Tamil units of measurement

Measurements in ancient Tamil land were of seven kinds. They were number counts, balance weights, fluid volumes, grain volumes, length, time and the likeness.

Units of time in ancient Tamil history

  • 1 kuzhi(kuRRuzhi)= 6.66 millisecond-the time taken by the Pleiades stars(aRumin) to glitter once.
  • 12(base 8 ) or 10 kuzhigaL= 1 miy= 66.6666 millisecond-the time taken by the young human eyes to flap once.
  • 2 kaNNimaigaL= 1 kainodi= 0.125 second
  • 2 kainodi= 1 maatthirai= 0.25 second
  • 6(base 8 ) or 6 miygaL= 1 siRRuzhi(nodi)= 0.40 second-the time taken for a bubble (created by blowing air through a bamboo tube into a vessel 1 saaN high, full of water) to travel a distance of one saaN .
  • 2 maatthiraigaL= 1 kuru= 0.50 second
  • 2(base 8 ) or 2 nodigaL= 1 vinaadi= 0.80 second-the time for the adult human heart to beat once
  • 212 nodigaL= 2 kuru= 1 uyir= 1 second
  • 5 nodigaL= 2 uyir= 1 saNigam= 1/2 aNu= 2 seconds
  • 12(base 8 ) or 10 nodigaL= 1 aNu= 4 seconds
  • 6(base 8 ) or 6 aNukkaL= 12 saNigam= 1 thuLi= 1 naazhigai-vinaadi= 24 seconds
  • 12(base 8 ) or 10 thuLigaL= 1 kaNam= 4 minutes
  • 6(base 8 ) or 6 kaNangaL= 1 naazhigai= 24 minutes
  • 12(base 8 ) or 10 naazhigaigaL= 4 saamam= 1 siRupozhuthu= 240 minutes= 4 hours
  • 6(base 8 ) or 6 siRu-pozhuthugaL= 1 naaL(1 day)= 24 hours
  • 7 naaTkaL= 1 kizhamai(1 week)
  • 15 naaTkaL= 1 azhuvam(1 fortnight )
  • 29.5 naaTkaL= 1 thingaL(1 lunar month)
  • 2 thingaL= 1 perum-pozhuthu(1 season)
  • 6 perum-pozhuthugaL= 1 AaNdu(1 year)
  • 64 aaNdugaL= 1 vattam(1 cycle)
  • 4096(=8^4) AaNdugaL= 1 Oozhi(1 epoch)

Area Measurement

  • 1 Marakkal vaedaipadu (seeds required for planting rice) = 8 cents
  • 12.5 Marakkal vaedaipadu = 100 cents (one acre)

Area calculation and Measurement Chart .

  • 1 hectare = 2 acre 47 cent
  • 1 hectare = 10,000 sq.m.
  • 1 acre = 0.405 hectare
  • 1 acre = 4046.82 sq.m.
  • 1 acre = 43,560 sq.ft.
  • 1 acre = 100 cent = 4840 sq.gejam
  • 1 cent = 435.6 sq.ft.
  • 1 cent = 40.5 sq.m
  • 1 ground = 222.96 sq.m. = 5.5 cent
  • 1 ground = 2400 sq.ft.
  • 1 kuli = 44 cent
  • 1 kaani = 132 cent = 3 kuli
  • 1 kaani = 1.32 acre
  • 1 kaani = 57,499 sq.ft.
  • 1 acre = 2.25 kuli
  • 1 dismil = 1.5 cent
  • 1 furlong = 660 feet = 220 kejam
  • 1 kilometre = 5 furlong
  • 1 link / chain = 0.66 foot = 7.92 inch
  • 1 kejam = 3 feet
  • 1 mile = 8 furlong
  • 1 ares = 1076 sq.ft. = 2.47 cent
  • 1 chain = 22 kejam
  • 1 furlong = 10 chain
  • 1 kejam = 0.9144 metre
  • 1 township = 36 sq.mile
  • 1 sq.mile = 640 acre

Units of ancient trade

Balance weights

Gold weights

  • 4 nel edai= 1 kunRimaNi
  • 2 kunRimaNi= 1 manjaadi
  • 1 manjaadi= 1 paNavedai
  • 5 paNavedai= 1 kazhanju
  • 8 paNavedai= 1 varaaganedai
  • 20 paNavedai= 4 kazhanju = 1 kaqhsu
  • 80 paNavedai= 16 kazhanju= 4 kaqhsu= 1 palam.
  • 1.5 Kazhanji = 8 gram or one pown

Goods weights

  • 32 kunRimaNi= 1 varaaganedai
  • 10 varaaganedai= 1 palam
  • 40 palam= 1 veesai
  • 1000 palam =1 kaa
  • 6 veesai= 1 thulaam
  • 8 veesai= 1 maNangu
  • 20 maNangu= 1 paaram.

