Indian numbering system

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

The Indian numbering system is used in India as well as in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. It is based on the Vedic numbering system in which numbers over 9,999 are written in two-digit groups (or a mix of two- and three-digit groups) rather than the three-digit groups used in most other parts of the world. In Pakistan, this system is used in Urdu and other regional language media, but not in English-language media[citation needed].

The terms lakh or lac (100,000 or 1,00,000 in the Indian system) and crore (10,000,000 or 1,00,00,000 in the Indian system)[1] are used in Indian English to express large numbers. For example, in India 150,000 rupees becomes 1.5 lakh rupees, written as 1,50,000 or INR 1,50,000, while 30,000,000 (thirty million) rupees becomes 3 crore rupees, written as 3,00,00,000 with commas at the thousand, lakh, and crore levels, and 1,000,000,000 (one billion) rupees (one hundred crore rupees) is written 1,00,00,00,000.

Use of separators

The Indian numbering system uses separators differently from the international norm; in such numbers of at least one lakh (one hundred thousand), a comma divides every two rather than every three digits to the left of the last three, thus:

Indian system Western system
5,00,000 500,000
12,12,12,123 121,212,123
7,00,00,00,000 7,000,000,000

This accords with the Indian numbering system, which has units for thousands, hundreds of thousands, tens of millions, etc.

Names of numbers

The table below follows the short scale usage of one billion being one thousand million. In India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, following former British usage, the long scale was used, with one billion equivalent to one million million.

Hindi / Urdu / Bengali (transliteration)
South Asian English
Indian figure Power
International figure[2] Short scale Western
(long scale Western)
एक / ایک (ek) / এক (êk)
1 100 1 One
दस / دس (das) / দশ (dôsh)
10 101 10 Ten
Scientific (SI prefix): deca-
सौ / سو (sau) / একশ (êkshô)
one hundred
100 102 100 One hundred
SI prefix: hecto-
सहस्र (sahasra) / हज़ार / ہزار (hazār) / হাজার (hazar)
one thousand
1,000 103 1,000 One thousand
SI prefix: kilo-
दस हज़ार / دس ہزار (das hazār) / দশ হাজার (dôsh hazar)
ten thousand
10,000 104 10,000 Ten thousand
लाख / لاکھ (lākh) / লাখ (lakh)
one lakh (also lac)
1,00,000 105 100,000 One hundred thousand
अदन्त / ادنت (adant) / दस लाख / دس لاکھ (das lākh) / দশ লাখ (dôsh lakh)
ten lakh
10,00,000 106 1,000,000 One million
SI prefix: mega-
करोड़ / کروڑ (karoṛ) / কোটি (koti)
one crore
1,00,00,000 107 10,000,000 Ten million
दस करोड़ / دس کروڑ (das karoṛ) / দশ কোটি (dôsh koti)
ten crore
10,00,00,000 108 100,000,000 One hundred million
अरब / ارب (arab) / सौ करोड़ (sau karoṛ) / একশ কোটি (êkshô koti)
one arab / one hundred crore
1,00,00,00,000 109 1,000,000,000 One billion
(one milliard)
SI prefix: giga-
एक हज़ार करोड़ (ek hazār karoṛ) / دس ارب (das arab) / এক হাজার কোটি (êk hazar koti)
one thousand crore / ten arab
10,00,00,00,000 1010 10,000,000,000 Ten billion
(ten milliard)
खरब / کھرب (kharab) / দশ হাজার কোটি (dôsh hazar koti)
ten thousand crore / one kharab / one hundred arab
1,00,00,00,00,000 1011 100,000,000,000 One hundred billion
(one hundred milliard)
एक लाख करोड़ (ek lākh karoṛ) / دس کھرب (das kharab) / এক লাখ কোটি (êk lakh koti)
one lakh crore / ten kharab / one thousand arab
10,00,00,00,00,000 1012 1,000,000,000,000 One trillion
(one billion)
SI prefix: tera-
नील / نیل (nīl) / দশ লাখ কোটি (dôsh lakh koti)
ten lakh crore / one neel / one hundred kharab / ten thousand arab
1,00,00,00,00,00,000 1013 10,000,000,000,000 Ten trillion
(ten billion)
एक करोड़ करोड़ (ek karoṛ karoṛ) / دس نیل (das nīl) / শত লাখ কোটি (shôtô lakh koti)
one crore crore / ten neel
10,00,00,00,00,00,000 1014 100,000,000,000,000 One hundred trillion
(one hundred billion)
पद्म / پدم (padma) / হাজার লাখ কোটি (hajar lakh koti)
one padma / one hundred neel / ten crore crore
1,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 1015 1,000,000,000,000,000 One quadrillion
(one billiard)
SI prefix: peta-
दस पद्म / دس پدم (das padm) / দশ হাজার লাখ কোটি (dôsh hajar lakh koti)
ten padma / one hundred crore crore
10,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 1016 10,000,000,000,000,000 Ten quadrillion
(ten billiard)
शङ्ख / شنکھ (śaṅkh) / শত হাজার লাখ কোটি (shôtô hajar lakh koti)
one shankh / one hundred padma / one thousand crore crore / one lakh lakh crore
1,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 1017 100,000,000,000,000,000 One hundred quadrillion
(one hundred billiard)
गुलशन / گلشن / দশ শত হাজার লাখ কোটি (dôsh shôtô hajar lakh koti)
(ten shankh / ten thousand crore crore)
10,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 1018 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 One quintillion
(one trillion)
SI prefix: exa-
Maha-sankh 100,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 1019 10,000,000,000,000,000,000

