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A Yojana (Sanskrit : योजन ) is a Vedic measure of distance used in ancient India. The exact measurement is disputed amongst scholars with distances being given between 6 to 15 kilometers (4 to 9 miles).

In modern Nepali and Hindi yojana (Hindi : योजना ) also means "plan" or blueprint and has an interesting connection with the Cartesian notion of distance.

Variations on length

The length of the Yojana varied depending on the different standards adopted by different . It was taken to be the distance covered by an ox cart in one day. In the Surya Siddhanta of the 5th century, for example, a Yojana was equivalent to 5 miles, and the same was true for Aryabhata's Aryabhatiya (499). By the time of Paramesvara in the 14th century, the Yojana was more than 1.5 times larger than it was in Aryabhata's time, thus a Yojana was equivalent to at least 8 miles by Paramesvara's time.

Religious leader A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada gives the equivalent length of a yojana as 8 miles (13 km) throughout his translations of the Bhagavata Purana. Some traditional Indian scholars give measurements between 13 km and 16 km (8-10 miles) or thereabouts. Alexander Cunningham, in The Ancient Geography of India, takes a yojana to mean 8 miles.


If the length of a Yojana is taken to be approximately 8 to 10...
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