Sri Lankan units of measurement
A number of different units of measurement were used in Sri Lanka to measure quantities like length, mass and capacity. Under the British Empire, imperial units became the official units of measurement and remained so until Sri Lanka adopted the metric system in the 1970s.
One covid was equal to 0.464 m (18.5 in). The bamba, still in use in 2016 yet, is the distance between a man's outstretched arms. It is roughly about 6 feet. "Bamba" usually use to measure depth in wells and pits etc... Units used in measuring road distances included the gavva and yoduna (plurals gavu and yojana - a yoduna was 4 gavu) and the hoo kiyana dura.
Area was often measured in terms of the land that could be sown with a specific amount of seed or rice, including the pala, amuna (4 pala) and kiriya (4 amunas) and the riyana. In one region, a kiriya was about 8 acres.
Prinsep, writing in 1840, states that "at ... Ceylon ... English measures only are used, or at least a cubit based on the English measure of 18 inches.":96
One seer was equal to 1.2 quarts and one parrah was equal to 6.75 gallons.
1 parrah = 1/8 ammonam
1 seer = 1/288 ammonam.
Maccauly stated in 1818 that to the north of Colombo an Ammonam contained 16 Parahs, and 2.5 Ammonams equalled one Acre, but that to the south there were 8 Parahs to the Ammonam. He describes the Parah as a measure 16.7 inches wide and 5.6 inches deep.
- Washburn, E.W. (1926). International Critical Tables of Numerical Data, Physics, Chemistry and Technology. New York: McGraw-Hil Book Company, Inc. p. 4.
- Clarke, F.W. (1891). Weights Measures and Money of All Nations. New York: D. Appleton & Company. p. 23.
- "History". Measurement Units and Services Department. Measurement Units and Services Department. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- Cardarelli, F. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. London: Springer. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1.
- Pieris, Kamalika. "Weights and measures in ancient and medieval Sri Lanka". Daily News (Sri Lanka). Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- Prinsep, James (1840). Useful tables, forming an appendix to the Journal of the Asiatic Society: part the first, Coins, weights, and measures of British India. Bishop's College Press. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- Maccauly, Thomas (1818). The Indian Trader's complete Guide, being a correct account of coins, weights,measures &c. &c. at the different settlements of India and adjacent native sovereignties of Asia. Calcutta. p. 42. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Seer". Sizes, grades, units, scales, calendars, chronologies. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- Montgomery, Martin (1835). "Ceylon". History of the British colonies: Vol 1: Possessions in Asia (2nd ed.). Cochrane. p. 561. Retrieved 2 January 2015.