Indian Numeral System

Indian Numeral System

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Introduction to The Indian Numeral System

Long before numbers were invented, a unique mark was made on each item being counted.

This was a complex system for writing large numbers.

People realized that there was a need to adopt a standard system of counting.

This is how the numeral system came into existence.

Different numeral systems were used across different countries and periods.

We know that numbers in mathematics are used for counting, measurements, and comparisons.

A number system contains numerals which are used to represent the numbers. 

There are two types of number systems: Indian numeral system and International numeral system.

The two types of numeral systems are Indian numeral system and International numeral system.

Let us begin with the Indian numeral system.

What is Indian Numeral System?

When we count with ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, lakhs, ten lakhs, and crores, we use the Indian system of numeration.

Look at the following table that shows the periods, places and the digits in a number.

Explaining Indian Numeral System

The ONES period consists of 3 places: Ones, tens and hundreds.

The THOUSANDS period comprises 2 places: Thousands and ten thousands.

The LAKHS period comprises 2 places: Lakhs and ten lakhs.

The CRORES period comprises 2 places: Crores and ten crores.

Indian Numerals 1 to 10

Jagat owns a huge farm.

He sold his entire wheat harvest for Rs. 384756182. 

Example of how we use the Indian Numeral System to read numbers. Jagat owns a farm land and he sells his wheat harvest for 384756182.

Let us try to read this big number, "384756182", using the Indian numeral system.

First, we will place it in the Indian place value chart.

Starting from the right-most number, this number represents the ones digit.

Representation of the number 384756182 in the Indian Place Value Chart

It is easy to read any large number if we place the number in the place value chart of the Indian numeral system.

Therefore, the number is "Thirty eight crore forty seven lakh fifty six thousand one hundred and eighty two".

Thinking out of the box
Think Tank
  1. How many thousands are there in one lakh?
  2. What is one more than the greatest 7-digit number?
  3. Write the smallest 3 digit number which does not change if the digits are reversed.

Indian Numeral System Worksheet Samples

We have prepared few worksheets on The Indian Numeral System for you to practice offline as well. You can go ahead and download them for free at the end of this page.

Difference Between Indian Numeral System and International Numeral System

The International numeral system is used world wide.

This is Aaron.

He says that he has bought a house for 4 million rupees.

Understanding the Indian Numeral System using an example. Aaron has bought a house for 4 million rupees.

But, how much is one million?

Let us see.

When we count in terms of ones, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands, millions and billions, then we are referring to the International numeral system.

The following table shows the periods, places and the digits in a number for the International numeral system.

Explaining International Numeral System

Thus, in one million, there are 6 zeros and 7 digits.

Now, let's learn to read and write a number using the International numeral system. 

We will write the numbers in the standard form using commas and read the numbers using periods.

For example:

Rewrite the number \(1347823\) in the International numeral system using commas.

How will you read this number?


In the International numeral system, we begin from the right and insert commas after every three digits.

We divide the number in periods and read the period separately.

Standard Form: \(1,347,823\)

Number Name: One million three hundred forty seven thousand eight hundred and twenty three.

Thus, the main difference in Indian and international numeration system is the placement of the commas.

Use the simulation below to experiment with the difference between Indian and international numeral system.

Solved Examples

Let us solve a few examples to understand the Indian numeral system.

Example 1



Rewrite the number 2687393 by placing the comma as per the Indian numeral system.


In the Indian numeral system, we use commas to mark thousands, lakhs and crores.

We insert a comma after each period.

Starting from the right side of the number, the first comma is inserted after the hundreds digit.

The second comma is inserted after the thousands period, that is after 2 places from the first comma.

The third comma is inserted after the lakhs period. 

This is how we insert the commas in the Indian numeral system.

Example 2



How will the number 2,34,32,829 be read out according to the Indian numeral system?


The number 2,34,32,829 will be read as "Two crore thirty four lakh thirty two thousand eight hundred and twenty nine".

Challenge your math skills
Challenging Questions
  1. What is the place value of 5 in the number 3456781 according to the Indian and International numeral system?
  2. How many millions are there in one billion?

Practice Questions

Here are a few activities for you to practice. Select/Type your answer and click the "Check Answer" button to see the result.


Maths Olympiad Sample Papers

IMO (International Maths Olympiad) is a competitive exam in Mathematics conducted annually for school students. It encourages children to develop their math solving skills from a competition perspective.

You can download the FREE grade-wise sample papers from below:

To know more about the Maths Olympiad you can click here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the Indian numerals?

Indian numerals is a set of 10 symbols: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. These symbols came into existence during 6th or 7th century in India.

2. How do you write numbers in the Indian system?

First put the number in the Indian Place Value Chart. While writing a number in Indian numeral system, separate the period using commas.

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