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Aṅgula (from Sanskrit अङ्गुल aṅgula - 'a finger; the thumb; a finger's breadth'[1]) is a measure equal to eight barley-corns, twelve aṅgulas making a Vitasti or span, and twenty-four a Hasta or Cubit. 108 Angulam makes a 'Dhanusha'. These measurements are claimed[by whom?] to have been used since the Harappan civilization and that these were also used for the construction of Taj Mahal.

One Aṅgula is believed to be approximately equal to 1.763 centimetres. Dimensional analysis of the oldest engineered caves at the Barabar and Nagarjuni hills (dated to the Mauryan Period) has revealed that the basic length measure (angulam) of this period was 1.763 cm. The planning of these cave complexes was executed using the traditional measurement units mentioned in the Arthashastra, in particular the Danda measuring 96 Angulams. As the basic length measure is also noted in several Harappan civilization sites, this sudy confirms that Harappan metrological ideas were transmitted virtually unchanged from the Harappan civilization to the Ganga civilization, thereby proving the continuity of the people themselves who built their settlements upon this tradition.[2]


  1. ^ Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier-Williams, (c) 1899
  2. ^ New Insights on metrology during Maurya period