20 Marla Office building design

What is a Marla? 272 Square Feet or 225 Square Feet?

Real estate in Pakistan is unique in terms of measurement units. A traditional unit of area measurement in Pakistan is the marla. However, it can be confusing for property owners and buyers to convert Marla to other units such as feet, yards, or meters.

In this article, we will guide you through the conversion process and provide a comprehensive understanding of marla, feet, yards, and meters, their respective conversions and why they are in this state!

Understanding What is a Marla?

In the context of measurements, “marla” is a unit of area commonly used in some parts of South Asia, including India and Pakistan. It’s typically used to measure the size of land. This unit is widely employed for residential property transactions.

The actual size of a marla can vary from region to region. Still, it’s often considered around 272.25 square feet or approximately 25.3 square meters. However, remember that the exact size of a marla might differ based on local conventions; other commonly found alternate measurements of marla are 250 square feet and 225 square feet.

If we consider Marla to be 272.25 square feet, then one Marla equals 9 square yards, which in turn equals 25.3 square meters. It is a general rule that 20 Marla equals 1 Kanal plot of land.

If the unit of Marla varies from 272.25 sqft to 224 sqft, how would we know if 1 Kanal that we are buying has how many square feet? Plot dimensions will change regardless if you have 1 Kanal; the base value depends on the marla! Confusing: Yes, we know.

5 Marla house exterior design under construction


Derived from the Persian term “Kanāl,” this unit is popular in regions like Punjab of Pakistan and India alike. One kanal is equivalent to 20 marlas, encompassing an area of approximately 5,445 square feet or 505.857 square meters if you consider one marla to be 272.25 sqft. It is often utilized for both residential and agricultural land measurement.

However, if Marla is 225 sqft, the overall square feet will be greatly reduced.

1 Marla = 225 sqft

1 Kanal = 20 Marla

                             = 20 marla x 225 sqft

          = 4,500 sqft

So, from these calculations, we know that plot dimensions can vary tremendously. If you are buying a plot of land, you must be well-versed in these dimensions. You can convert these into square yards, but it needs to be clarified. We are going to omit square yards from our further calculations.

One Kanal House design with exterior in F-7 Islamabad


The acre or killa, used interchangeably in some places, is a larger unit commonly used for larger land tracts, especially in rural and agricultural settings. One acre is about 4,840 square yards, approximately 4,047 square meters. This unit provides a broader perspective, often relevant to farmland and large estates.

In easier terms, one acre is equal to 8 kanal. So we can then calculate acre like we did with previous dimensions.

1 Acre = 08 Kanals

8 Kanal to marla = 08 kanals x 20 marla

Marla to sqft = 160 marla x 272.25

             = 43,560 square feet.

But the measure of acre remains the same in many parts of Pakistan. This is also being changed to gain more profits; however, you are given different measurements while registering land with the government and others when buying the land.

Killa or Bhiga

Another local measurement which is used in the rural areas of Punjab. Killa or Bhiga is considered to be equal to 2.5 kanals. However, in Bangladesh, they refer to marla as katha, Kanal as Biga and Acre as Acre.

We may have borrowed from our Bengali brethren and used it again in a manner which suits us.

Legal Aspects of Land Measurement

Understanding the legal aspects of land measurement is vital to ensure compliance with regulations and to avoid legal disputes. The land measurement process often involves a government survey department, which officially certifies the land’s dimensions and boundaries, so do check with them before assuming anything.

Despite advancements in technology and standardized measurement units, challenges in land measurement persist. Encroachments, inaccurate records, and discrepancies between official measurements and ground reality can create complications. There is a need to compile everything and implement a system to clear these loopholes.

5 marla house exterior design


Ambiguity of Marla of Kanal: Origins

Land measures (aabyana) were standardized for revenue purposes by the Great Trigonometric Survey and the East India Irrigation and Canal Act of 1869. Things began to shift when people tried to expand the cultivated land by building new barrages and canals. People started buying and selling land settlement rights once irrigation water supplies improved.

The government’s resaleable land was quantified by the great trigonometric survey, and the resulting property rights were also based on the survey’s findings. The government built infrastructure (highways, hospitals, universities, water systems, and so on) to sustain its citizens, which was evident by Yousuf Jawwad.

The first parcels of land to be sold to farmers consisted of X canals, as calculated by a trigonometric survey. Although there were too many towns, some of which were government-built. The government of India decreased the value of a Karam (Karam is a length value, and 9 karam square forms a marla) to settle the legal rights of those who purchased the settlement rights, resulting in a decrease in the size of a marla and a kanal.

Exterior design of twenty marla or one kanal house

Closing Remarks about Dimension – Marla, Kanal, Arcre and Whatnot

In a country as diverse and dynamic as Pakistan, understanding land measurement is fundamental to real estate transactions. Accurate measurement units, methods, and legal considerations form the bedrock of successful property dealings, ensuring that all parties involved are well-informed and protected.

By embracing technological advancements and upholding best practices, the nation can pave the way for a future where land measurement is seamless, transparent, and conducive to sustainable development.

One kanal or 20 marla house design in Islamabad