moon in ascertaining a good time. While fixing a muhurta, we cannot possibly choose a time that is perfect in all respects, we therefore should try to choose a time that would do more good than bad.

The five limbs and a brief description is as follows:

  1. Tithi (along with Paksha): A tithi means a lunar day. A lunar day is about 0.95 of a normal day. When the Sun and Moon are closer to each other, it is Amavasya and when they are 180 degrees apart, it becomes Poornima. To calculate a tithi, we need to find out the difference between the longitudes of Moon and Sun and divide the difference by 15. This will tell us what the tithi is. When the Moon is moving towards the Sun, it is called Krishna Paksha, otherwise its Shukla Paksha.
  2. Vaar (Day of the weeks): The days of the week along with the ruler planet in the brackets are – Sunday (Sun), Monday (Moon), Tuesday (Mars), Wednesday (Mercury), Thursday (Jupiter), Friday (Venus) and Saturday (Saturn).
  3. Nakshatra (Constellation): Apart from the 12 signs, there are 27 constellations that are like “mansions” or “houses”. The planets visit these houses while on their journeys through the skies. Nakshatra is a generic term and all planets are in one Nakshatra or the other at any given time. However, when someone says Janma Nakshatra or daily Nakshatra, he/she specifically means Moon Nakshatra. In a panchanga, to calculate a nakshatra, we need to take the longitude of the moon and divide it by 360/27, i.e 13 1/3.
  4. Yoga: Yoga means combination. In this context of Panchanga, it means it means a particular combination of Moon and Sun. This combination is said to affect a person’s health.
  5. Karana: Karana means half a lunar day. There are 11 Karanas.

The reason I have not mentioned the steps for calculations for Yoga and Karana not because they are complicated but because they do not (or I am not able to guess!) any beauty behind the calculations.

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  • Comment by A.Suresh on October 27, 2006 at 1:56 am

    please give result of chart matching under mentioned

    Male chart
    lagnam at aquarius
    at 2nd house Ketu, at 5th house moon,at 6 th house jupiter& Mecury,at 7 th house sun& saturn,at 8 th house

    Female chart
    lagnam & moon at vigro
    at 2nd house sun,mecury&saturn, at 3rd house venus&kethu,at 4 th house mars& jupiter,at 9 th house rahu

  • Comment by jayasree on November 17, 2006 at 10:27 am

    could u please explain the different karanas and nithya yogas??? what does it signify???how is it connected to a person’s life??
    please explain in ur astrology notes. it would be very helpful.

  • Comment by Sunil Gokhale on January 30, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    I am looking for a formula/algorithm to calculate the daily panchang. I will be grateful if you can guide me.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Sunil Gokhale

  • Comment by vijender on February 2, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Can u tel me how to calculate the longitudes of moon sun and other planets?

  • Comment by Nick on February 12, 2007 at 4:55 am

    I am trying to figure out which time zone to use in calculating my birth chart. I was born in San Antonio, Texas in August during daylight savings time. The GMT time is 6:00 for that region of the country, but it says that during daylight savings time that the time is 5:00. Do I input 6:00 and click “Yes” for daylight savings time, or do I put 5:00 and click “Yes” for daylight savings time? This has been confusing me for some time now. Thanks for your help.

  • Comment by Thanga on June 23, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    What is the planetary positions of a child born on June 23, 2007 at Chennai at 7.00 am IST according to –

    (1) Vaakya?

    (2) Thirukkanitha?

  • Comment by iswara on August 3, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    my daughter 30.07.1978 – 9.20 am at pune born. well qualified and lving abroad. repeatedly not getting due promotions and facing obstacles. analyse and reply

  • Comment by sriram on December 9, 2007 at 9:41 am

    To get a tithi (diff of moon and sun long) modulo 12 should be performed

  • Comment by al on July 20, 2008 at 9:39 am

    is there a java application for panchang (mainly for use on mobile phone)?

  • Comment by Priya Thiagarajan on May 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm


    I also have a requirement for a formula/algorithm to calculate the daily panchang for a project to create a website for a temple that allows devotees to offer pooja. Any help will be much appreciated.

    Thanks and Regards,


  • Comment by A.V.Manjuantha on December 11, 2009 at 12:58 am

    i am born hosakote,but 1978 Bimana Amavasy what date Plese confarm Give me Morning 4.00am.

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