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The Start Of Kaliyuga In 3101 BCE

The epic Mahabharata war signified that Dwapara yuga was ending. On the 10th day of the Mahabharata war, Bheeshma lay on a bed of arrows. After the war, Bheeshma had a detailed discourse on the Vedic scriptures with Yudhishthira. After spending 58 nights on the bed of arrows, he willingly gave up his life at the opportune time of Uttarayana (the sun’s northward movement). Yudhishthira respectfully completed his last rites.[1]

Yudhishthira then ruled the kingdom of Hastinapura for over 36 years, including 15 years under Dhritarashtra’s guidance.[2]

The subsequent ascension of God Krishna and the flooding of the city of Dwaraka was the beginning of the dreaded age of Kaliyuga.[3] Yudhishthira then handed over the kingdom to Parikshit and retired to the forest with his wife and brothers.

1.  Kaliyuga year as per scriptures

Vikramaditya came when 3,020 years had passed in Kaliyuga. With the grace of Goddess Durga, he attained siddhi-s and established his rule. He redeemed his citizens who were impoverished by the foreign rulers.[4] Apart from ‘Skanda Purana’, many Hindu texts like ‘Bhavishya Purana’ and Jain texts like Merutunga’s ‘Prabandha Chintamani’ also mention Vikramaditya’s achievements.

(Figure 1: Credit: Wikipedia – Maharaja Vikramaditya)

The celebrated poet Kalidasa wrote Jyotirvidabharanam wherein he described Vikramaditya’s great victories over the Mleccha-s (opponents of Vedic Dharma), his coronation at Ujjain and other details. He added that Vikramaditya started his Vikrama samvat era 3,044 years after Yudhishthira and the advent of Kaliyuga.[5]

As per traditional record-keeping, the year 2022 CE is 2,079 years of the Vikrama samvat calendar. Vikrama samvat calendar’s new year starts in Chaitra month, except in Gujarat which is in Kartika month. Since the western calendars go directly from 1 BCE to 1 CE, we need to add 1 year to account for the ‘Zero year’. This gives us the Vikrama samvat era starting in the year 56 BCE (2079-2022-1=56).

Now adding 3,044 elapsed years to the traditional Vikram samvat date of 56 BCE, we can say that Kaliyuga started in the year 3101 BCE. Since Yudhishthira had ruled for 36 years, we can also say that the Mahabharata war took place towards the end of 3138 BCE.

Kalidasa started writing Jyotirvidabharanam in Vaishakha month after 3,068 years had elapsed in Kaliyuga and completed it in Kartika month.[6]

2.  Kaliyuga year as per inscriptions

Vikramaditya had prayed at the Harshal Mata temple near Porbandar in Gujarat state to free his local cousin king from a curse. A miracle still happens here every day! He constructed Ujjain’s Harsiddhi Mata temple with two 51 feet dweepa stambha as a mark of gratitude. These still exist.

(Figure 2: Credit: ConnectGujarat – Harsiddhi Mata (Harshal Mata) temple in Gujarat)

The other evidence of Vikramaditya is an inscribed gold plate found in Saudi Arabia which states:[7]

“…Fortunate are those who were born (and lived) during king [Vikramaditya’s] reign. He was a noble, generous dutiful ruler, devoted to the welfare of his subjects. But at that time we Arabs, oblivious of God, were lost in sensual pleasures. Plotting and torture were rampant. The darkness of ignorance had enveloped our country. Like the lamb struggling for her life in the cruel paws of a wolf, we Arabs were caught up in ignorance. The entire country was enveloped in a darkness so intense as on a new moon night. But the present dawn and pleasant sunshine of education is the result of the favour of the noble king Vikramaditya whose benevolent supervision did not lose sight of us – foreigners as we were. He spread his sacred religion amongst us and sent scholars whose brilliance shone like that of the sun from his country to ours. These scholars and preceptors through whose benevolence we were once again made cognisant of the presence of God, introduced to His sacred existence and put on the road of Truth, had come to our country to preach their religion and impart education at king Vikramaditya’s behest…”

Vikramaditya’s descendant, the great King Shalivahana defeated the Shaka invaders and started the Shalivahana shaka samvat era, traditionally believed to be in the year 78 CE.