Grain volume

  • 1 kuNam= smallest unit of volume
  • 9 kuNam= 1 mummi
  • 11 mummi= 1 aNu
  • 7 aNu=1 immi
  • 7 immi= 1 uminel
  • 1 sittigai= 7 uminel
  • 360 nel= 1 sevidu
  • 5 sevidu= 1 aazhaakku
  • 2 aazhaakku= 1 uzhakku
  • 2 uzhakku= 1 uri
  • 2 uri= 1 padi
  • 8 padi= 1 marakkaal(kuRuNi)
  • 2 marakkaal(kuRuNi)= 1 padhakku
  • 2 padhakku= 1 thooNi
  • 5 marakkaal= 1 paRai
  • 80 paRai= 1 karisai
  • 96 padi= 1 kalam
  • 120 padi= 1 pothi(mootai)
  • 21 marakkal = 1 Kottai

padi, = 1800 avarai pods = 12,800 miLagu seeds = 14,400 nel grains = 14,800 payaRu grains = 38,000 arisi grains = 115,200 sesame seeds

Fluid volume

  • 5 sevidu= 1 aazhaakku
  • 2 mahani = 1 aazhakku (arai kal padi)
  • 2 aazhaakku= 1 uzhakku (Kal padi)
  • 2 uzhakku= 1 uri (Arai padi)
  • 2 uri= 1 padi
  • 8 padi= 1 marakkaal
  • 2 marakkaal(kuRuNi)= 1 padhakku
  • 2 padhakku= 1 thooNi
  • 21 Marakkal = 1 Kottai

Length

  • 10 koaN= 1 nuNNaNu
  • 10 nuNNaNU= 1 aNu(atom)
  • 8 aNu= 1 kathirtthugaL
  • 8 kathirtthugaL= 1 thusumbu
  • 8 thusumbu= 1 mayirnuni
  • 8 mayirnuni= 1 nuNmaNal
  • 8 nuNmaNal= 1 siRu-kadugu
  • 8 siRu-kadugu= 1 eL
  • 8 eL= 1 nel
  • 8 nel= 1 viral= 8^8 aNu(atom)= 1.9444 centimetre
  • 12 viral= 1 saaN= 100 immi= 23.3333 centimetre
  • 2 saaN= 1 muzham= 46.6666 centimetre
  • 2 muzham= 1 kajam
  • 4 muzham= 1 paagam
  • 625 paagam= 1 kaadham= 5000 saaN= 1166.66 metres= 1.167 kilometre

Likeness (Saartthal)

Likeness has attributes of tone, sound, colour and shape for comparison of a given substance with a known standard.

Whole numbers

Old Tamil numerical characters

  • 1= onRu
  • 10= patthu
  • 100= nooRu
  • 1000= aayiram
  • 10,000= pathaayiram
  • 100,000= nooRaayiram
  • 1000,000= meiyiram
  • 10^9= thoLLunn
  • 10^12= eegiyam
  • 10^15= neLai
  • 10^18= iLanji
  • 10^20= veLLam
  • 10^21= aambal

Sanskrit texts elaborate the following version:

* 1 = ONDRU -one
* 10 = PATHU -ten
* 100 = NOORU-hundred
* 1,000 = AAYIRAM-thousand
* 10,000 = PATHAAYIRAM -ten thousand
* 100,000 = LATCHAM-hundred thousand
* 1,000,000 = PATHU LATCHAM - one million
* 10,000,000 = KODI-ten million
* 100,000,000 = ARPUTHAM-hundred million
* 1,000,000,000 = NIGARPUTHAM- one billion
* 10,000,000,000 = KUMBAM-ten billion
* 100,000,000,000 = KANAM-hundred billion
* 1,000,000,000,000 = KARPAM-one trillion
* 10,000,000,000,000 = NIKARPAM -ten trillion
* 100,000,000,000,000 = PATHUMAM -hundred trillion
* 1,000,000,000,000,000 = SANGGAM -quadrillion
* 10,000,000,000,000,000 = VELLAM -ten quadrillion
* 100,000,000,000,000,000 = ANNIYAM -hundred quadrillion
* 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 = ARTTAM -quintillion
* 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 = PARARTTAM -ten quintillion
* 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 = POORIYAM -hundred quintillion
* 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = MUKKODI -sextillion
* 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = MAHAYUGAM -ten sextillion

