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Measures of the Mauryan Empire

Measures of Length

The most common table was:

    8 yava (barleycorns) = angula (3/4 in.)
    12 angulas = 1 vitasti (9 in.)
    2 vitastis = 1 hasta or aratni (18 in.)
    4 hastas = 1 danda or dhanus (6 ft.)
    2,000 dhanus = 1 krosa or goruta (2 1/4 mi.)
    4 krosas = 1 yojana ( 9 mi.)


Measures of Time

    Ancient Indian learned men devised a detailed terminology for minute intervals of time, which had little relation to everyday life. The longer measurements in most general use were:

    18 nimesas (winks) = 1 kastha (3 1/5 sec.)
    30 kasthas = 1 kala (1 3/5 min.)
    15 kalas = 1 nadika or nalika (24 min.)
    30 kalas or 2 nadikas = 1 muhurta or ksana (48 min.)
    30 muhhurtas = 1 aho-ratra (24 hours)

    A measurement frequently used, but not consistent with this system, was the yama or watch, one-eighth of a day and night, or three hours. In some sources, however, the yama is given as three muhurtas, or one-tenth of a day and night. The hour (hora) was introduced from the west in the Gupta period and was used in astronomy, but was not widely employed in everyday life. (A.L. Basham)