coss

Various units of itinerant distance in India. It is often taken to be about 1½ miles, but varies greatly. Two main examples are:

In Bengal, = 6000 feet, about 1.8288 kilometers.

In Mysore = ¼ gavada or day's march = 6000 gujahs, about 5.8673 km. Also called a hardary. A smaller version, the ordinary coss or ordinary hardary, is about 4.4005 km.

The word is thought to have come from the Sanskrit krośa, a fourth of a yojana.

Doursther (1840).

sources

1

Of the Crouh, or Cose

The measurement of roads, for the ascertaining of distances, being an object of public utility, his majesty has given great attention to it, and has caused the distances to be measured in crouhs, each consisting of 100 tenabs of 50 Alaiy guz : or 400 bamboos of 12½ guz each. By either of these methods, a crouh contains 5000 guz.

Whenever his majesty marches at the head of his armies, or performs a journey, the road is carefully measured with the above-mentioned bamboos, by persons appointed for that purpose, whose accounts are checked by a Darogha and Mushriff.

Sheer Khan fixed the crouh at sixty jereebs, each containing sixty Secundery guz; and this is the rule still observed in the soobah of Dehly.

In Gujerat, a crouh is the greatest distance at which may be heard the ordinary lowing of an ox; and this is estimated to be fifty jereebs.

In Bengal they use the Depeyeh Crouh, which is the distance a man can go at a quick pace, without being out of breath. According to others, a man is to pluck a green leaf, and, placing it on his head, is to walk with it until it is dry, which distance they say is a crouh.

Others make use of the following rule of Calculation.

6 hairs of a mule's tail make one Barleycorn.
6 barleycorns make one inch.
24 inches make one Guz.
4 guz make one Bagh,
12,000 baghs make one Meel (or mile).
3 miles make one Fursukh [farsakh].
3 fursukhs make one Bereed.

According to Hindoo Philosophers.

8 barleycorns stripped of the husk, when laid in breadth, make one Inch.
24 inches make one Dust (or cubit).
4 dusts make one Dund (or Dehnuck).
2000 dehnucks make one Crouh, or as they call it, cose.
4 cose make one jowjun.

Some Hindoos reckon the cose to consist of 100 steps made by a woman, carrying a jar of water on her head and a child in her arms.

Abū al-Fazl ibn Mubārak.
Francis Gladwin, translator.
Ayeen Akbery, or the Institutes of the Emperor Akber. Vol. 1.
London: Printed by G. Auld for J. Sewell, Vernor and Hood, &c., 1800.
Pages 281-283.

Abu Al-Fazl was the Vizier of the Moghul emperor Akbar the Great. He wrote in Persian, in the last days of the 16th century.

2

Kos, commonly written Coss, H. &c. (, from S[anskrit]. Kroṣa ), Kroṣ, Beng. ( ) A measure of distance varying, in different parts of India, from one to two miles, but most usually about the latter : in Mysore the Sultáni Kos is about four miles : the variation in Upper India depends, according to Mr. Elliot, upon the valuation of the Gaz; for the Kos consists either of 100 cords (tanáb) of 50 gaz each, or of 400 poles (báns), each of 12½ Gaz, making, in either case, the Kos = 5000 Gaz; and the value depends therefore on that of the Gaz, which at one time varied considerably, see Gaz : the actual measurement of the distances between the Kos minárs or pillars still standing in the Upper Provinces makes the Kos = 2 miles 4 furlongs 158 yards [about 4.17 kilometers], at which rate the Gaz is = 32.8 inches, approaching the 33 inches assumed by the British Government as the standard.

H. H. Wilson, 1855, page 294.

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