The credit for the pompous Vikram Samvat (57 BC) celebrations in Gujarat goes to the 12th century AD Chalukya king Siddhraj Jaysinh of Patan. While most of India celebrates the new year from Vaishakh (Baishakh) month as per the Hindu calendar, Gujarat celebrates it from Kartak.

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The story goes that Chalukya king Siddhraj and his guru-cum-prime minister Jain sage Hemchandracharya were fascinated by the glory of Ujjain, which was then a major centre for learning. They revered erstwhile legendary king Vikramaditya from Ujjain for his military achievements and patronage of science, technology, and art.

Compared to the Chaitra-Falgun cycle followed in other parts of the country that follow the Vikram Samvat Calendar System, Gujarat for many centuries.
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When Siddhraj defeated Yashovarman, the Parmar king of Avanti (Malwa) in 1137 AD, he brought along with him books of knowledge from Ujjain, which formed the basis of growth of engineering, irrigation, construction, arts, and literature. In fact, the ”Siddhahem Sabhdanushan’ (short form of Siddhraj and Hemchandracharya) which forms the basis of Gujarati grammar is based on texts brought from Ujjain.

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An ardent appreciator of Vikramaditya, Siddhraj made Vikram Samvat a vogue in Gujarat and since then it has not seen a downtrend, although the Shak Samvat replaced Vikram Samvat in most states of India.

However, king Vikramaditya does not find any mention in the history textbooks of the country. Ancient history talks about the Indus Valley Civilisation, followed by the republics of Northern India, Buddhism and Jainism, and the Maurya dynasty, which is before Jesus Christ. Post Jesus, history starts with Gupta dynasty. There is no history available or accessible for the period of Jesus.

However, in his book ‘Satyarth Prakash’, Swami Dayanand Saraswati had mentioned the 4,157 year chronology on kings of ‘Indraprastha’ (Delhi) from Pandav king Udhishtir up to Islamic rule, which mentions that Vikramaditya of Avantika (Ujjain) defeated king Mahanpal of Indraprastha and ruled for 39 years.

Sources : Wikipedia, Zee

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