Vedic numbering systems

There are various systems of numeration found in various ancient Vedic literatures of India. The following table gives one such system used in the Valmiki Ramayana.[3]

Sanskrit (transliteration) Indian figure Power
Hindu figure Short scale Western
एक (eka) 0,00,001 100 1 One
दश (daśa) 0,00,010 101 10 Ten
शत (śata) 0,00,100 102 100 One hundred
सहस्र (sahasra) 0,01,000 103 1,000 One thousand
अयुत (ayuta) 0,10,000 104 10,000 Ten thousand
लक्ष (lakṣa) 1,00,000 105 1,00,000 One hundred thousand
नियुत (niyuta) 1,00,000 daśa 106 10,00,000 One million
कोटी (koṭi)
1,00,000 śata 107 1,00,00,000 Ten million
शङ्कु (śaṅku) 1,00,000 koṭi 1012 10,00,00,00,00,000 One trillion
महाशङ्कु (mahā-śaṅku) 1,00,000 śaṅku 1017 1,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 One hundred quadrillion
वृन्द (vṛnda) 1,00,000 mahā-śaṅku 1022 10,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 Ten sextillion
महावृन्द (mahā-vṛnda) 1,00,000 vṛnda 1027 1,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 One octillion
पद्म (padma) 1,00,000 mahā-vṛnda 1032 10,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 One hundred nonillion
महापद्म (mahā-padma) 1,00,000 padma 1037 1,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 Ten undecillion
खर्व (kharva) 1,00,000 mahā-padma 1042 10,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 One tredecillion
महाखर्व (mahā-kharva) 1,00,000 kharva 1047 1,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 One hundred quattuordecillion
समुद्र (samudra) 1,00,000 mahā-kharva 1052 10,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 Ten sexdecillion
ओघ (ogha) 1,00,000 samudra 1057 1,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00.00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 One octodecillion
महौघ (mahaugha) 1,00,000 ogha 1062 10,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 One hundred novemdecillion

Usage in different languages

  • In Punjabi, a lakh is called lakkh (Shahmukhi: لکھ, Gurmukhi: ਲੱਖ) and a crore is called karoṛ (Shahmukhi: کروڑ, Gurmukhi: ਕਰੋੜ).
  • In Bengali, a lakh is called লক্ষ lokkho (ardha-tatsama), or laakh (tadbhava) and a crore is called কোটি koti.
  • In Gujarati, a lakh is called લાખ lākh and a crore is called કરોડ karoḍ. A hundred crore is called અબજ abaj.
  • In Sylheti, a lakh is called লাখ lakh (lax) and a crore is called কোটি kuti.
  • In Kannada, a lakh is called ಲಕ್ಷ lakṣha and a crore is called ಕೋಟಿ kōṭi.
  • In Malayalam, a lakh is called ലക്ഷം laksham and a crore is called കോടി kodi.
  • In Marathi, a lakh is called लाख lākh and a crore is called कोटी koṭi or करोड karoḍ , and an arab (109) is called अब्ज abja.
  • In Nepali, a lakh is called लाख lākh and a crore is called करोड karoḍ.
  • In Odia, a lakh is called ଲକ୍ଷ lakhya and a crore is called କୋଟି koti.
  • In Sinhalese, a lakh is called ලක්ෂ lakṣa and a crore is called කෝටි kōṭi.
  • In Tamil, a lakh is called நூறாயிரம் nooRaayiram as well as இலட்சம் 'ilatcham and a crore is called கோடி kodi.
  • In Telugu, a lakh is called లక్ష lakṣa and a crore is called కోటి kōṭi.
  • In Urdu, a lakh is called لاکھ lākh and a crore is called کروڑ karoṛ.
  • Lakh has entered the Swahili language as "laki" and is in common use.
  • In Burmese, crore is called ကုဋေ [ɡədè]. Lakh is used in Burmese English.


  1. "Knowing our Numbers". Department Of School Education And Literacy. National Repository of Open Educational Resources. Retrieved 13 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Use of separator in digit grouping is following customs in most English speaking countries. For international standard and details cf. Decimal mark
  3. Valmiki Ramayana Yuddha Kanda