Chalukyan King Pulakeshi’s Aihole Inscription was issued when 3,735 years had elapsed from the Bharata-s (Kaliyuga) and 556 years had passed in the Shalivahana shaka era.[8] This too gives us a Kaliyuga date of 3101 BCE.

Further, Jagannath Puri temple’s palm-leaf records list Odisha’s 100+ rulers starting from 3101 BCE (Yudhishthira) till 1871 CE.[9]

3.  Kaliyuga year as per astronomers

Ancient astronomer Varahamihira stated that saptarishi (Great Bear) was in Magha nakshatra during Yudhishthira’s era. Saptarishi is in 1 nakshatra for 100 years.[10] As per traditional astronomy, Saptarishi was in Magha nakshatra from 3176 BCE to 3077 BCE.

(Figure 3: Credit: Itsmydesh – Astronomer Varahamihira)

Another ancient Astronomer Bhaskara I described the method to calculate the number of days that elapsed from the start of Kaliyuga. He added 3,179 years to the Shalivahana shaka samvat. To this, he added the number of months elapsed, and then the days elapsed in the current month since the start of the new year in Chaitra month. He used 30 days for each month and 12 months for each year. He then made intercalary and other adjustments.[11]

Other eminent astronomers like Lallacharya and Bhaskaracharya II mention similar methods. They too state that the Shalivahana shaka era began after 3,179 years of Kaliyuga had elapsed.[12]

Persian Mathematician-Astronomer Alberuni stated that 4,132 years had elapsed in Kaliyuga when he wrote in the year 1032 CE. He also stated that 1,088 years of Vikrama samvat and 953 years of Shalivahana shaka samvat correspond to the 400th year of King Yazdajird’s era that started in 632 CE.[13] This reaffirms that Kaliyuga started in the year of 3101 BCE. This account also matches the Kaliyuga year with the traditional Vikram samvat and Shalivahana shaka samvat years.

4. Kaliyuga as per Marine Archaeology

The city of Dwaraka was submerged underwater 36 years after the Mahabharata war ended. God Krishna had forewarned the residents of Dwaraka to vacate the city before the sea submerged it.[14]

(Figure 4: Credit: Wikipedia – City of Dwaraka)

National Institute of Oceanography’s Dr. SR Rao and his team discovered an underwater city off the coast of present-day Dwaraka and the nearby Beyt Dwaraka Island in Gujarat state. This ancient Dwaraka is 45×25 sq km based on the underwater structural remains found. Broad 18 meters wide roads interconnected 6 sectors of the well-fortified submerged town. Dwaraka’s port was built to accommodate huge and smaller ships. Fort walls, bastions, buildings, temple pillars, and circular and rectangular-shaped stone structures were found. Heavy anchors, seals, coins, copper utensils, and pottery were also recovered from the sea bed.[15]

National Institute of Oceanography’s Dr. SR Rao says:

“With a large port town of Dwarka, a shipyard in Beyt Dwarka and three other satellite towns at Aramda, Varwala and Nageswar, the concept of the city state of Dwaravati must have been given a concrete shape.”

This archaeological description of Dwaraka neatly matches the description provided in various ancient scriptures.[16]

This marine archaeological discovery establishes the authenticity of Dwaraka from our epics. There are many pieces of evidences which can reinforce the year of Dwaraka’s 1st flooding as 3101 BCE.

5.  Kaliyuga as per Meteoritics and Marine Geology

The Boxhole meteoric crater in the Northern Territory of Australia is dated at 5400+1500 years Before Present (BP).[17] The Henbury meteorite crater also in the Northern Territory of Australia is dated at 4200+1900 years Before Present (BP).[18]

The epic Mahabharata describes that meteors hit Earth when the Pandava-s were departing for vanvasa, during their vanvasa, on the eve of the war, and during the war.[19] The date of the Boxhole and Henbury meteoric craters match with the date of the Mahabharata war of 3138 BCE (5,161 years BP as of 2023 CE).

