Understanding Real Estate Measurements: A Dive into India’s Varied Metric System

In real estate, knowing how to measure property is key to understanding its value and potential. While most of the world uses ‘square feet’, India has its own set of unique measurements due to its diverse history and culture. This guide helps you navigate the complex world of property sizes in India, making it easier to buy or sell properties in the country.

If you have ever wondered about Guntha or Lecha, etc., you are at the right place.

Let’s explore the common ways to measure property in India:

1. Square Feet  (sqft):

This is the most used measurement for homes, apartments or offices especially in cities. It tells you the total area of a property.
When measuring properties, especially in cities, the square foot is a common unit used to describe the size of an area. To calculate the area of a room in sq.ft, you multiply the room’s length by its width.

For example, if a room is 12 feet long and 10 feet wide, you calculate the area by multiplying these two numbers together: 12 feet (length) times 10 feet (width) equals 120 sq.ft. This means the total surface area of the room is 120 sq. ft.

2. Square Metres (sqm):

Used alongside sq.ft, square metres are common in places that follow international standards or prefer metric units. It’s handy for larger areas. One square metre is equal to 10.764 square feet.

3. Acres and Hectare:

In the countryside or for farming land, especially in states like Punjab, Haryana, and parts of Uttar Pradesh, properties are often measured in acres. Acres come from the British era and are still used for big land deals. Hectares, which are 10,000 square metres or about 2.47 acres, are also used, mainly in government records and planning. One acre is equivalent to 43,560 square feet. 

4. Yards and Square Yards:

Yards are used in some regions, especially in North India, for building and land sizes. Cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida often use square yards for homes and businesses because of tradition and local habits. One square yard is equivalent to 9 square feet, while one yard is equal to 3 feet.

5. Conversion Factors:

To make buying and selling easier, and to match different units, conversion factors help change one type of measurement to another. For example, 1 square metre is roughly 10.764 sq.ft, and 1 acre equals 43,560 sq.ft or 4,840 square yards.

Across India, from busy cities to quiet countryside, how land and homes are measured can vary a lot. Each place has its own way, showing its unique history and customs. It’s important for anyone in the real estate market, from builders to buyers, to know these differences.
Here is the table for better understanding:

There are few more terms that go ahead and stand out in the Indian Real estate measurements  system:

1. Are:

   – Equals 100 square meters or 1076 sq ft.

   – A common unit of area measurement in some countries, especially in Europe and Asia.

2. Guntha:

   – Equals 1089 sq. ft or the area of a square with sides of 33 feet.

   – Commonly used in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

3. Acre:

   – Equals 43,560 sq. ft or the area of a rectangle with sides of 66 feet by 660 feet.

   – Widely used in the United States and some other countries for measuring land area.

4. Hectare:

   – Equals 10,000 square metres, 100 ares or 2.47 acres.

   – Commonly used internationally for measuring large tracts of land, especially in agriculture.

5. Gaj:

   – Equals 1 square yard or approximately 9 sq.ft.

   – A traditional unit of area measurement in South Asia, especially in India and Pakistan.

6. Chatak:

   – Equals 45 sq. ft.

   – Used in Bangladesh for land measurement.

7. Ankanam:

   – Equals 72 sq. ft.

   – A traditional unit of area measurement in India, especially in regions like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

8. Lecha:

   – Equals 144 sq. ft.

   – A unit of area measurement in Bangladesh.

9. Marla:

   – Equals 272 sq. ft.

   – Commonly used in South Asia, for land measurement.

10. Cent:

    – Equals 435.6 sq.ft.

    – Used particularly in South India, for land measurement.

11. 100 Cent:

    – Equals 1 Acre.

    – A common conversion used in South India to represent larger areas of land.

If we go ahead and dive deep into the technical terms that are used in India , we get aware that India’s vast geographical expanse is divided into several regions, each with its own real estate dynamics. The country can be categorised into four regions: North and West India, South India, East India, and the Central or Global perspective. Each region has its specific cultural, economic, and climatic characteristics, which shape the preferences and trends in real estate development and investment.

In North and West India, which includes states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Punjab, terms like “Bigha,” “Killa,” and “Kanal” are used to measure land.

1. Bigha:

  •  Bigha is a traditional unit of land measurement used in various parts of India, particularly in North India.
  •     It varies in size depending on the region. For example, in North India, one Bigha is equal to 1,600 square yards or approximately 0.13 hectares.
  •    Bigha was used in agricultural contexts for assessing land for farming purposes.