Fractions

  • 1= onRu
  • 3/4= mukkaal
  • 1/2= arai
  • 1/4= kaal
  • 1/5= naalumaa
  • 3/16= moonRu veesam
  • 3/20= moonRumaa
  • 1/8= araikkaal
  • 1/10= irumaa
  • 1/16= maakaaNi (veesam)
  • 1/20= orumaa
  • 3/64= mukkaal veesam
  • 3/80= mukkaaN
  • 1/32= araiveesam
  • 1/40 araimaa
  • 1/64= kaal veesam
  • 1/80= kaaNi
  • 3/320= araikkaaNi munthiri
  • 1/160= araikkaaNi
  • 1/320= munthiri
  • 1/102,400= keezh munthiri
  • 1/2,150,400= immi
  • 1/23,654,400= mummi
  • 1/165,580,800= aNu
  • 1/1,490,227,200= kuNam
  • 1/7,451,136,000= pantham
  • 1/44,706,816,000= paagam
  • 1/312,947,712,000= vintham
  • 1/5,320,111,104,000= naagavintham
  • 1/74,481,555,456,000= sinthai
  • 1/1,489,631,109,120,000= kathirmunai
  • 1/59,585,244,364,800,000= kuralvaLaippidi
  • 1/3,575,114,661,888,000,000= veLLam
  • 1/357,511,466,188,800,000,000= nuNNmaNl
  • 1/2,323,824,530,227,200,000,000= thaertthugaL

Currency

  • 1 pal (wooden discs/sea shellots)= (approximately) 0.9 grain
  • 8 (or 10 base 8 ) paRkaL =1 senkaaNi (copper/bronze) = 7.2 grains(misinterpretted by Roman accounts as 10 base 10 paRkal =9 grains)
  • 1/4 senkaaNi =1 kaalkaaNi (copper) =1.8 grains(misinterpretted by Roman accounts as 2.25 grains)
  • 64 (or 100 base 8 ) paRkaL = 1 KaaNap-pon a.k.a. Kaasu panam(gold) = 57.6 grains
  • 1 Roman dinarium was traded on par with 2 KaaNappon plus 1 SenkaaNi(=124 grains).
  • 18 Ana = 2.5 Rupee, 16 Ana = 1 Rupee, 1 Ana = 3 Thuttu, 1/4 Ana = 3/4 (mukkal) thuttu

27 responses to “Tamil units of measurement

  1. Sureshkannan (Pulli)

    Scene da….

    • innum nariya iruku da machi… its difficult to edit.. will update one by one… i have plan to buy own website for this.. will c..

      • sundar

        எந்த மொழியிலும் இல்லாத தசமக் கணக்கீடு (Decimal Calculation)..!

        தமிழகக் கோயிற் சிற்பங்களில் உள்ள நுணுக்கமான வேலைப்பாடுகளாகட்டும், தூண்களில் ஒரு நூல் இழை கூட கோணல் இல்லாமல் கட்டபட்ட 1000 கால் மண்டபங்கலாகட்டும், இன்னும் ஆதித்தமிழர்கள் செய்த அற்புதமான விசயங்களை பற்றி வியப்புடன் பேசும் நாம், இதைப்பற்றிய தேடலை நாம் மேற்கொள்ள வேண்டாமா..?!

        அப்படி நான் தேடும் போது எனக்கு கிடைத்த ஒரு அரிய விடயத்தை உங்களுடன் பகிர்கிறேன்.

