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Kollam era

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Title: Kollam era  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: History of Kollam, Indian national calendar, North Malabar, Tamil calendar, Rajashekhara Varman
Collection: Calendar Eras, Culture of Kerala, History of Kollam, Specific Calendars
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Kollam era

Kollam Era (also known as Malayalam Era or Kollavarsham or Malayalam Calendar or Malabar Era) is a solar and sidereal Hindu calendar used in Kerala, India. The origin of the calendar has been dated as 825 CE (Pothu Varsham) at Kollam(Quilon).[1][2][3] It replaced the traditional Hindu calendar used widely else where in India and is now prominently used in Kerala. All temple events, festivals and agricultural events in the state are decided according to the dates in the Malayalam calendar.[4]


  • History 1
  • Months 2
  • Days 3
  • Significant dates 4
  • Derived names 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Regarding the Origin of the Malayalam calendar - the Kolla Varsham is having many theories. Some of the major theories are as follows.

  • According to Herman Gundert Kolla Varsham started as part of erecting a new Shiva Temple in Kollam and because of the strictly local and religious background, the other regions did not follow this system at first. Then once the Kollam port emerged as an important trade center the other countries were also started to follow the new system of calendar. This theory backs the remarks of Ibn Battuta as well.[5][6]


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 Tulu calendar Tamil calendar Saka era Sign of Zodiac
Chingam ചിങ്ങം August–September Sona Aavani SravanaBhadrapada Leo
Kanni കന്നി September–October Nirnaala Purattasi BhadrapadaAsvina Virgo
Thulam തുലാം October–November Bonthyel Aippasi AsvinaKartika Libra
Vrscikam വൃശ്ചികം November–December Jaarde Karthigai KartikaAgrahayana Scorpio
Dhanu ധനു December–January Peraarde Margazhi AgrahayanaPausa Sagittarius
Makaram മകരം January–February Ponny Thai PausaMagha Capricon
Kumbham കുംഭം February–March Maayi Maasi MaghaPhalguna Aquarius
Minam മീനം March–April Suggy Panguni PhalgunaChaitra Pisces
Metam മേടം April–May Paggu Chithirai ChaitraVaisakha Aries
Itavam ഇടവം May–June Besa Vaikasi VaisakhaJyaistha Taurus
Mithunam മിഥുനം June–July Kaarthel Aani JyaisthaAsada Gemini
Karkatakam കര്‍ക്കടകം July–August Aaty Aadi AsadaShravana Cancer


The days of the week in the Malayalam calendar are suffixed with Aazhcha (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

Vishu വിഷുcelebrated on the 1st of Metam, and Onam (ഓണം), celebrated on the star in the month of Chingam, are two of the major festivals, the greatest of them being Onam (ഓണം). Chingan (ചിങ്ങം) 1st is celebrated as the Kerala New Year replacing Vishu വിഷു, which was till then considered the beginning of an 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. Metam 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 Metam 1 falls on April 14.)

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 June 1 is known as Etavappathi, meaning mid-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.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

  • Hindu Panchangam Calendar in Malayalam
  • Malayalam Panchang Calendars with Tithi, Nakshtra etc
  • Open Source software libraries for Malayalam Calendar
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