The epic Mahabharata also states that meteors hit Earth just before the flooding of Dwaraka.[20] Dwaraka was flooded in the year 3101 BCE (5,125 years BP as of 2023 CE)

The Morasko Meteorite Nature Reserve in Poland has 7 meteoric craters. One of them is dated 5070+40 years BP, and the others are in a similar date range. Further, there are 9 Kaali meteoric craters in Estonia. Crater 4 is dated at 5400+600 years BP. The locals associate this site with ancient legends and rituals.[21]

The dates of the Morasko and Kaali craters coincide with the date of the flooding of Dwaraka and the start of Kaliyuga.

When the meteors landed on the glacial expanse of present-day Europe, the hypervelocity impact caused shockwaves and created a lot of heat energy. This caused the large-scale melting of its ice cap. The water levels rose to cause a flood in West Asia, Central Asia, and beyond. The icy waters would submerge the residents in its path.

Seven marine terraces were found along the southeastern coast of the Black Sea near Trabzon in Turkey. This means that there were at least 7 glacial melting incidents, and the sea levels rose at least that many times. One of the marine terraces has fossil deposits dated 5141+294 years BP.[22]

Similar results were archaeologically observed at the northern tip of the River Nile in Egypt from around the same time period.[23]

The city of Nagar, present-day Tell Brak in Syria, was abandoned and levelled around 3000 BCE.[24]

Similarly, there was an abrupt wet climate in the Piora Valley in Switzerland around 3200-2900 BCE. These climatic changes are called the Piora Oscillation. The Alpine tree line dropped by 100 meters. The Dead Sea in West Asia rose by nearly 100 meters. The Uruk civilization in Iraq collapsed during this period.[25] The Eurasian region around the Caspian Sea became colder around the time of the Piora Oscillation.[26]

Many archaeological studies state that the city of Shuruppak, present-day Fara in Iraq, was flooded around 3100-2900 BCE. This was called the Jamdet Nasr period.[27] However, it was not a catastrophic flood.[28]

All these events closely match with the flooding of Dwaraka and the start date of Kaliyuga in 3101 BCE.

6. Kaliyuga as per River Saraswati’s palaeochannels mapping

Before the start of the Mahabharata war, Balarama undertook an extensive pilgrimage all over India, starting from the banks of River Saraswati.[29]

Using remote sensing satellites, ISRO mapped River Saraswati’s paleochannels from its origins in the Himalayas emptying in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. ISRO stated that the ancient River Saraswati’s mapped course coincides with the major archaeological sites of Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Banawali (Haryana), Kalibangan (Rajasthan) and Dholavira (Gujarat).[30]

The buried paleochannel at the archaeological site of Ganweriwala in the River Saraswati Valley on the Pakistan-India border yielded potable water dated 12,900 years BP. Other studies show that Saraswati flowed at least 6,000 years BP.[31] There was an earthquake at Kalibangan around 4,700 years BP. This tectonic plate-shifting event is considered to be one of the reasons why River Saraswati began drying up.[32]

Archaeology can also prove that all the locations mentioned in the epic Mahabharata like the River Saraswati and Kurukshetra existed during the advent of Kaliyuga. Some pieces of evidence found from the Saraswati Valley archaeological sites are as old as 9,500 years BP. The Saraswati Valley archaeological excavations date its civilization as under.[33]

  • Bhirrana in Haryana (from 7570 to 1287 BCE)
  • Kunal in Haryana (from 7030 to 2577 BCE)
  • Rakhigarhi in Haryana (from 4230 to 1716 BCE) is the largest site, even bigger than Mohenjodaro
  • Kalibangan in Rajasthan (from 5600 to 331 BCE)
  • Loteshwar in Gujarat (from 7000 to 3000 BCE)

Thus, based on evidence gathered from the ancient scriptures, inscriptions, astronomy texts, Marine Archaeology, Meteoritics, Marine Geology, satellite mapping, and Archaeology, we can conclude that Kaliyuga started in the year 3101 BCE (5,125 years BP in the year 2023 CE).