        1 – ஒன்று
        3/4 – முக்கால்
        1/2 – அரை கால்
        1/4 – கால்
        1/5 – நாலுமா
        3/16 – மூன்று வீசம்
        3/20 – மூன்றுமா
        1/8 – அரைக்கால்
        1/10 – இருமா
        1/16 – மாகாணி(வீசம்)
        1/20 – ஒருமா
        3/64 – முக்கால்வீசம்
        3/80 – முக்காணி
        1/32 – அரைவீசம்
        1/40 – அரைமா
        1/64 – கால் வீசம்
        1/80 – காணி
        3/320 – அரைக்காணி முந்திரி
        1/160 – அரைக்காணி
        1/320 – முந்திரி
        1/102400 – கீழ்முந்திரி
        1/2150400 – இம்மி
        1/23654400 – மும்மி
        1/165580800 – அணு –> 6,0393476E-9 –> nano = 0.000000001
        1/1490227200 – குணம்
        1/7451136000 – பந்தம்
        1/44706816000 – பாகம்
        1/312947712000 – விந்தம்
        1/5320111104000 – நாகவிந்தம்
        1/74481555456000 – சிந்தை
        1/489631109120000 – கதிர்முனை
        1/9585244364800000 – குரல்வளைப்படி
        1/575114661888000000 – வெள்ளம்
        1/57511466188800000000 – நுண்மணல்
        1/2323824530227200000000 – தேர்த்துகள்.

        இவ்வளவு நுண்ணியமான கணிதம் அந்தக் காலத்தில் பயன்பாட்டில் இருந்துள்ளது. இந்த எண்களை வைத்து எத்தனை துல்லியமான வேலைகள் நடந்திருக்கும் என்று எண்ணிப்பாருங்கள், கணினியையும், கணிதப்பொறியையும் (கால்குலேடரையும்) தொழில் நுட்ப வளர்ச்சி என்று இன்றைய தலை முறை கூறிக்கொண்டு இருக்கும் போது, அதை விட ஆயிரம் மடங்கு மேலாக அந்த காலத்திலேயே நாம்
        சாதித்து விட்டோம்..!

  2. Balasubramaniyam

    Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!
    Our Ancestors are great, they are the center of excellence through out the world, Then why our people not teaching those things in our school, Its really bad & shame to us……….. feel pity of us….
    any how atleast now onwards we learned abt how our tamizh is stronger and we have all kind of terminological words. Thanks a lot (Mikka Nandri) for the people who done this great job!!!!!!!!

  3. Mohanbabu

    great work, keep up

  4. It’s Info like the above that , persuades people to keep returning to a excellent resource like this site. Thanks .

  5. Boopathi.s

    nice to share

  6. Mohankumar S R

    Fantastic work and please keep it up(dated)

  7. ithukellam enna aatharam irukku? wikipedia page la original research nu potirukku.. :( naalu perukku kamicha kelvi kekuraanga.. ithuku atharam sekka enna vazhi? yen tamizh mozhi pathina aarachi veliyeedu ivlo kammiyaa irukku? :(

  8. K. Sriskantharajah.

    Thamilzhai vala vaippavarkal enrenrum vaalvarkal.

  9. K. Sriskantharajah.

    Thamilzhai vaala vaippavarkalai num thamilzhth theivam enrenrum vaala vaikkum.

  10. K. Sriskantharajah.

    vaalththukkal.

  11. vicky

    Great work
    am realy feeled that as a tamilzan upto 21 yrs i dont know anything abt it
    i just ashame to admit it :’(
    now to i just came to search something but am re-directed by google acidently am here :(
    if no… Still my death.. I dont even knw abt it :/

  12. M SIVALINGESWARAN

    Highly valuable information both for the older generation and for the younger generation who may not be knowing this great information on measurement.

  13. Murugesan M

    what is thatchu mulam ?

  14. kasan

    oru naye koda tamil adichuka mudyathu itz greatst lang n d world

  15. Hi, i believe that i noticed you visited
    my web site so i came to return the desire?.I’m attempting to in finding things to enhance my site!I assume its good enough to use some of your ideas!!

  16. சிம்பு

    மிகவும் பயனுள்ள தகவல் … இது போன்ற இன்னும் தகவல் எதிர்பார்த்து…….

  17. periyasamy.k

    very use full

  18. santhanakrishnan.A

    good one .keep it up lot

  19. Fazil Ahmed

    I wish to publish a book on Unknown Facts about Tamil and Tamilians.
    Please help me.
    seyadian@gmail.com

  20. Senthil Kumar

    100 kodi yenpathai thuya tamil – l yeppadi solvathu

  21. jagadeesh

    realy super. very very thanks

  22. Ramaswamy Mathan.

    Great. the ancient tamils have such a measuring system . amazing.

  23. Ramaswamy Mathan.

    Astonishing facts . The greatness of Tamil. congratulations for posting such facts.

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