Dakshinayana (Sanskrit: दक्षिणायन, romanizedDakṣiṇāyana)[1] is a Hindu astronomical concept that refers to the movement of the sun to the south of the equator,[2][3] and is also a term that indicates the six-month period between the summer solstice and the winter solstice. Dakshinayana begins on Karka Sankranti or July 16, as it marks the transition of the sun into Karka rashi (Cancer).

It marks the end of the six-month Uttarayana period of Hindu calendar and the beginning of the eponymous period called the Dakshinayana, which itself ends at Makara Sankranti and the Uttarayana period begins.[4]

According to the Puranas, Dakshinayana marks the period when the deities are in their celestial sleep, regarded to be their night.[5]


  1. ^ Hudson, D. Dennis (2008-09-25). The Body of God: An Emperor's Palace for Krishna in Eighth-Century Kanchipuram. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 581. ISBN 978-0-19-536922-9.
  2. ^ The Bhagavata Purana 1. Penguin Random House India Private Limited. 2019-01-05. p. 441. ISBN 978-93-5305-378-9.
  3. ^ Garg, Gaṅgā Rām (1992). Encyclopaedia of the Hindu World. Concept Publishing Company. p. 853. ISBN 978-81-7022-373-3.
  4. ^ James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 351–. ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8.
  5. ^ Books, Kausiki (2021-10-24). Narada Purana Part 2: English Translation only without Slokas. Kausiki Books. p. 611.