2. Killa:

  •    Killa is another traditional unit of land measurement used in North and West India.
  •     It is often associated with large landholdings, particularly in rural areas.
  •     The size of a Killa can vary significantly from region to region, but it is generally            larger than a Bigha.
  •     Like Bigha, Killa was traditionally used for agricultural land but is also relevant in modern real estate transactions.

3. Kanal:

  •     Kanal is a unit of land measurement primarily used in North India, especially in regions like Punjab, Haryana, and parts of Uttar Pradesh.
  •     It is derived from the Persian word “khanah,” meaning house.
  •     A Kanal is typically equal to one-eighth of an acre or approximately 5445 sq.ft.
  •     Kanal is commonly used in urban and rural areas for assessing land for residential and commercial purposes, as well as for agricultural land.

These terms, Bigha, Killa, and Kanal, are deeply ingrained in the local vernacular and reflect historical practices and land tenure systems in different regions of India. Understanding these units is crucial for anyone involved in real estate transactions, as they continue to be relevant measures of land despite the modernization and standardisation efforts in the industry.

However, with rapid urbanisation and industrialization, the real estate landscape in this region is also witnessing significant transformation, with modern amenities and infrastructure becoming increasingly important factors in property valuation.

South India, comprising states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, has its distinct set of terms like “Ankanam,” “Guntha,” and “Marla.” Ankanam:

  • Ankanam is a unit of land measurement primarily used in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  •  It is typically used for smaller land areas, especially in rural and semi-urban areas.
  • The exact size of an Ankanam can vary based on local customs and practices but is generally smaller than other units like acres or hectares.
  •  Ankanam is commonly used for measuring residential plots, agricultural land, and small-scale commercial properties.


  • Guntha is a unit of land measurement commonly used in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  •  It is equivalent to one-fortieth of an acre or approximately 1,089 sq.ft.
  • Guntha is often used for measuring agricultural land, particularly in rural areas where farming is prevalent.
  • The term “Guntha” derives from the Marathi language and is widely recognized in the regions where it is used.


  • Marla is a unit of land measurement predominantly used in the northern Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and parts of Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is commonly used for measuring residential plots, agricultural land, and commercial properties.
  • One Marla is typically equivalent to 272.25 sq.ft or one-thirtieth of a Kanal, which is another unit of land measurement in the region.
  • Marla is an integral part of the land measurement system in North India and is often used in property transactions and documentation.

In East India, including states like West Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha, terms such as “Dhur,” “Lecha,” and “Kuncham” are commonly used in land measurement. 

 Dhur (East India: Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha)

1. Usage: Primarily for small land plots in rural areas; common in real estate transactions to define land boundaries and assess values.

2. Size: Roughly 68.06 sq.ft, though the exact size can vary slightly by region.

 Lecha (East India: West Bengal, Assam)

1. Usage: For agricultural land, indicating a strip of land for cultivation with specific dimensions.

2. Variability: One Lecha is equivalent to 144 sq ft. However, this can vary based on regional agricultural practices and local contexts.

 Kuncham (Southern India: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana)

1. Usage: Measures smaller land parcels, often used in descriptions of rural or semi-urban real estate properties.

2. Size: Represents a one-tenth of an acre (or 4,356 sq ft) , with the precise measurement varying by local customs.

The real estate sector in this region is influenced by factors such as rapid urbanisation, population density, and infrastructure development. Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, is one of the major real estate hubs in East India, witnessing significant growth in residential and commercial projects.

In conclusion, the metric system used in Indian real estate reflects the country’s diverse cultural, historical, and administrative landscapes. While sq.ft remains the predominant unit of measurement in urban areas, other units such as square metres, acres, hectares, and yards hold significance in different regions based on local conventions and preferences.

Understanding these real estate measurements is crucial for investors, developers, and homebuyers alike, as it enables them to assess properties, negotiate deals, and navigate the complexities of the Indian real estate market. By embracing the diversity of measurements  and leveraging conversion factors, stakeholders can make informed decisions and unlock the vast potential of India’s dynamic real estate sector.

In the ever-evolving world of real estate, mastering the measurements is not a matter of measurement but a gateway to unlocking opportunities and realising the true value of properties in India.