[1]  Mahabharata 13, 167; Bhagavata Purana 1.9

[2]  Mahabharata 15.1, 16.1

[3]  Bhagavata Purana 1.18.6; Vishnu Purana 5.38.8; Brahma Purana 2.103.8-10

[4]  Skanda Purana

[5]  Kalidasa’s Jyotirvidabharanam 10.111

[6]  Kalidasa’s Jyotirvidabharanam 22.21

[7]  ‘Indian Kshatriyas once ruled from Bali to Baltic & Korea to Kaba’ by PN Oak quoted ‘Sayar-ul-okul’ page 315, published in Muslim Digest, July to October 1986 pages 23– 24]

[8]  ‘Indian Antiquary Vol V’

[9]  ‘Orissa’ Appendix VII by William Wilson Hunter quotes pam-leaf records chronicled by Babu Bhabanicharan Bandopadhyaya’s ‘Purushottama Chandrika’

[10]  Varahamihira’s Brihat Samhita 13.3-4

[11]  Bhaskara I’s Mahabhaskariyam 1.4-6; Bhaskara I’s Laghu-bhaskariyam 1.4-8

[12]  Lallacharya’s Sishya-dhivriddhida Tantra 1.12-14; Bhaskaracarya II’s Siddhanta Shiromani shlokam 1.28

[13]  ‘Alberuni’s India’ chapter 49

[14]  Mahabharata 16.7

[15]  ‘The lost city of Dwarka’ by SR Rao; ‘Further excavations of the submerged city of Dwarka’ by SR Rao in ‘Recent Advances in Marine Archaeology’ of 1991; ‘From Dvaraka to Kurukshetra’ by SR Rao in ‘Journal of Marine Archaeology’ Vol 5-6 1996- 96

[16]  Bhagavata Purana 1.11, 10.69; Brahma-vaivarta Purana Krishna-janma khanda chapter 103-104; Harivansha Purana 2.58.40-66

[17]  ‘Terrestrial ages of meteorites’ by TP Kohman and PS Goel in ‘Radioactive Dating’ of International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna

[18]  The Geological record of Meteorite impacts’ by Gordon Osinski

[19]  Mahabharata 2.79, 3.154, 5.139, 5.143, 6.19, 6.100, 8.94, 9.56

[20]  Mahabharata 16.1

[21]  ‘Luminescence dating of the Morasko and Kaali meteorite craters’ by Wojciech Stankowski et al; ‘The Earth Impact Database’ maintained by the University of New Brunswick

[22]  ‘Coastal uplift along the Eastern Black Sea’ by Serder Keskin et al in the ‘Journal of Coastal Research, Special Publication 27’

[23]  ‘Paleogeography of the Eastern Nile delta’ by Coutellier and JD Stanley in ‘The Marine Geology’ Vol 77 Issues 3-4 dated August 1987; ‘Nile delta’ by Colin Summerhayes et al in ‘The Marine Geology’ Vol 27 Issues 1-2 dated May 1978

[24]  ‘Commerce and colonization in the ancient Near East’ by Maria Aubet; ‘The Mediterranean context Early Greek history’ by Nancy Demand

[25]  ‘Climate, History, and the Modern World’ by Hubert Lamb

[26]  ‘Shaping World history’ by Mary Matossian

[27]  ‘The Fara Tablets’ by Martin Harriet; ‘Secret of the dark mounds’ by Roger Matthews; ‘Ancient Mesopotamia’ by Susan Pollock; ‘Early Mesopotamia’ by JN Postgate; ‘A history of the ancient Near East’ by M van de Mieroop

[28]  ‘National Geographic News’ by Bruce Dorminey of 6 February 2009; ‘Quaternary, Science Reviews Vol 39 dated 16 April 2012’ by KN Mertens et al

[29]  Bhagavata Purana 10.78; Mahabharata 3.88, 3.95, 9.34-43; Markandeya Purana 6.37; Skanda Purana 3.1.19

[30]  India’s Department of Space press release ID 94098 dated 20/3/2013

[31]  ‘The Saraswati civilization’ by MG GD Bakshi quotes many Geological, Archaeological, Linguistic and Empirical sources

[32]  Geologists Puri and Verma; ‘The rise of civilization of India and Pakistan’ by B Allchin and FR Allchin

[33]  KN Dixit, Chairman of the Indian Archaeological Society in ‘Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology 9 of 2013’ quotes Archaeologists BB Lal, Dr Shinde, Sarkar, Joshi, Amrendra Nath, Patel, BR Mani, JS Khatri et al

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