Ugadi Telugu: ఉగాది,(Kannada: ಯುಗಾದಿ from yuga+aadi, yuga is era, aadi means start, the start of an era) is the new year's day for the people of the Deccan region of India. While the people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka use the term Ugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa. Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand.Its the onset of the spring,of new life & new begining.Hindus celebrate ugadi with great joy by wishing each other & preforming pooja & customory rituals.

Ugadi is celebrated on a different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March/April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year.

It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on this day - Chaitra suddha padhyami or the Ugadi day. Also the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya's calculations proclaimed the Ugadi day from the sunrise on as the beginning of the new year, new month and new day. The onset of spring also marks a beginning of new life with plants (barren until now) acquiring new life, shoots and leaves. Spring is considered the first season of the year hence also heralding a new year and a new beginning. The vibrancy of life and verdent fields, meadows full of colorful blossoms signifies growth, prosperity and well-being. 

With the coming of Ugadi, the naturally perfumed jasmines (mallepulu) spread a sweet fragrance which is perhaps unmatched by any other in nature's own creation! While large garlands of jasmine are offered to Gods in homes and temples, jasmine flowers woven in clusters adorn the braids of women. Ugadi is thus a festival of many shades. It ushers in the new year, brings a rich bounce of flora and fills the hearts of people with joy and contentment!

Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon's orbit. It is a day when mantras are chanted and predictions made for the new year. Traditionally, the panchangasravanam or listening to the yearly calendar was done at the temples or at the Town square but with the onset of modern technology, one can get to hear the priest-scholar on television sets right in one's living room.
It is a season for raw mangoes spreading its aroma in the air and the fully blossomed neem tree that makes the air healthy. Also, jaggery made with fresh crop of sugarcane adds a renewed flavor to the typical dishes associated with Ugadi. Ugadi pachchadi is one such dish that has become synonymous with Ugadi. It is made of new jaggery, raw mango pieces and neem flowers and new tamarind which truly reflect life - a combination of sweet, sour and bitter tastes! 

'Ugadi Pacchadi' preparation comprising of six tastes (shadruchi sammelan), each standing for a special character a man experiences in life. The ingredients of this preparation, though of different tastes or characters when mixed in definite proportions result in a delicious dish. The underlying idea conveys that the six faces of life mentioned underneath, should be handled by man and balanced in such a way as to make his life a beautiful one on earth.

 Ingrediant Taste Message
1 Jaggery Sweet Adds happiness to life 
2 Salt Salty Adds taste to life
3 Neem flowers Bitter Unhappy moments in life
4 Tamarind Sour Disgraceful sad moments in life
5 Raw Mango Pieces Sour Disgraceful sad moments in life
6 Chilli powder Hot Angry moments in life



2 tea spoon broken new jaggery / brown sugar. 
1 1/2 tea spoon new tamarind . 
1 1/2 tea spoon mango pieces chopped small. 
1 tea spoon neem flowers. 
1 cup water.


Soak Tamarind for about 15-20 minutes in a cup of water. Extract tamarind juice by squeezing the pulp and straining the juice from it. Dissolve the broken new jaggery into it. Then add the tiny mango pieces and the neem flowers. This is usually offered to the Gods during pooja and later everyone part takes this as prasadam and the first item to be eaten on Ugadi day.

Preparations for the festival begin a week ahead. Houses are given a thorough wash. Shopping for new clothes and buying other items that go with the requirements of the festival are done with a lot of excitement.

On Ugadi day, people wake up before the break of dawn and take a head bath after which they decorate the entrance of their houses with fresh mango leaves. The significance of tying mango leaves relates to a legend. It is said that Kartik (or Subramanya or Kumara Swamy) and Ganesha, the two sons of Lord Siva and Parvathi were very fond of mangoes. As the legend goes Kartik exhorted people to tie green mango leaves to the doorway signifying a good crop and general well-being.

It is noteworthy that we use mango leaves and coconuts (as in a Kalasam, to initiate any pooja) only on auspicious occasions to propitiate gods. People also splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw colorful floral designs. This is a common sight in every household. People perform the ritualistic worship to God invoking his blessings before they start off with the new year. They pray for their health, wealth and prosperity and success in business too. Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures.

