Seer (unit)

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A standard seer from Almora, India.

A Seer (also sihr) is a traditional unit of mass and volume used in large parts of Asia prior to the middle of the 20th century. It remains in use only in a few countries such as Afghanistan and Iran, although in the latter it indicates a smaller unit of weight than the one used in India.


British Indian
units of mass

In India, the seer (Government seer) was defined by the Standards of Weights and Measures Act (No. 89 of 1956, amended in 1960 and 1964) as being exactly equal to 1.25 kg (1.792 lb). However, there were many local variants of the seer in India.

Bengal 80 tolas of rice
South India mass of 24 current rupees
Chennai (formerly Madras) approx 25 lb (9.33 kg)
Juggerat mass of 40 local rupees
Mumbai (formerly Bombay) 28 lb (10.45 kg) called the Old Seer

Oman, Nepal and Pakistan[edit]

In Aden (Oman), Nepal, and Pakistan a seer was approximately 0.93310 kg (2.057 lb) derived from the Government seer of British colonial days.


In Afghanistan, it was a unit of mass, approximately 7.066 kg (15.58 lb).


In Persia (and later Iran), it was and remains in two units.

  1. The metric seer was 74.22 g (2.618 oz)
  2. The seer (sihr) was 160 g (5.64 oz)

The smaller weight is now part of the national weight system in Iran and is used on daily basis for small measures of delicate foodstuff and choice produce.

Sri Lanka[edit]

In Sri Lanka, it was a measure of capacity, approximately 1.86 pint (1.024 litres)

See also[edit]


"Seer". Sizes, grades, units, scales, calendars, chronologies. Retrieved 2007-02-19.  External link in |work= (help)