Janmotsav of Srimanta Sankardev falls in the Indian month of Bhadra or Asvina, which corresponds to September or October in the western calendar. This year, it falls on October 24. The holiday marks the birth anniversary of Srimanta Sankardev, a 16th-century saint-scholar, social-religious reformer, and a figure of importance in the cultural and religious history of Assam. It is a regional public holiday in the Indian state of Assam. A three-day religious-cultural festival, it is also known as Sankar Janmotsav.
History of Janmostav of Srimatna Sankardev
A 16th-century Assamese polymath, saint-scholar, poet, and playwright, Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardev was known for uniting Assam and regarded as the ‘Father of Assamese culture.’
On September 26, 1449, he was born into the Shiromani (religious chief) Baro-Bhuyans family at Alipukhuri near Bordowa in the present-day Nagaon district. At the age of 12, he started attending chatrasaal (school) and penned his first verses. Sankardev mastered the majority of the scriptures in barely a decade and left the chatrasaal in 1465 to become the next Shiromani Bhuyan. He came to be well known and respected among his subjects and admirers.
He embarked on his first pilgrimage in 1481 and was accompanied by 17 people. The pilgrimage led him to almost all parts of India that practiced the Vaishnavite religion. He composed his first borgeet (spiritual song) during his journey and joined the pan-Indian Bhakti movement. On his return from his pilgrimage in 1493, Sankardev was urged by Baro-Bhuyan elders to take back the Shiromaniship, but he refused them. He settled into a different life and soon composed many creative and religious works. He also introduced a new religion.
In 1568, Sankardev’s passion-filled life came to an end. He died at the ripe old age of 120. Although Sankardev was dead, his legacy continued to grow. Today, a large population in India practices the religion he founded. His literary and artistic works are living traditions in Assam today.
Janmostav of Srimatna Sankardev timeline
Sankardev is born in Alipukhuri.
Sankardev becomes the Shiromani of the Baro-Bhuyans family.
Sankardev embarks on his first pilgrimage with seventeen other people.
Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardev dies at 120 years old.
Janmostav of Srimatna Sankardev FAQs
Did Sankardev have a nickname?
Sankardev’s subjects and admirers called him Dekagiri.
Who was Madhavdev?
Madhavdev was an important disciple of Sankardev.
Is Srimanta Sankardev a god?
Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradev’s followers considered him an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.
How to Observe Janmostav of Srimatna Sankardev
Read some of Sankardev's work
An excellent way to honor Sankardev is to learn about his literary work. You can check for his poems or songs online.
Watch celebrations online
Several celebrations go on in India to commemorate Sankardev. You can partake in the holiday by following any of those events online.
Spread the divine message
You can celebrate the legend with your friends on your social media. Pay tribute by sharing some of his quotes.
5 Facts About Mahapurusha Srimanta Sandarkev
Author of “Ramvijay”
The one-act play “Ramvijay” was written by Sankardev.
Lived as a householder
Sankardev married twice in his lifetime and had children.
Preacher of Ekasarana Dharma
Sankardev preached the Ekasarana Dharma, which means ‘Shelter-in-One religion.’
He was orphaned early
Sankardev lost his mother after his birth and his father to smallpox at the age of seven.
Sankardev went on two pilgrimages during his lifetime.
Why Janmostav of Srimatna Sankardev is Important
A chance to pay one’s respects
We get to glorify the great scholar and poet whose teachings will continue to be revered. This is also an opportunity to participate in preserving his legacy.
Sankardev united Assam
Sankardev's teachings brought about unity and harmony. He also inspired the Bhakti movement in Assam.
A chance to explore a different culture
The holiday offers us an opportunity to learn about traditions and a religion that we may not be aware of before. It educates us about the impact of this scholar on the lives of many people.
Janmostav of Srimatna Sankardev dates