The celebration of Ugadi is marked by religious zeal and social merriment. Special dishes are prepared for the occasion. In Andhra Pradesh, eatables such as "pulihora, bobbatlu" and preparations made with raw mango go well with the occasion. In Karnataka too, similar preparations are made but called "puliogure" and "holige". The Maharashtrians make "puran poli" or sweet rotis.

Some find a different way of celebrating the festival. Kavi Sammelanam (poetry recitation) is a typical Telugu Ugadi feature. Ugadi is also a time when people look forward to a literary feast in the form of Kavi Sammelanam. Many poets come up with new poems written on subjects ranging - from Ugadi - to politics to modern trends and lifestyles. Ugadi Kavi Sammelanam is also a launch pad for new and budding poets. It is generally carried live on All India Radio's Hyderabad "A" station and the Doordarshan,(TV) Hyderabad following "panchanga sravanam" (New year calendar) narrating the way the new year would shape up in the lives of people and the State in general. Kavis (poets) of many hues - political, comic, satirical reformist, literary and melancholic - make an appearance on the Ugadi stage.
The word Ugadi derives from the word Yugadi. 'Yuga' is the word for 'epoch' or 'era', and 'aadi' stands for 'the beginning'. Yugadi specifically refers to the start of the age we are living in now, Kali Yuga. Kali Yuga started the moment when Lord Krishna passed away. Maharshi Vedavyasa describes this event with the words 'Yesmin Krishno divamvyataha, Tasmat eeva pratipannam Kaliyugam'. Some Indian historians date the beginning of Kali Yuga to 3102 BC.

The festival marks the new year day for people between Vishyas and Kaveri river who follow the southern Indian lunar calendar, pervasively adhered to in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. This calendar reckons dates based on the Salivahana era (Salivahana Saka), which begins its count from the supposed date of the founding of the Empire by the legendary hero Shalivahana. The Satavahana king Shalivahana (also identified as Gautamiputra Satakarni) is credited with the initiation of this era known as Shalivahana. The Salivahana era begins its count of years from the year corresponding to 78 AD of the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the year 2000 AD corresponds to the year 1922 of the Salivahana Era.

In the terminology used by this lunar calendar (also each year is identified as per Hindu Calendar), Yugadi falls on Chaitra Shudhdha Paadyami or the first day of the bright half of the Hindu month of Chaitra. This generally falls in the months of March or April of the Gregorian calendar. In 2008, Yugadi falls on April 6th/7th depending on the region based on the thithi(because of adhika month).

Telugu calendars have a sixty year cycle and starts the new year on ugadi i.e., on Chaitra Sudhdha Paadyami. After the completion of sixty years, the calendar starts anew with the first year.

Ugadi (start of new year) is based on Bhāskara II lunar calculations in 12th century. It starts on the first new moon after Sun crosses equator from south to north on Spring Equinox. For example, the time for the new moon for Bijapur where Bhaskaracharya was born can be determined from the website However, people celebrate Ugadi on the next morning as Hindu day starts from sun rise.

The Telugu and Kannada people celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are de rigueur. The day, however, begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by prayers, and then the eating of a specific mixture of -
Neem Buds/Flowers for bitterness
Raw Mango for tang
Tamarind Juice for sourness
Green Chilli/Pepper for heat
Jaggery for sweetness
Pinch of Salt for saltiness

This mixture with all six tastes (షడ్రుచులు), called "Ugadi Pachhadi" (ఉగాది పచ్చడి) in Telugu and "Bevu-Bella"( ಬೇವು-ಬೆಲ್ಲ ) in Kannada[1], symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise) , which should be accepted together and with equanimity.

Later, people traditionally gather to listen to the recitation of the religious almanac (Panchangam) of the coming year, and to the general forecast of the year to come. This is the Panchanga Sravanam, an informal social function where an elderly and respected person refers to the new almanac pertaining to the coming year and makes a general benediction to all present. The advent of television has changed this routine, especially in the cities. Nowadays, people turn on the TV to watch broadcasts of the recitation.

Ugadi celebrations are marked by literary discussions, poetry recitations and recognition of authors of literary works through awards and cultural programs. Recitals of classical Karnatik music and dance are held in the evenings.

