Sankranti Calendar System | 4 Types of Sankranti in Hindu Calendar

Sankranti Calendar is the collection of all 12 Sankranti dates in one place which is found out as per the Hindu Solar Calendar. When Sun enters from one to another Rashi or Zodiac, the event is called ‘Sankranti’ that is literally the ‘transmigration’ or ‘migration’ or ‘transmission’ or simply ‘change’.

The certain time duration, that is before and after the moment of Sankranti, is believed to be auspicious for donating the clothes, food, cow, and other stuff to the needy one. People follow this all as part of their rituals, tradition, and culture. Some celebrate it as a festival, and some see this as an opportunity to perform righteous acts.

Sankranthi Calendar System: 4 Types of Sankranti in Hindu Calendar Panchang as per planetary shift (Clashes of Sankranti Calendar and Seasons)
Sankranti Calendar as per planetary shift or sun transition (Based on Hindu Calendar)


For many of us who have lived far from our grandparents in a nuclear family, or have not got the traditional background, or have always lived out of their country, it becomes tough for them to understand even the basic terms like Panchang, Muhurat, or Rashi.

Here we will get aware of the much-used basic terms of astrology, which are necessary to understand the system of finding the Sankranthi time and getting the complete Sankranti calendar.

Sankranti Calendar: Sankranti in Hindu Calendar

For introducing the dates and times of Sankranti and the auspicious Muhurat for charitable activities, people use two terminologies- "Sankranthi Calendar" and "Sankranti in Hindu Calendar".

What is the difference between these two terminologies? Technically, nothing!

Sankranti calendar, as mentioned above, includes all the Sankranti(s) in one place.

Sankranti in the Hindu calendar specifies or highlights the Sankranti moment along with all the other special days.

Sankranti is observed as per the Hindu calendar system. When one says Hindu calendar, a few of the following names come to mind- Panchang, Hindu Lunar Calendar, and Hindu Solar Calendar. Let's know them.

Here, Panchang is the Hindi word for Hindu Lunar Calendar which relies on the phases on the moon.

On the other hand, the Hindu Solar Calendar depends on the movement of the Sun.

As we know there are 12 Sankranti in total which fall in a year as per the Hindu calendar, yet they can be classified into four categories which are named as- Ayan, Vishnupadi, Vishuva, and Shashitimukhi Sankranthi(s).

Technical Terms of Astrology: Let’s Simplify It!

Before we proceed to understand the categorization of all Sankranti(s), let’s take some information about the related terminologies to understand further information with ease.

Hindu Astrologers: Breaking the Complicated Terms!

Hindu Astrologers follow the Hindu calendar. It is based on Sidereal Astrology (Nirnaya or Niranaya Astrology) in which the precession (Ayanamsha or Ayan-Ansh) of the earth is considered.

Here, sidereal time means the time that relies on the movement of planet Earth in the context of the stars.

And precession means the traveling line which is in the same formal direction.

Western Astrologers: What They Follow?

Western Astrologers follow Sayana or Tropical Astrology, in which the counterpart of Sidereal Astrology is considered.

Let’s understand the significance of dividing the 12 Sankranti(s) into four types.

Ayan Sankranti or Ayani Sankranthi

As per the Hindu calendar, there are two Sankranti(s) which fall into the category of Ayan Sankranti, which are- Makar Sankranti and Karka Sankranti.

Makar Sankranti is also known as Uttarayana Sankranti and is conceptually considered to be equivalent to the Winter Solstice.

Here, Uttarayana is the duration of those six months when the Sun travels into the Northern hemisphere.

Surya Deva (Devta) or Lord Surya begins the movement into the Northern hemisphere before 24 days of Makar Sankranti. It simply means that the Sun starts to move on the 21st or 22nd of December and enters on the 14th or 15th of January. And thus the Makar Sankranti occurs on January 14 or 15 of the year.

Karka Sankranti is also known as Dakshinayana Sankranti and is conceptually considered to be equivalent to the Summer Solstice.

