Kaliyuga Calculation: Kalhana’s Blunder!


Research Article written by london swaminathan

Post No: 1574: Dated 14th January 2015


Most of the Hindu Puranas and Panchangs state that the Kaliyuga began in 3101 BCE. But Kalhana who wrote Rajatarangini says that it began in 2448 BCE.


He says in the frist Canto of Rajatarangini,


“In Kali Era Gonanda and other kings ruled in Kashmir for 2268 years. Some have been deluded by the tradition that the Mahabharata had taken place at the end of Dwapara and had erroneously made the calculation of time”.


“When the number of years of the kings is calculated, the period of whose sovereignty is known, after deducting them, there is no remainder left of the period hitherto passed of Kali itself as follows:


“When 653 Kali  of Kali had elapsed there lived on the surface of the earth the Kauravas and Pandavas”

“Of the Laukika era in the 24th year at present 1070 years of Saka era have gone by” — Rajatarangini , Canto 1, Slokas 48-52


Then Kalhana explains the basis for his calculations. He quotes Brhat Samhita and says the Great Bear (Saptarsi Mandala) stood at Magha Nakshatra when Yudhistra ruled; i.e 2526 years  prior to Saka era  was the epoch of his reign.


He adds that Kasmiri king Gonanda and Jarasandha of Mahabharata were contemporaries


Kalhana’s calculation is as follows:


Number of years of Kaliyuga — 4224

Regnal Period from Gonanda I to Yudhistra I –2268


Regnal Period of Kings mentioned in Cantos 2 to 8 – 1328

Kali years up to Pandavas or Kashmir King Gonanda — 653 years

According to Kalhana’s calculation Mahabharata war took place in  2448 BCE i.e a difference of 653 years. Traditional date is around 3101 BCE.


In some places Kalhana asdds 100 years of Kali Sandhya (interval between two Yugas) and shows a difference of 753 years.


D R Mankad in his Puranic Chronology says that there were two schools of thought regarding the Date of Mahabharata war or Kaliyuga.


Mankad points out that many Purana writers or historians did not calculate the Kingless (Arajaka) periods. He says that there were three Kingless periods in Indian history:


Between Mahananda and Mahapadma Nandas – 350 years

Between Mauryas and Sungas — 300 years

Between Sungas and Kanwas –  120 years


A total of 770 years


So the total between Parikshit and Mahapadma Nanda differes from 1150 years to 1500 years i.e. kingless period between Sisunagas and Nandas


When scholars calculated average years of rule for each king, the figure was big because they did not realise there was a kingless period.


Even in Tamil History there is a dark period known as Kalabhra Period. Immdeitely after the Sangam age, Kalabhras from Karnataka came and there was no record of who ruled when. Only from legends like Periyapurana we come to know that Murthy Nayanar was chosen as a King by an Elephant after a chaotic period. The elephant is sent with a garland and whoever it garlands  will be chosen as the king. Karikal Chola, Murthy Nayanar and a few others were chosen as kings by elephant garlanding like Swayamvaram, where a princess garlands a king who she likes.


The blunders in Indian history happened because, historians or Puranic writers forgot to mention or calculate the King-less periods (Arajaka)


Ramayana, Mahabharata and Arthasastra speak of King-less periods.That means it existed in those days.


The second blunder was due to take ceratin names as one person. Vaisstha, Visvamitra, Bharadwaja are mentioned in a course of 500 to 700 years. They ontinued as Kula Gurus for several generations. It was only a clan name, surname.


There were three Krishnas, Three Ramas, Two Ravanas , Four Dasarathas and three Arjunas mentioned in the Puranas. In course of time, people forgot the history and merged all in to one resulting in great confusion.In Tamil we have several kings with the names Adityas, Maravarman, Jatavarman, Kuttuvan etc. They are all sur names or titles. In Tamil there were at least 3 to 6 Avvaiyars, who was a great poetess. Like foreigners confused every one wih the name Indra which is a title like Prime Minister, Chief Minister etc.


Indian history must be re written taking all these points into consideration.

contact swami_48@yahoo.com

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