What is Panchaang?
The word panchaang is derived from the Sanskrit panchangam (pancha, five; anga, limb), which refers to the five limbs of the calendar: Vaara, Month and Tithi, Nakshatra, yoga, karana. The panchangam may also includes details about Rahu kalam, Yamagandam, Gulika Kalam, Durmuhurtham, Varjyam etc.
Panchangam means five attributes of Hindu calendar day that is Tithi, Vaar, Nakshatra, Yoga, and Karana. It is the official astrological calendar of practicing Hindus.
People call panchang with different names like Panchang, Panchangam, Panchangamu, Panjangam, Jantri, Panjika, etc..., and there are various calendars / panchang used through out India, depending on region. Most people buy panchang every year for various reasons like festival dates, yearly horoscope, muhurtham for house warming, upanayana, weddings, naming ceremony, etc. Hindu Panchangam is both Solar and Luni-Solar. Mainly Luni-Solar calendar is used. Luni-Solar Panchangam means it is designed to keep phase with the tropical year (Actually Solar Sidereal year) using lunar months. In a Lunar year there are twelve months, However the whole lunar month is added at every few years interval to help the calendar to keep up with the tropical year. Lunar months may end on Amavasya (New Moon) or Purnima (Full Moon). This gives us two types of Luni-Solar calendars -- Amavasyant (ending with amavasya) and Purnimant (ending with Purnima). Names of lunar months are: Chaitra, Vaishakha, Jyestha, Ashadha, Shravana, Bhadrapada, Ashwayuja (Ashwin), Kartik, Margashirsha, Pausha, Maha, Phalguna.
How to interpret Panchaang?
The first two lines are sunrise and sunset times. The sunrise time indicates rising of middle of solar disk which is used in most astrological and muhurtham calculation. Most newspapers give sunrise time which is rise of sun's upper limb which is not used in astrological purpose. (Sunrise:08:01 Sunset:16:23).
The next lines indicate month name and paksha -- Krishna paksha (wanning moon, leading to new moon) or Shukla paksha (waxing moon, leading to full moon) (Pausha Shukla Paksha). There are two paksha in indian month. Krishna paksha and Shukla Paksha. Certain parts of India uses poornimant months - Month ending with purnima or full moon. Their month will start with Krishna paksha and ends with Shukla paksha. Gujarat, Maharastra, Karnataka, Andrapradesh and other states uses Amavasyant months - Their months ends with amavasya or new moon. Their months will start from shukla paksha and ends with krishna paksha having poornima in middle.
The next line indicates tithi (Indian Day). The tithi name is right after T: The time next to the tithi is the time when it is going to end. If the tithi ends after midnight but before next sunrise the endtime will have a value greater than 24 hours. To get actual time please subtract 24 from the time. Please remember that Indian date does not change at midnight 0:00 hours. the day is from one sunrise to another sunrise. (T:Trayodashii 08:18:20). So if thithi ending time says for October 23rd is T:Dwadashi 27:10:11. It means it ends after midnight of that day. So it means dwadashi will end at 3:10:11 AM of the next day (October 24th). In vedic timekeeping, a tithi (also spelled thithi) is a lunar day. There are 30 days in one lunar months. Each day is tithi.
Telugu Tithis and Sanskrit names: Padyami / Prathama, Vidiya / Dvitiya, Tadiya / Tritiya, Chavathi / Chaturthi. Rest of tithis maps exactly to samskritam names.
General purpose good Day (Vaar): Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
General purpose good Tithi: 2 (Dwitiya), 3 (Tritiya), 5 (Panchami), 7 (Saptami), 10 (Dashami), 11 (Ekadashi), 13 (Trayodashi -- shukla paksha only). 1 (Prathama - Krishna Paksha Only). Please avoid Krishna Paksha 13 (Trayodashi), 14 (Chaturdashi), and Amavasya in all good work. Please also avoid Shukla paksha's 1 (Prathama) in all goog work. Please avoid rikta tithis 4-9-14 (From both paksha) in all good work.
Good Tithi for Wedding: All days (Vaara) are good for wedding. Please avoid Rikta 4-9-14, Krishna Trayodashi, Amavasya, Shukla Paksha prathama 1 tithi. Rest of tithis are good for weddings. According to some Rikta tithi 4-9-14 can be taken, but avoid 14 in krishna paksha.
Good Tithi for Grahapravesha: Avoid Sunday, and Tuesday. Avoid Shukla paksha's 1-4-9-14, and Krishna Paksha's 4-9-13-14-Amavasya. Rest tithis are good for Grahapravesha.
Good Tithi for Buying a New Vehicle: 7-11-15. Avoid Amavasya.
The next line is nakshatra. The Nakshatra name is followed by N: The time next to the nakshtra indicates when it is going to end. The same rules for tithi timings applies to nakshatras as well. (Rohinii 09:02:42). Nakshatra is also known as star. so if you are looking for today's star use this one. Please avoid Aswini nakshatra on Tuesday, Rohini nakshatra on Saturday, and Pushyami nakshatra on Thrusday for all graha pravesha, marraige, and travel muhurthas. Although these combination causes Amrit Siddhi yoga but, the same combination is not good for above said purposes.
General purpose good Nakshatras: Ashwini, Rohini, Mrigashirsha, Punarvasu, Pushya, U.Phalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, U.Shadha, Shravan, Dhanishtha, Shatabhisha, U.Bhadrapada, Revati. Please avoid your janma-nakshatra for all good works.
