See also kanee.
In the Presidency of Madras, India, 19ᵗʰ century, a unit of land area = 57,600 square feet = 6,400 square yards. 484 kánis = 1 square mile. Also spelled cawney.
Land was measured by a kole (or rod) = 24 feet. One square kole = 1 kuli. 100 kulis = 1 káni = 57,600 square feet.
An alternative way of arriving at the káni (with the same size), mostly restricted to the city of Madras and its suburbs, begins with the manei, or ground, a piece of land 60 feet by 40 feet (so 2,400 square feet). 24 grounds = 1 káni (57,600 square feet)
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.
Kól, Mal. (കൊഌ), Tam. (), Kólu, Karn. () A staff, a stick ; a measuring-rod or pole; a pole, ten of which should intervene between the planting of two cocoanut trees.—See Jervis, 26. Kola, Tel. () Measurement, a measure of four Gaz. ... Also, a carpenter's rod, = 2 feet 4 inches.
H. H. Wilson, 1855, page 292 and 585.
Káni, corruptly, Cawney, Tel[ugu]. () Tam[il]. () Karn. () In numbers, an 80th fractlonal part, or sometimes one 64th ; but the word is more generally known as the denomination of a land measure at Madras, in the Carnatic, and the south-eastern provinces of the peninsula: it varies in different places, but the standard is considered to be equal to 24 Manais, or ‘grounds’ of 2400 square feet each, being equal, therefore, to 57,600 square feet. By another computation it is made equal to the same number of square adis, or 57,600 native feet, each adi being equal to inches 10.47. By the latter measurement, the kani is not quite an English acre ; by the former it is something more, or 1.322. In Cuttack a káni () is only a hand's-breadth.
Also, a land measure in Chittagong, being one-tenth of a drún; but there are two kinds according to Sháhí or to Maghi measurement, the Sháhi-kání being, according to some, four times, and to others, eight times the extent of the Maghi, the latter of which is ordinarily measured by a rod of eight háths, and consisting of 24 such rods long by 20 broad ; sometimes it is of half that extent, or 12 rods by 10 : it is also used in Chittagong for a rice measure.
H. H. Wilson, 1855, page 257 & 258.
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