Chingleput, India
19ᵗʰ century units of land area

Chingleput was the name of a district and of a city, the modern Chengalpattu, about 60 km from Chennai (the former Madras).

Linear Measures Used in Surveying




10.2857 inches

24 feet

*This number varied, however. See source 1 below.


Area Measures

káni or cawney




manei, munny or ground


 kuli or coozhy (square kole)








sq. ft

sq. ft

60 ft by 40 ft
2400 sq ft

sq. ft

sq. ft

Charles Stewart Crole.
The Chingleput, Late Madras, District. A Manual compiled under the orders of the Madras Government.
Madras: Printed at the Lawrence Asylum Press, Mount Road, by W. H. Moore, 1879.

Page 58.



The cawny is the standard land measure of the country formerly under the rule of the Nawabs of the Carnatic. Mr. Ellis, in his paper dated 1814, on mirassy right, speaks of an ancient Hindoo cawny of 172,000 square feet, and of another known as Conairy Royer's cawny, where the kole was 36 feet; but he does not state if these are English feet, or if 100 square koles made the cawny.

The munny or ‘ground,’ or 24th part of a cawny (see Madras) is also used in Chingleput for sites of buildings. The cawny is also sub-divided in the vernacular accounts into annas or 16ths, of 3,600 square feet each, and these again into pice or 12ths, of 300 square feet each.

In Buchanan's journey (1802) vol. I, p. 6, he states that in the jagheer (the usual name for the Chingleput district, having been a jagheer from the Nawah of Arcot in 1763), the adee or foot is 10.4562 inches. Thus;—

24 adees square = 1 coozhy.

100 coozhies = 1 cawny (43,778 square feet).

But out of what is called 'charity’ the rod was made 26 adees and the resulting ‘customary' cawny 51,375 square feet.

Before the lands of the district were re-measured in 1766 there was a ‘mamool’ or ‘customary’ cawny, which in many of the agraharams or Brahmin villages was generally ¾ of the royajee or standard cawny, whilst in the munnavaid or shoodra villages it was (where it was introduced at all) some 20 per cent. over the standard.

At the present day the acre is superseding these measures, being used in the village register and puttahs of the Government.

Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency… Volume II.
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
Page 509.

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