Mumbai: Renowned scholar, historian and astrologer Jayantrao Salgaonkar, also the founder of the world's largest selling almanac "Kalnirnay", died here Tuesday after a brief illness, official sources said. He was 84.
Salgaonkar breathed his last at the Hinduja Hospital, where he was rushed Tuesday morning after he complained of breathlessness. He is survived by his wife and three sons.
Salgaonkar's last rites shall be performed in the evening at the Dadar crematorium.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar condoled the death of Salgaonkar and paid rich tributes to the man and his legacy.
Started as a hand-printed almanac for 10,000 Marathi subscribers in 1973, "Kalnirnay" has today grown to be reputedly the world's largest selling publication, with around 19 million copies being sold annually.
"Kalnirnay" has acquired an unbeatable reputation as the most authentic almanac, providing up-to-date information on all Indian traditional festivals, auspicious 'tithis' (dates) and timings, cultural tidbits and information on all major religions practised in the country.
Though the bulk following continues to be Marathi, with every home having a "Kalnirnay", it is now equally popular in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, and has a loyal readership among NRIs worldwide.
Over the years, it has evolved with around 35 variants of the traditional wall calendar to include a tiny pocket diary, car calendar, year-planner, desk almanac and now even a convenient mobile app.
Given the staggering sales and devoted readership, "Kalnirnay" ranks among the leading options for advertisers, including top Indian and multinational corporations, banks and other premium advertisers.