The festival is called "Gudi Padwa" in Maharashtra; it heralds the advent of new year and is one of the most auspicious days for Maharashtrians.

It is customary to erect ‘Gudis’ on the first day (Padwa) of the Marathi New Year. 'Gudi' is a bamboo staff with a colored silk cloth and a garlanded goblet atop it, which symbolizes victory or achievement. Hence, this day is known as “Gudipadwa” in Maharashtra. The New Year is ushered in with the worship of the "Gudi" and the distribution of a specific "Prasad" comprising tender neem leaves, gram-pulse and jaggery. The symbolism of tastes is the same as what is described above.

Also in many Maharashtrian homes they celebrate the occasion by making Shrikhand Puri.

With Ugadi soon approaching, we are to enter the Vrisha nama Samvatsara, which happens to be the 15th year in the cycle of 60 years. Sounding alien? Well, the saga goes like this –

As is well known, all the Hindu Festivals in Hyderabad are celebrated as per the Telugu Almanac, which follows the lunar cycles that are very much different from the regular solar time cycles that we are aware of. So, let us attempt to comprehend the saga of lunar time cycles…

As per the lunar calendar the time is computed in terms of - 
Vighadiya = 6 times the time taken to flap the eyelid
Ghadiya = 60 vighadiyas
Jamu = 7 ½ Ghadiyas
Tithi=8 Jamus (equivalent to day)

And the whole time is categorised into four Yugas namely -
Satya Yuga or Krita Yuga with 17,28,000 years
Thretha Yuga with 12,96,000 years
Dwapara Yuga with 8,64,000 years
Kali Yuga with 4,32,000 years 

This in fact is no new to us. They are nothing but the Golden Age, Silver Age, Copper Age and Iron Age - the four eras of major reference in those good old History lessons at School!

This in fact is no new to us. They are
nothing but the Golden Age, Silver Age, Copper Age and Iron Age - the four eras of major

reference in those good old History lessons at School!

And as for the years there are 60 years named as

  1. Prabhava (1987)

  2. Vibhava (1988)

  3. Shukla (1989)

  4. Pramodoota (1990)

  5. Prajotpatti (1991)

  6. Angeerasa (1992)

  7. Sreemukha (1993)

  8. Bhava (1994)

  9. Yuva (1995)

  10. Dhata (1996)

  11. Eeswara (1997)

  12. Bahudhanya (1998)

  13. Pramadi (1999)

  14. Vikrama (2000)

  15. Vrusha (Vishu) (2001)

  16. Chitrabhanu (2002)

  17. Svabhanu (2003)

  18. Tarana (2004)

  19. Pardhiva (2005)

  20. Vyaya (2006)

  1. Sarvajittu (2007)

  2. Sarvadhari (2008)

  3. Virodhi (2009)

  4. Vikruti (2010)

  5. Khara (2011)

  6. Nandana (2012)

  7. Vijaya (2013)

  8. Jaya (2014)

  9. Manmadha (2015)

  10. Durmukhi (2016)

  11. Hevilambi (2017)

  12. Vilambi (2018)

  13. Vikari (2019)

  14. Sharvari (2020)

  15. Plava (2021)

  16. Shubhakrutu (2022)

  17. Shobhakrutu (2023)

  18. Krodhi (2024)

  19. Vishvaavasu (2025)

  20. Parabhava (2026)

  1. Plavanga (2027)

  2. Keelaka (2028)

  3. Soumya (2029)

  4. Sadharana (2030)

  5. Virodhikrutu (2031)

  6. Pareedhavi (2032)

  7. Pramadeecha (2033)

  8. Ananda (2034)

  9. Rakshasa (2035)

  10. Nala (naLa) (2036)

  11. Pingala (2037)

  12. KaLayukti (2038)

  13. Siddhartha (2039)

  14. Raudri (2040)

  15. Durmati (2041)

  16. Dundubhi (2042)

  17. Rudhirodgari (2043)

  18. Raktakshi (2044)

  19. Krodhana (2045)

  20. Kshaya (2046)

And the cycle starts all over again. So
also would the Eras. But it is so believed that the cycle ends with a catastrophe and then
begins the Satya Yuga all afresh!