The candy was equal to twenty maunds, but the value of the maund was not standardised across South Asia. There were at least three different approximate values for maund in early nineteenth century India, ranging from 11.34 kg to 37.32 kg, and values from outside India varied even wider. Much of our knowledge of the values of South Asian mass units comes from an 1821 study ordered by the British East India Company and subsequently published as Kelly’s Oriental Metrology,[note 1] although the approximate value of 500 pounds for the candy is attested as early as 1618. The earliest European reference to the candy (1563) puts its mass at 522 arráteis (239.6 kg, 528.2 lbs.).
The three Presidencies of British India had already undertaken a fair degree of standardisation of weights and measures by the time of Kelly’s study.[note 2] In the Madras Presidency, the maund was fixed at 25 lbs. av. (11.340 kg),[note 3] making the candy equal to 500 lbs. av. (226.796 kg). In the Bombay Presidency, the maund was fixed at 28 lbs. av. (12.701 kg), making the candy exactly equal to 5 hundredweight (560 lbs. av., 254.012 kg). In Bombay itself (present-day Mumbai), a separate value of the candy was recorded for “grain”, equal to 8 parahs or 358 lbs. 6 oz. 4 dr. (162.563 kg, see also below). In the Bengal Presidency, where the candy was not traditionally used, the maund (or mun) was a much larger unit, 100 troy pounds[note 4] (37.324 kg, equivalent to a candy of 746.5 kg).
The effects of this standardisation can also be seen in other territories under direct British control. In Ceylon, the candy (also known as the bahar) was 500 lbs (226.796 kg) as on the Continent. Use of the candy is also recorded in British Burma, where it was the equivalent of 150 viss: its equivalent in Imperial units was measured as 500 lbs. (226.796 kg) in Pegu and 550 lbs. (249.476 kg) in Rangoon.
Perhaps the most striking example is from the princely state of Travancore in southwest India. At the British East India Company trading station of Anjengo, (near modern-day Kadakkavoor), the candy was equal to 35 telong and fixed at 560 lbs. (254.012 kg), as in Bombay. At Colachy (modern-day Kolachal) however, less than 50 miles (80 km) to the south, the candy was measured at only 376 lbs. 1 oz. 2 dr. (170.583 kg).