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Indian numbering system

India has an ancient numbering system using a unique grouping of 2 decimal places, rather than the commonplace 3 decimal places. Although crore and lakh are in widespread use today in Indian English, higher denominations are relatively unheard of, though arab and kharab are sometimes used in Hindi. General usage of higher denominations today are recursive eg. 2 lakh crores (2 followed by 12 zeros). The old Indian system referred to a billion as the old British billion; equivalent to a million million.

The table below follows the widespread usage of billion being a thousand million.

India's unique number system
Term Figure No of zeros In words (short scale)
lakh (lac) 1,00,000 5 Hundred Thousand
crore 1,00,00,000 7 Ten million
arab 1,00,00,00,000 9 1 billion
kharab 1,00,00,00,00,000 11 100 billion
neel 1,00,00,00,00,00,000 13 10 trillion
padam 1,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 15 1 quadrillion
shank 1,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,000 17 100 quadrillion
Last updated: 05-07-2005 07:46:46
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04