In the mountains of Nepal, at least as early as the 14th century – 21st century, a unit of land area, = 5476 square feet or approximately 608.44 square yards, approximately 508.74 square meters. A square 74 feet on a side is 1 ropani, 1 hectare is about 19.65 ropani, and there are almost exactly 8 ropani to the acre.
There are indications that more than a century ago the ropani was slightly smaller, but we lack information on that, and on under what circumstances this Nepalese unit became linked to the foot.
In the early 21st century the influence of metrification showed, and the ropani is frequently being taken as = 500 square meters, especially by international agencies, making 20 ropani to the hectare.
In 2001 the government limited ownership of land by a single family to 40 ropani in the hills (previously 80 ropani) and 24 ropani in the valley (previously 45 ropani). In fact, however, many Nepalese landowners own more than this.
Another system of land area units is also in use in Nepal; see bigha.
The proper land-measure of the valley of Nepaul, or of the Newars, is the Roopni, which is equivalent to three Cottahs and three quarters of Bengal. Four Moories make one Roopni, and five Roopnis are equal to a Beeswa, or twenty-five to a hundred Moories, of which last, twenty-one, and rather better than a third, go to one Biggah.
An Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul, …
London: Printed for William Miller, 1811.
1 ropani = 0.05 ha (Hills) = 4 muris
Rice Almanac 2002.
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