adowlie

1

In Mumbai (Bombay), India, a unit which served as a unit of dry capacity for grains, but is measured by mass (as are Indian liquid measures¹). Also spelled adholee, adholy, adowly, adowlee.

The system of measures used for rice and paddy differed from that for wheat and other grains. Early 19th century sources disagree on whether the adowlie was used in the wheat system. Doursther says the adowlie was generally half of a pily, but the Bombay multiples do not support that.

For wheat and other grains, except rice and paddy

candy

parah

8

adowlie

16

128

seer

4

64

512

tipree

2

8

128

1024

 

 

 

 

 

According to Bombay Almanac (1798);  Kelly (1821), page 96.

 

candy

parah

8

pily

7

56

seer

4

28

224

tipree

2

8

56

448

158.7
g

317
g

1.27
kg

8.89
kg

71.1
kg

According to Milburn, Oriental Commerce, 1825; Kelly, Supplement page 337.

 

For rice and paddy

morah

candy

4

parah

25

adowlie

20

125

500

seer

150

937½

3750

tipree

2

15

300

1875

7500

calc. from Milburn's 1 moorah = 863 lbs 12 oz. 12 drs

52.2
g

104.5
g

783.6
g

15.67
kg

97.95
kg

391.81
kg

1. “India does not, properly speaking, possess dry or liquid measures. Where these are employed, they depend upon, and in fact represent, the seer or the maund weight; the mention of measures has been accordingly omitted in the foregoing scheme for Bengal, leaving the value of any vessel of capacity to rest solely on the weight contained in it.

“The mode in which this is effected for the ‘dry measures’ of South and West India is, by taking an equal mixture of the principal grains, and forming a vessel to hold a given weight thereof, so as to obtain an average measure. Sometimes salt is included among the ingredients. Trichinopoly is the only place where grain is said never to be sold by weight.”

[James Prinsep.]
Useful Tables, forming an Appendix to the Journal of the Asiatic Society. Part the First. Coins, Weights and Measures of British India.
Calcutta: Printed at the Baptist Mission Press, Circular Road, 1834.

sources

1

GRAIN MEASURES
2 Tiprees, — — — are 1 Seer,
4 Seers, — — — 1 Adowlee,
16 Adowlees, — — — 1 Parah,
8 Parahs, — — — 1 Candy.

BATTY MEASURES
6¼ Parahs — — — are 1 Candy,
25 Parahs, or 4 Candies — — — 1 Moorah,

The Bombay almanack.
Bombay: printed by John Turner, at the Gazette Press, [1798].

2

In Bombay, a measure of capacity for salt, 5 1/3 pounds, about 2.509 liters. 10½ adowlies = 1 parah. chart symbol

Kelly (1821), Supplement page 337.

Doursther (1840), page 4.

3

At a number of locations in India, a unit of dry capacity, as in definition 1, but generally = 2 seers.

Location Equivalents Magnitude Source
Ahmednuggar = 1/24 maund = 2 seers = 8 paos = 144 tanks 2.458 kg 1
Belgaum and Shapere = 1/48 koora = 2 pawaas, seers or quarts = 16 kalary 2.98 liters 1
Chanadore = 1/32 maund = 2 seers = 8 pao-seers = 144 tanks 2.124 kg 1
Dindore = 1/32 maund = 2 seers = 8 pao-seers = 144 tanks 2.235 kg 1
Jamkhair = 1/32 maund = 2 seers = 8 pao-seers = 144 tanks 2.093 kg 1
Palloda = 1/32 maund = 2 seers = 8 pao-seers = 144 tanks 2.314 kg 1
Poona = 1/24 maund = 2 seers = 4 adseers = 8 pao-seers = 16 adpaos 1.788 kg 1
Roombharee = 1/32 maund = 2 seers = 8 pao-seers = 144 tanks 2.280 kg 1

1. Doursther (1840), page 4.

The heavy adowlie is approximately 2.031 kilograms and the adowlie approximately 1.982 kilogram.chart symbol

sources

1

Dry measure. The adholee.—The dry measure, called adholee, of two seers, which is the largest in use in the Deccan, is in towns and villages made of wood, turned in a lathe and lackered. It is in form nearly similar to that of an hour glass, and a ½ seer, ¾ seer, and 5/8ths seer resemble it in form and lackering. In the small villages where the dealers are poorer, these measures are made of large bamboos, sawed through at the joint.

The adholee in the Northern Konkan consists of 3½ and 4 kutcha seers, and the number of adholees to the kakuni maund varies in different towns in the Collectorate from 17 to 24. Where the 4 seer adholee obtains there the maund contains 20 adholees; and where the adholee is 3½ seers, there the maund consists of 24 adholees; so that the adholee and not the maund differs; the 17 adholees measure is perhaps confined to Salsette.

Robert Montgomery Martin.
History of the Colonies of the British Empire in the West Indies, South America, North America, Asia...
London: W. H. Allen & Co. and George Routledge, 1843.
Page 143 of Appendix 4.

2

Adholí, corruptly, Adolee, Adoly, Mar[athi]. () A measure of capacity, properly equal to half a Páhali, or two Sers, but varying in different places.

H. H. Wilson.
A Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms, and of Useful Words Occurring in Official Documents Relating to the Administration of the Government of British India, from the Arabic, Persian, Hindustání, Sanskrit, Hindí, Bengálí, Uṛiya, Maráṭhi, Guzaráthí, Telugu, Karnáta, Tamil, Malayálam, and other Languages.
London: W. H. Allen and Co., 1855.
Page 568.

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