This 13th century temple town known for its Krishna temple and Ashta Mutts will not celebrate Krishna Janmashtami with the rest of India on August 17. Thanks to a glaring difference in the almanacs followed by the Udupi temple and those elsewhere, Udupi will celebrate the festival on September 17.
Why this confusion? When contacted, almanac (panchanga) scholars in Udupi told Express, “There is no meaning in celebrating Janmashtami when all the star signs do not coincide according to the Krishna Panchanga. According to it, Janmashtami can be celebrated only with the confluence of Simha Maasa, Krishna Paksha, Rohini Nakshatra and Ashtami Thithi as prescribed by the Souramana (Solar Almanac). This is the accurate ‘ghalige’,” said vedic scholar Gopalacharya.
According to the almanac, Janmashtami will be complete only when the right combination of celestial signs coincide on one day.
In other places, from Guruvayoor in the south to Mathura in north, Janmashtami will be observed on the basis of ‘Chandramana Panchanga’ (Lunar Alamanac) where only the Ashtami Thithi will suffice, he added. Hence, the festival will be observed on August 17 in these places. Vedic maths ‘Drugganitha’ calculates the cosmic events in a different dimension. Madhwacharya the 13th century Dwaitha philosopher and founder of the Udupi Ashta Mutts and the Krishna temple had calculated the exact time of birth of Lord Krishna using Drugganitha’s compass.
That was why the Udupi Ashta Mutts and the Krishna temple have their own almanac especially for festivals and events in and around Udupi. This was also the reason why the dates of Krishna Janmashtami differ from other places. Places beyond Udyavara, around 10 km from Udupi, follow a different calendar. Latavya Acharya, a scholar from Shiroor Mutt told Express that this time, the Ashtami Thiti in Simha Maasa (Leo) comes twice. – Simha Sankramana’ (confluence of two Simha lagnas) which creates ghaliges of Rohini Nakshatra. “This means that at Udupi, Janmashtami will be celebrated twice in the month of September and is a rare occurrence.”