parra []

In India, a unit of capacity, in the last half of the 19ᵗʰ century = 4000 cubic inches (about 65.5 liters).



Parra, Tel[ugu]. ( ) A measure of capacity, the fortieth part of a Tum : it was also considered equal to five marakáls, or 3735.413 cubic inches or one-eightieth of a gárisa, = 13.836 imperial gallons : by other computations it was made to contain 3681.640, or 3744 cubic inches : the present standard Parra is fixed at 4000 inches : it is still rated as equal to five marakáls, but the marakál is somewhat larger : see Para.

H. H. Wilson, 1855, page 403.


There is a measure called a Parah used in the sale of chunam only. It is a square, the sides of which measure 20 inches in length by 10 in depth, and it contains 4,000 cubic inches.

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.
Thus about 65.55 liters. “Chunam” is a type of plaster. The word was also used for an antifouling coating for ships (also plaster?). Lastly the lime used in the consumption of betel was called chunam.

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