Mathomathis would like to present article on Indian Astronomy | Astronomical Dating of Events | 103 by the author Kosla Vepa Published by Indic Studies Foundation, 948 Happy Valley Rd., Pleasanton, Ca 94566, USA. Previous article can be found here (Indian Astronomy | Astronomical Dating of Events | 107 (Adi Sankara)) Their website can be located Indicstudies.us. The studies is also conducted by N.S. Rajaram PhD. Author’s in the volume 1 of their research start their discussion on a topic called Why are History and the Chronology Important by Kosla Vepa PhD.


One of the great blunders of historians is to declare that Vikramaditya, the originator of the Vikram Era never existed and then to identify Chandragupta II of the Gupta dynasty who bore the title of Vikramaditya, as the Vikramaditya and to assign the date of 400 CE for him. Kota Venkatachelam has discussed this in great detail. First of all, the Guptas belonged to the ‘suryavamsa’ and all of them added the title ‘aditya’ to their names. They ruled Magadha from 328 BCE – 83 BCE with their capital at ‘Pataliputra’. They were contemporaneous with the Greek rulers mentioned earlier. The Greek notices mention Pataliputra, and not Girivraja or Rajagrha, which was the capital of the Maurya-s as has been well known from Buddhist and other records. After Candragupta II, only four others of the Gupta dynasty ruled for 150 years and finally, the empire was broken up by the Huns. The Gupta inscriptions are available and their own inscriptions mention ‘Malava Gana saka’, whose date begins with 725 BCE. But, the historians have identified it as the Vikram saka of 57 BCE and have changed the Gupta saka from 327 BCE to 320 CE, confusing it with Vallabhi saka, which started in 319 CE. The real Vikramaditya of the Vikram saka belongs to the Panwar family, ruled practically the whole of India from Ujjain and originated the Vikram saka in 57 BCE He is the celebrated King whose name is referred to in the work of Kalidasa. According to the vamsavali of Nepal, he conquered Nepal and founded the Vikrama era in 3044 kali (57 BCE). Vedavyas quotes the date of the beginning of the Vikram era as Citra Purnima, on February 23, 57 BCE. However, Figure A shows the star map for this date and it is not full moon day. The full moon occurred on 27th February, but at hasta. This is in reality an adhika masa. The citra purnima occurred on 28th March, 57 BCE. Figure B shows the star map for March 14, 57 BCE. It is sukla pratipada, asvini naksatra and would be the beginning for amanta reckoning and February 28, 57 BCE would be the beginning for purnimanta reckoning. The MalavaGana saka of Western India tradition would begin on September 21, 57 BCE on krsna pratipad, asvini naksatra.

A.Star Map for February 23, 57 BCE
A.Star Map for February 23, 57 BCE
B. Star Map on March 14, 57 BCE
B. Star Map on March 14, 57 BCE

Professor Sengupta has conclusively established that the so called Gupta era (which is identical to the Vallabhi era) cannot be identified with Vikrama Saka, based on the analysis of several ‘Gupta Inscriptions’. The former started in 319 CE, where as the starting date for the Vikrama samvat is 57 BCE and has been well chronicled in the dynasty lists from Nepal. One hundred and thirty years after Vikramaditya, another saka was started in 78 CE by Salivahana, who is really a descendant of Vikramaditya. Here is an account of Salivahana: “After the death of Vikramaditya, when a century had passed, the tribes of sakas etc. having known about the decline of Dharma in the country, descended with their hordes. Some have come and invaded through the Himalayan passes, others by fording the Sindhu river, still others by sea. They plundered the Aryaland, looted the treasures and captured women….When things came to this state, was born king Salivahana. He defeated the sakas and Chinese hordes; he fixed the boundaries of the Aryaland..” The Salivahana saka was started in his honor in 78 CE. He cannot be called a saka king, so this era has nothing to do with the saka kala or saka-nrpati kala, which refers to the era of the saka king, Cyrus of 550 BCE. Salivahana saka has been in use continuously for almost two thousand years and also has nothing to do with King Kanishka, who was a turuska king of Kashmir, and ruled after 150 years after Buddha’s nirvana according to Rajatarangini.