Good Nakshatras for Wedding: Rohini, Mrigashirsha, Magha (Avoid 1st quarter), U.Phalguni, Hasta, Swati, Anuradha, Mula, U.Shadha, U.Bhadrapada, Revati (Avoid last quarter).
Good Nakshatras for Grahapravesha: Rohini, Mrigashirsha, Pushya, U.Phalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, U.Shadha, Shravana, Dhanishta, Shatabhisha, U.Bhadrapada, Revati.
Good Nakshatras for Buying a New Vehicle: Ashwini, Rohini, Punarvasu, Magha, U.Phalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, U.Shadha, Shravana, U.Bhadra, Revati in the Shubha lagna (Ascendant) of Mithuna, Karka, Simha, Kanya, Vrischika, Dhanu, and Mina lagnam (Please refer to our lagna table to find these lagna, and panchanga to find nakshatra timings).
Good Nakshatras for Starting a New Job: Vaar: Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Nakshatra: Rohini, U.Phalguni, U.Shadha, Dhanistha, Shatabhisha, U.Bhadrapada, Revati. In the muhurtha chart in the 1st, 10th or 11th house Sun and Mars. (Please refer to our lagna table to find these lagna, and panchanga to find nakshatra timings).
Tara bala: To find a day is suitable for your muhurtha tarabalam is required. Count from your birth nakshatra to nakshatra of the muhurtha day you are seeking. Please avoid 1-3-5-7-10-12-14-16-19-21-23-25 nakshatra counting from your birth nakshatra. For example: If your birth nakshatra is swati, and today's nakshatra is aswhini, now counting from swati to ashwini it gives us the count of 14th Which is not a good tarabalam. Hence till ashwini nakshatra prevails that time is bad.
The next line is Yoga. The Yoga name is followed by Y: The time next to the Yoga indicates when it is going to end. The same rules for tithi timings applies to Yoga as well. (Ganda 08:31:32).
Good Yoga: Please avoid Vyatipata, Vaidriti, Parigha, Vishkumbha, Vajra, Shoola, Atiganda, Vyagata.
The next two lines are Karana. Karana name is indicated by K: There are two karanas per thithi hence there are two lines for karana, where the time next to the karana indicates when it is going to end. The same rules for tithi timings applies to karana as well. (Balav 08:32:33). Please try to avoid vishti (Bhadra) karana in all auspicious ceremonies. Good Karana: Please avoid Vishti (Bhadra) Karana.
The next line if sun changes the sign or rasi that day it will have a line SN: which means sun and the rasi after that is the rasi sun is changing to the time is the time when sun will enter that rasi or sign on that day. (SN: Makara 4:36). This is also known as samkranti.
Note for Muhurtha: Please avoid day of eclipse and the six hours before and after from the time of samkranti for any good work / muhurtha. However this samkranti time is good for donation, satyanaraya puja but not good for Weddings, Graha Pravesha etc.
The next line is MN: which means moon sign changes, which means moon and the rasi after that is the rasi moon is changing to the time is the time when moon will enter that rasi or sign on that day. if moon occupies that rasi for whole day you'll observe (full) right after the rasi name. (MN: Mithuna 20:38)
A Note on chandra bala in muhurtha: Chandra Balam is important in weddings, and other rituals. Tarabalam is more subtle. Counting from your moon rashi (Hindu rashi) to the day's chandra rashi if the count is 1,3,6,7,10,11 then that day will be good for you.
The RK: means the Rahu kalam (Tamizh: Raghu kalam). The rising period of Rahu is considered inauspicious in the South as he is considered a malefic for auspicious functions. The time frame indicates rahu kalam duration. (RK:09:03-10:06). Please avoid this time for your muhurtha.
The YM: means the Yamagandam kalam. Yamaganda is the son of Guru and he is also considered inauspicious. The time frame indicates yama kalam duration. (YM:11:09-12:12). Please avoid this time for your muhurtha.
The GK: means the Gulika kalam (Gulikai). Gulika is also called Mandi (i. e. the son of Manda alias Shani). His rising period is also not auspicious. The time frame indicates Gulika kalam duration. (GK:09:03-10:06). Please avoid this time for your muhurtha. Rahu kalam, Yama kalam, Gulika (Kulika) needs to be avoided as they are inauspicious times.
The AJ: means Abhijit Muhurtha (AJ: 12:30- 13:18). It is Sri Hari Vishnu's time. When you don't have any muhurtham you can use this time if its not overlapped by rahu kalam or durmuhurtham, or varjyam. On Wednesday abhijit muhurtham is bad as its the same time as durmuhurtham, hence we gave only durmuhurtham time on wednesday not the abhijit muhurtha time. For other days please check rahu kalam as well.
The DM: means Durmuhurtha (DM:: 10:34- 11:22, 15:22- 16:10) means first Durmuhurtham starts at 10:34 AM till 11:22 AM and the next one starts at 15:22 PM to 16:10 PM. These times should be avoided for any good ceremonies.
The V:: means Varjyam or Vishagatika (V:30:00-31:37) means varjyam starts at 6:00 AM of following day and lasts till 7:37 AM of following day. There could be more than one varjyam line. This time is not a good time. Please avoid in all muhurthams. Please donot perform annaprasana samskara in this time as this this visha-gatika time.
The AK:: means Amritkala (AK: 15:13- 16:53) means Amrita kala starts at 3:13 PM till 16:53 period. This is a good time. There could be more than one Amrit kala line. This time is good for annaprasanam samskara as well as other rituals.