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A Yojana (Sanskrit : योजन ) is a Vedic measure of distance that was used in ancient India. It is equivalent to about Script error: No such module "convert". as per modern measures of distance, although the exact value is disputed among scholars (between Script error: No such module "convert".).

In modern Hindi the word yojanaa (Hindi : योजना) means "plan" or blueprint, and is etymologically connected with the Cartesian notion of distance in the word yojana. However, note that the words "yojana'" and "yojanaa" are different, and pronounced differently. The last sound of the second word is pronounced "aa" as in arm [ārm].

Variations on length

The length of the yojana varies depending on the different standards adopted by different Indian astronomers. In the Surya Siddhanta of the 5th century, for example, a yojana was equivalent to Script error: No such module "convert".,[1] and the same was true for Aryabhata's Aryabhatteeya (499).[2] However, 14th century scholar Paramesvara defined the yojana to be about 1.5 times larger, equivalent to about Script error: No such module "convert"..[1] A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada gives the equivalent length of a yojana as Script error: No such module "convert".[3] throughout his translations of the Bhagavata Purana. Some other traditional Indian scholars give measurements between 13 km and 16 km (8–10 miles) or thereabouts.[citation needed] Alexander Cunningham, in The Ancient Geography of India, takes a yojana to mean Script error: No such module "convert"..

The Thai equivalent โยชน์ (pronounced "yot") gives the distance as 16km. The word is also used to describe a large distance, the same way an English speaker would say something is "miles" away.[4]


The height of the mythical mountain Meru Parvat is estimated to be 1,00,000 yojanas in Jain cosmology[citation needed] where 1 yojana is given as Script error: No such module "convert". – approximately the radius of the Earth. If the length of a Yojana is taken to be approximately Script error: No such module "convert"., then its subsidiary measurements are as follows:

  • 1 angula = 16 to 21 mm
  • 4 angulas = one dhanu graha (bow grip) = 62 to 83 mm
  • 8 angulas = one dhanu musti (fist with thumb raised) = 125 to 167 mm
  • 12 angulas = 1 vitasti (handspan: distance between tip of thumb and tip of last finger when palm is stretched) = 188 to 250 mm
  • 2 vitastis = 1 aratni (cubit) = 375 to 500 mm
  • 4 aratnis = 1 danda = 1.5 to 2.0 m
  • 2 dandas = 1 dhanu = 3 to 4 m
  • 5 dhanus = 1 rajju = 15 to 20 m
  • 2 rajjus = 1 paridesha = 30 to 40 m
  • 100 parideshas = 1 krosha (or gorata) = 3 to 4 km
  • 4 kroshas = 1 yojana = 13 to 16 km
  • 1,000 yojanas = 1 mahayojan = 13 to 16 Mm

See also


  1. ^ a b Richard Thompson (1997), "Planetary Diameters in the Surya-Siddhanta", Journal of Scientific Exploration 11 (2): 193–200 [196] 
  2. ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Aryabhata I", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews .
  3. ^ Srimad Bhagavatam 10.57.18 (translation) "one yojana measures about eight miles"
  4. ^ th:โยชน์

Further reading

  • one Bengal mile=one coss= 2000 yards=1.8288 kilometres