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The bigha (also formerly beegah) is a traditional unit of measurement of area of a land, commonly used in India (including Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Gujarat and Rajasthan but not in southern states of India), Bangladesh and Nepal. There is no "standard" size of bigha. The size of a bigha varies considerably from place to place. The size of Bigha is different in different areas.[1]

Sources[which?] have given measurements ranging from 1,500 to 6,771 square metres (16,150 to 72,880 sq ft), but in several smaller pockets, it can be as high as 12,400 square metres (133,000 sq ft). Its sub-unit is Biswa (or Bisa) or Katha (or Katta) in many regions. Again there is no "standard" size of biswa or katha. A bigha may have 5 to 200 biswa in different regions.

Uses in India

The bigha is a traditional unit of land in several parts of North India. Sale and purchase of land (particularly agricultural land) is still done unofficially in this unit. However, the area is recorded in hectare or square metres in official land records. Bigha varies in size from one part of India to another. Various states and often regions within the same state have different sizes attributed to the bigha. It is usually less than one standard acre (43,560 square feet or 4,047 square metre) but can extend up to 3 acres (1.2 hectare).

Uses in Bangladesh

Bigha is a traditional unit of land in entire Bangladesh, with land purchases still being undertaken in this unit. One bigha is equal to 1,600 square yard as standardized in pre-partition Bengal during the British rule. In other words, 3 bigha are just 60.5 katha/360 sq ft short of 1 acre.

Measurements of area in terms of bigha

1 Katha (কাঠা) = 720 sq ft (80 sq yd or 66.89 sq m)
1 Bigha (বিঘা) = 20 katha (কাঠা) (14,400 sq ft or 1,337.8 sq m)
1 Acre (একর) = 3 bigha (বিঘা) 60.5 katha (কাঠা) (4,840 sq yd or 43,560 sq ft or 4,047 sq m)

Use in Nepal

A Bigha is a customary unit of measurement in Nepal, equal to about 6,773 square meters. Officially, most measurement of lands use units of either Bigha (in Terai region) or Ropani (Nepali: रोपनी) (in Hilly regions). Metric system (SI unit of square metre) is very seldom used officially in measuring area of land.

Measurement of area in terms of bigha

1 Bigha (बिघा)= 20 Kattha (कठ्ठा) (about 6,772.63 m² or 72900 sq.ft.)
1 Kattha (कठ्ठा) = 20 Dhur (धुर) (about 338.63 m² or 3,645 sq.ft.)
1 Dhur (धुर) = 16.93 m² or 182.25 sq.ft.
1 Kanwa (कनवा) = 1/16 Dhur (धुर)
1 Kanaee (कनई) = 1/16 Kanwa (कनवा) [Kanwa is largely obsolete and is used only when tiny lands are very precious]
1 Bigha = 13.31 Ropani (रोपनी)
1 Ropani = 16 aana (आना) (about 508.72 m² or 5476 sq. ft.)
1 aana = 4 paisa (पैसा) (about 31.80 m² or 342.25 sq.ft.)
1 paisa = 4 daam (दाम) (7.95 m²)
1 Bigha = 6,772.63 m²

For the different Ropani system from the one above

1 Bigha = .677263 hectare = 1.6735 acre = 13.31 Ropani
1 Hectare = 19.6565 Ropani
19.6565 Ropani = 1 Hectare
1 Ropani = 508.83771 m²

Use in Fiji

In Fiji Hindi 1 bigha is equal to 1 acre

In popular culture

The classic Hindi movie Do Bigha Zamin by Bimal Roy in year 1953 portrayed the struggle of a poor peasant with very little landholding.

See also


  1. ^ Haryana jamabandi Units of measurements Archived 2018-04-18 at the Wayback Machine, HALRIS.
  2. ^ "Land System Conversion Table - North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd".
  3. ^ "Home - Revenue & Disaster Management - Government Of Assam, India".
  4. ^ "A village that symbolises Bihar".
  5. ^ "three decimal land (1,306 square feet)". 15 December 2015.
  6. ^ "sq feet decimal" (PDF).
  7. ^ "25,679 Mahadalit Landless Families to Get Plots in Bihar".
  8. ^ "bigha".