As already noted, according to the Saptarsi tradition, the seven sages are thought to move through the twenty-seven naksatras along the Ecliptic at the rate of one naksatra for 100 years and to complete one cycle in 2700 years. This forms a convenient cycle for reference and is often chronicled by dropping the century years and giving only the last two digits. The Kali yuga, Vikrama saka, Salivahana saka and the Saptarsi traditional reckoning have all been used in a very large number of stone and copper plate inscriptions, manuscript colophons and other writings. Kielhorn64 has listed a large number of those that were available to him in 1891 CE , including 10 dates based on the Saptarsi tradition, 288 dates based on the Vikrama saka, and 370 dates based on the Salivahana saka. He gives the following rules for conversion: disregarding the hundreds, one must add to the Saptarsi year of a date 25 to find the corresponding year within one of the centuries of the Kaliyuga, 81 to find the corresponding Vikrama saka, and 46 to find the corresponding year in Salivahana saka. Of the chronological list of 288 inscriptions and literary works using Vikrama saka given by Kielhorn65, the earliest is the Bijayagadh stone pillar inscription of Vishnuvardhana of 428 V.s.and the latest, 1877 V.s. and of the nearly 400 Salivahana saka dates, the earliest is 169 S.s , a copper plate of the Western Ganga king Harivarman, and the latest, 1556 S.s. refers to a copper plate of Tirumala Nayaka of Madurai. Out of the 288 Vikrama listings, ten also quote the corresponding Salivahana saka year and one quotes saptarsi year corresponding to it also. A couple of them include the corresponding Hijira and Valabhi years. Figures C and D show the simulations for the earliest dates 428V.s. and 169 S.s. respectively and Figure E shows the simulation for the date of the Chamba stone inscription, which mentions all the three traditions.

C. Star map on January 22, 372 CE
C. Star map on January 22, 372 CE
D. Star Map for March 13, 248 CE
D. Star Map for March 13, 248 CE
E. Star map for April 7, 1660 CE at sunrise
E. Star map for April 7, 1660 CE at sunrise
F. Solar eclipse on March 22, 1243 CE
F. Solar eclipse on March 22, 1243 CE
G. Lunar Eclipse on October 27, 999 CE
G. Lunar Eclipse on October 27, 999 CE

The inscription of 428 V.s.on the Bijayagadh pillar reads: Krtesu catursu varsa satesvas{avimsesu 400 20 8 phalguna bahulasya pancadassyam etasyam purvayam…… The date of phalguna bahula amavasya corresponds to January 22, 372 CE and Figure C shows the star map at sunrise on this date. The copper plate inscription of 169 S.s. reads:

sakakale navottarasas{ireka sata gatesuprabhava samvatsarabhyantare….. 
phalgunamavasya bhrguvare revati naksatre……

Again the date is phalguna amavasya and corresponds to March 13, 248 CE. Figure D shows the star map at sunrise for this date. It may be noted that this copper plate had been characterized as a ‘spurious inscription’ by Fleet. These two simulations validate the Vikrama and Salivahana traditions. The Chamba Stone inscription66 bears the following date: “srimannrpati Vikramaditya samvatsare 1717 sriSalivahana sake 1582, srisastra samvatsare 36, vaisakhavadi trayodasyam budhavasare mesarkasankrantau….”. The reference to the saptarsi year is described as the reference to sastra year, which is equivalent to a Vikrama Year (36+81r117)r17, omitting the hundreds in counting, and to a Salivahana Year (36+46r82)r82,again omitting the hundreds in the counting. The date corresponds to April 7, 1660 CE and figure E shows the star map at sunrise for this date. This agrees with Kielhorn’s date of March 28, 1660 as per the Julian Calendar. A check with the software Panchanga shows that this date corresponds to Wednesday, and that the mesasankranti occurred that day.

This simulation validates all the Kielhorn also lists five inscriptions, which give dates of solar eclipses and five inscriptions, which give dates of lunar eclipses, all in Vikrama saka. According to Kielhorn, all the lunar eclipse dates can be verified, but only two of the solar eclipse dates. Our simulations confirm the dates regarding the lunar eclipses. For solar eclipse dates, the simulations confirm the occurrence on four occasions, and the fifth date may in fact be a misreading. Figures F and G show examples of the occurrence of the solar and lunar eclipses respectively. These simulations attest to the veracity of all the three eras saptarsi,Vikrama and Salivahana traditionally used in Bharata chronology.