Here, Dakshinayana is the duration of those six months when the Sun travels into the Southern hemisphere.

Sun God begins commences moving into the Southern hemisphere before 24 days of Karka Sankranti. It means that the Sun begins to move on 21st or 22nd June and enters on the 15th or 16th of July. Thus the Karka Sankranti occurs on July 15 or 16, drifting itself apart from the Summer Solstice with the difference of 24 days.

The Contradiction between Hindu Calendar and Seasons

In the case of Makar Sankranti, the Sun corresponds with the background stars as per the original concept for spotting the day of Makar Sankranti. But in the case of Karka Sankranti or Winter Solstice, the Sun God does not correspond with the same background stars, which ideally should have been for marking the day.

Thus we find the contradiction between the Hindu calendar system and the seasons in reality. For marking the Sankranti days, the seasons are being drifted apart, maintaining the same state of the Sun in corresponds to the stars in the background.

Do Vedic Astrologers Know This?

Technically, the definitions of Ayan Sankranti(s) are incorrect in the present scenario, and the Vedic Astrologers, Hindu Astrologers, and Panchang Karta have the knowledge, information, and awareness about it. However, they do not think of correcting this all because of considering the precession.

Let’s Go to the Basics of the Hindu Calendar

Precession is the basic foundation of Panchang or Hindu calendar, which means-

  • Precession has to mark the right place of stars.
  • The positioning of stars has to be correct.
  • No minute correction can be performed as it will invalidate the entire concept and indeed the foundation of the Sidereal Astrology.

What Will Happen in the Future?

Although these Ayani Sankranti(s) are traveling distantly from seasonal solstices because of the precession of our planet Earth, yet they will again coincide with the seasonal solstices after thousands of years.

Are We Following the Wrong System?

No, as per the above-explained fact, Hindus observe the Makar Sankranti at the right time and date. With the passing of time, most of the Indians or Hindus have started considering the Uttarayana as a misnomer. They accept and realize this by avoiding Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice for performing any kind of religious deeds.

What is the Right Muhurat of Sankranti?

Interestingly, the religious Hindu texts guide rightly about the auspicious time periods and Ayan Sankranti. For performing the righteous activities like Daan Punya or charity related deeds, the auspicious time is considered to be-

  • 40 Ghati(s) after Makar Sankranti
  • 30 Ghatis(s) before Karka Sankranti.

Vishuva or Sampat Sankranti

There are two Sankranti that come under the category of Vishuv Sankranti-

  • Mesha Sankranti is also known as Vasant Sampat, which is equivalent to Vernal Equinox as per the concept.
  • Tula Sankranti is also known as Sharad Sampat, which conceptually is equivalent to Autumnal Equinox.

These two Vishuva Sankranti(s) are traveling distantly from the seasonal Equinoxes because of the precession of our planet Earth. The seasonal Equinoxes and the Vishuva Sankranti(s) will again coincide together after thousands of years.

Right time of Performing Righteous Acts

The time duration of fifteen Ghati(s) before and after the Mesha and Tula Sankranti is believed to be very auspicious for donation-related acts.

Vishupadi Sankranti

There are four Sankranti(s) that fall under the category of Vishupadi Sankranti; they are- Kumbha Sankranti, Vrishabha Sankranti, Simha Sankranti, and Vrishchika Sankranti.

Auspicious Time Durations

The time period of 16 Ghati(s) before the Vishupadi Sankranti is believed to be the best for performing Sankranti-related charitable rituals.

Shadshitimukhi Sankranti

The rest of the four Sankranti(s)- Meena Sankranti, Mithuna Sankranti, Kanya Sankranti, and Dhanu Sankranti falls in the category of Shadshitimukhi Sankranti.

Best Time for Sankranti Related Daan Punya

The duration of 16 Ghati(s) after the Shadshitimukhi Sankranti is considered the right time for auspicious activities.

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