Ziona Chana, who was a resident of Baktawng Tlangnuam village in the northeastern state of Mizoram, and headed a family with 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren, died at the age of 76.

Family members of Ziona (R) poses for group photograph outside their residence in Baktawng village in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram, on October 7, 2011.
Family members of Ziona (R) poses for group photograph outside their residence in Baktawng village in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram, on October 7, 2011. (Reuters Archive)

An Indian man from the northeastern state of Mizoram who is believed to have headed the world's largest family, with 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren, has died at the age of 76, officials said.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who uses only one name, announced the death of Ziona Chana, who was a resident of Baktawng Tlangnuam village, in a post on Twitter on Sunday.

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"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," he said.

Zoramthanga also said that Mizoram and Baktawng Tlangnuam have become major tourist attractions in the state because of the family.

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Ziona takes a break at the construction site of a church in Baktawng village in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram, October 5, 2011.
Ziona takes a break at the construction site of a church in Baktawng village in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram, October 5, 2011. (Reuters Archive)

'Very big loss'

Chana was the head of a religious sect called "Chana Pawl," founded by his father in 1942, which allows polygamy.

According to officials, Chana, who also had a large number of grandchildren, died Sunday afternoon.

"He was taken to a private hospital in another district and as per the reports received, he passed away today," Kumar Abhishek, the deputy commissioner of Serchhip district, told Anadolu Agency by phone.

Lal Thanhawla, former chief minister of Mizoram and a senior political leader from the Indian National Congress party, told Anadolu Agency: "His [Chana's] demise is a very big loss to everyone...The family is very disciplined and there are a lot of things to learn from them.”

Source: AA