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Angraka graha.JPG
Mangala / Angaraka / Kuja / Chevaai
AffiliationGraha Deva
AbodeMangala loka
MantraOm Angakaraya Namah
ParentsBhūmi (mother), Shiva (father), according to some aspects Vishnu

Mangala (Sanskrit: मङ्गल, IAST: Maṅgala) is the name for Mars, the red planet, in Hindu texts.[1] Also known as Lohit (Made of Iron), he is born from Shiva's sweat or blood drop.[1] also he is the god of war, celibate and sometimes linked to god Karttikeya (Skanda).[1] His origins vary with different mythological texts; in some, he is the son of Bhumi, the Earth Goddess and Vishnu, born when he raised her from the depths of water during the time of the Varaha avatar.


Mangala as a planet appears in various Hindu astronomical texts in Sanskrit, such as the 5th century Aryabhatiya by Aryabhata, the 6th century Romaka by Latadeva and Panca Siddhantika by Varahamihira, the 7th century Khandakhadyaka by Brahmagupta and the 8th century Sisyadhivrddida by Lalla.[2] These texts present Mangala as one of the planets and estimate the characteristics of the respective planetary motion.[2] Other texts such as Surya Siddhanta dated to have been complete sometime between the 5th century and 10th century present their chapters on various planets with deity mythologies.[2]

The manuscripts of these texts exist in slightly different versions, present Mangala's motion in the skies, but vary in their data, suggesting that the text were open and revised over their lives.[3][4][5]

The 1st millennium CE Hindu scholars had estimated the time it took for sidereal revolutions of each planet including Mangala, from their astronomical studies, with slightly different results:[6]

Sanskrit and other texts: How many days for Mangala (Mars) to complete its orbit?
Source Estimated time per sidereal revolution[6]
Surya Siddhanta 686 days, 23 hours, 56 minutes, 23.5 seconds
Siddhanta Shiromani 686 days, 23 hours, 57 minutes, 1.5 seconds
Ptolemy 686 days, 23 hours, 31 minutes, 56.1 seconds
20th century calculations 686 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes, 41.4 seconds

Calendar and zodiac[edit]

Mangala is the root of the word 'Mangalavara' or Tuesday in the Hindu calendar.[1] The word "Tuesday" in the Greco-Roman and other Indo-European calendars is also dedicated to planet Mars,[7] referring to "Tīw's Day", the day of Tiw or Týr, the god of war and victory.[8] Tiw was equated with Mars in other Indo-European mythologies. Mangala is considered auspicious.[1]

Mangala is part of the Navagraha in Hindu zodiac system. The zodiac and naming system of Hindu astrology, including Mangala as Mars, likely developed in the centuries after the arrival of Greek astrology with Alexander the Great,[9][10][11] their zodiac signs being nearly identical.[12][13]


He is painted red or flame colour, four-armed, carrying a trident (Sanskrit: trishūla), mace (Sanskrit: gadā), lotus (Sanskrit: Padma) and a spear (Sanskrit: shūla). His mount (Sanskrit: vahana) is a ram. He presides over (Tuesday).[14]

Other Names[edit]

Mars (Mangala) is also called:

  • Angāraka (अङ्गारक) - one who is red in colour also called
  • Raktavarna (रक्तवर्ण) - whose color is like blood.[15]
  • Bhauma (भौम) - son of Bhumi.
  • Lohitānga (लोहिताङ्ग) - red bodied (Loha also means Iron, so could also mean Iron Bodied).
  • Kuja (कुज) - he who is born from Earth.
  • Bha (भ) - shining.[16]

Mangala verses[edit]

The word Mangala is ancient, first appearing in the Rigveda (pre-1000 BCE), and mentioned by grammarian Patanjali (~2nd century BCE), but not as an astrological term, rather to mean "auspicious-successful" (siddha) structure in literary arts. Panini too mentions it in verse I.3.1 in a similar context.[17] In the Vedic texts, states Christopher Minkowski, there is no mention of auspicious rituals, or auspicious start or timing of a ritual, rather the "mangala" as auspicious practices likely emerged in the Indian traditions during the medieval era (after mid 1st millennium CE), thereafter found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.[18] The ritualistic Mimamsa school of Hinduism did not include any mangala (auspicious) verses in any of its text throughout the 1st millennium CE.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e Roshen Dalal (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books India. p. 240. ISBN 978-0-14-341421-6.
  2. ^ a b c Ebenezer Burgess (1989). P Ganguly, P Sengupta, ed. Sûrya-Siddhânta: A Text-book of Hindu Astronomy. Motilal Banarsidass (Reprint), Original: Yale University Press, American Oriental Society. pp. vii–xi. ISBN 978-81-208-0612-2.
  3. ^ Lionel D. Barnett (1994). Antiquities of India: An Account of the History and Culture of Ancient Hindustan. Asian Educational Services. pp. 190–192. ISBN 978-81-206-0530-5.
  4. ^ Ebenezer Burgess (1989). P Ganguly, P Sengupta, ed. Sûrya-Siddhânta: A Text-book of Hindu Astronomy. Motilal Banarsidass (Reprint), Original: Yale University Press, American Oriental Society. pp. ix–xi, xxix. ISBN 978-81-208-0612-2.
  5. ^ J Fleet (1911). Arbhatiya. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press for the Royal Asiatic Society. pp. 794–799.
  6. ^ a b Ebenezer Burgess (1989). P Ganguly, P Sengupta, ed. Sûrya-Siddhânta: A Text-book of Hindu Astronomy. Motilal Banarsidass (Reprint), Original: Yale University Press, American Oriental Society. pp. 26–27. ISBN 978-81-208-0612-2.
  7. ^ Richard L. Thompson (2004). Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 88. ISBN 978-81-208-1954-2.
  8. ^ Linda T. Elkins-Tanton (2006). Mars. Infobase Publishing. pp. v–vi. ISBN 978-1-4381-0726-4.
  9. ^ Yukio Ohashi 1999, pp. 719–721.
  10. ^ Pingree 1973, pp. 2–3.
  11. ^ Erik Gregersen (2011). The Britannica Guide to the History of Mathematics. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 187. ISBN 978-1-61530-127-0.
  12. ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), "Jyotisha" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 0-8239-2287-1, pages 326–327
  13. ^ Nicholas Campion (2012). Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions. New York University Press. pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-0-8147-0842-2.
  14. ^ Mythology of the Hindus, Charles Coleman, p. 132
  15. ^ Turner, Sir Ralph Lilley (1962). "aṅgāraka 126". A comparative dictionary of the Indo-Aryan languages. London: Oxford University Press. Digital Dictionaries of South Asia, University of Chicago. p. 7. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 21 Feb 2010. aṅgāraka 126 aṅgāraka '(hypothetical) red like embers', masculine 'charcoal'. 2. masculine 'the planet Mars'. [áṅgāra -- ]1. Pali aṅgāraka -- 'red like charcoal'; Sanskrit aṅārī 2. Pali aṅgāraka -- masculine 'Mars',; Sanskrit aṅāro masculine Tuesday.
  16. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 75.
  17. ^ Walter Slaje (2008). Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 22–24. ISBN 978-3-447-05645-8.
  18. ^ a b Christopher Minkowski (2008). Walter Slaje, ed. Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 8–24. ISBN 978-3-447-05645-8.

Further reading[edit]