Brig J S Ahuja(Retd.)-9885723618

 Brief History

The task of having Nanak Shahi Calendar was mooted by SGPC sometime in the year around   2000.A Committee of 11 members consisting of Sikh Historians, Learned Persons and Calendar Experts was constituted by Singh Sahib Giani Joginder Singh ji, Jathedar Akal Takhat Sahib on 08 January 2003   to take a final decision. This committee had number of sittings and it was finally approved on 28 March 2003 to develop a Calendar with the following features-

  1.    Sikhs will have its own Calendar based on Gurbani coupled with scientific knowledge
  2.   The name to this new calendar will be given as Nanakshahi Calendar distinct from the word Jantri,
  3. The duration {365.25 days} of the year in   Nanakshahi Calendar will be based on Tropical Year i.e. Sun and Weather
  4. Nanakshahi Calendar will commence from the year of birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji i.e. Chet of 1526 Bikrami
  5. The first month of this Calendar will be Chet as described in the Gurbani under Bara Mah and the last month will be Phagan
  6. The first 5 months of this Calendar will have 31 days and the last 7 months 30 days.
  7. In the leap year Phagan, the last month of the year, will have 31days.
  8. The dates in this Calendar will change at night 12O’clock every day.
  9. The time fixed for Sun Rise will be based on the Longitude and Latitude of Sri Amritsar10.  The dates of all Gurpurabs and The 300 year of birth of Khalsa i.e. year 531 of Nanakshahi Calendar with respect to year 1999 AD will be changed as per this Calendar. These dates will be changed not with respect to the English Calendar but will be done keeping the sanctity of the days in mind
  10. The Gurpurab to mark the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji will be celebrated on 15 Katak Puranmashi as is prevalent instead of 01 Vaisakh, till further decision is taken12.  In the same way other community based and historical important festivals like Divali and Hola Mahalla will continue to be celebrated as per practices in vogue.

    13.  In the Nanakshahi Calendar, apart from the dates of Sangrand, the dates of Masaya and Puranmashi will also be shown.

This job was entrusted to S. Pal Singh, resident of Canada,who has been considered as an authority on this subject. He had done lot of work on different Calendars in other parts of the world .The following organizations of repute were also associated in developing this Calendar –
·         Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar

  • Punjab University Chandigarh
  • Institute of Sikh Studies Chandigarh
  • Guru Gobind Singh College Chandigarh
  • World Sikh Meet 1995 Amritsar
  • Academy of Sikh Religion and Culture Patiala

This calendar was officially accepted and became part of Jantri’sand wall calendars published by SGPC. It was also being quoted in the publications from the Vaisakhi of the year 2003 onwards. However the calendar was initially planned up to Samvat 551 corresponding to year 2020, may be to give enough time to test the usage of this calendar, developed on scientific lines. All the Gurpurabs and Sangrand days were finalized and published in the Jantri’s accordingly
 Present Status
Than in the year 2009 or may be earlier, voices were being   raised against this   Calendar to go back to the old Bikrami Calendar based on Lunar System. This forced SGPC to reconsider and reverse its decision for the best reasons known to them. Finally the SGPC modified its decision by changing the dates in the Nanak Shahi Calendar Samvat 542 to Lunar System corresponding to the Vaisakh of the year 2010 .Though we had tried our best through various institutions, organizations and people who matter to persuade the President SGPC, not to take this step backward but failed for the reasons best known to them.

Rather it should have been a matter of pride and praise for the steps taken by Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Sri Amritsar that Sikhs across the world are having their own universal tropical calendar based on Sun and Weather.