Adhik Maas is an extra month added to the Lunar Calendar to be in sync with the Solar Calendar. This period is also known as Adhika Masa in Kannada, Malimmacha (Maal), and Purushotham (Lord Vishnu) Maas. Adhika means ‘extra’.
This year it is from 18th September 2020 to 16th October 2020. This extra lunar month occurs after every 32 months, 16 days and 8 Ghadis (a Ghadi is a period of 24 minutes and 60 Ghadis equal 24 hours). This is according to the Vasishtha Siddhantha (the treatise of Vasishtha). It is one of the most accurate methods to adjust the gap between Solar and Lunar Year.
As the Hindu calendar is based on the lunar calendar, there is a difference of 11 days between the earth year and the lunar year. Whereas, the solar year is made up of 365 days and about 06 minutes and the lunar year is made up of 354 days. To adjust this difference, Adhik Maas is added regularly. This is the reason why Makara Sankranti festival always falls on 14th or 15th January.
During Adhik Maas auspicious celebrations are not performed. It is believed that whatever you do during this period, you will get double the benefit. Hence, people pray, recite scriptures and mantras, donate, fast, and try to be involved in religious activities.
In Nepal, during Adhik Maas, a month-long fair is organized in Machhegaun village. During this time, people bath in the pond at Machhenarayan temple and believe that this act washes away their sins.
A village called Purushottampuri in Beed district of Maharashtra has a temple dedicated to Lord Purushottam build with bricks but floats on water. It is a unique temple and during Adhik Maas, a big fair is organized during which thousands of people visit this place and the temple.