Ziona Chana, believed to head the world’s largest family — with 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren — died Sunday at the age of 76 in Mizoram, the NDTV reported.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga took to Twitter to confirm the death of Ziona Chana, and said that the state and “his village at Baktawng Tlangnuam has become a major tourist attraction in the state because of the family.”
“With heavy heart, Mizoram bid farewell to Mr. Zion-a (76), believed to head the world’s largest family, with 38 wives and 89 children. Mizoram and his village at Baktawng Tlangnuam has become a major tourist attraction in the state because of the family,” he said. “Rest in Peace Sir!” the chief minister added.
Zionghaka, popularly known as Ziona, died at 3 PM at Trinity hospital in Aizawl. He had diabetes and hypertension.
“Zion-a was suffering from diabetes and hypertension. He was undergoing treatment at his residence in Baktawng village for three days. But his condition deteriorated and he was rushed to the hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead,” Hospital Director Dr Lalrintluanga Zahau told news agency PTI.
Ziona Chana was the head of a religious community called ‘Chana’s sect’ in his village. Around 400 families are members of the sect that allows polygamy for its male members.
He was born on July 21, 1945. He met his oldest wife, who is three years older than he is, when he was 17, according to news agency Reuters.
His family members live in a four-storied house called ‘Chhuan Thar Run’ or New Generation Home with over 100 rooms in the mountainous village.
According to a report in Reuters, Ziona Chana’s sons and their wives, and all their children, live in different rooms in the same building, but share a common kitchen, while his wives shared a dormitory near his private bedroom. They are supported by their own resources and occasional donations from followers.
The family has been featured twice by “Ripley’s Believe it or not” in 2011 and 2013.
The mansion of the Chanas has become a tourist attraction in the state.